On September 20, 2020, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) that would combat race and sex stereotyping, or scapegoating in the Federal workforce or Uniformed Services. Federal grant funds would not be issued to entities that allowed such behavior in the workplace, and Federal contractors would not be permitted to force such views upon their employees.
Some examples given within EO 13950 of existing cases within the Federal workforce include a projected maligned ideology that we, as a nation, are “inherently sexist and racist”. The Department of Treasury held a seminar where, “virtually all White people, regardless of how ‘woke’ they are, contribute to racism.”
This prompted a small group of leaders to encourage their employees to avoid terms like “Americans should be more color-blind” or “let people’s skills and personalities be what differentiates them.”
In another example cited within President Trump’s EO, training materials from Argonne National Laboratories stated that racism “is interwoven into every fabric of America…” and references to color-blindness and meritocracy is now recognized as “actions of bias.”
WHY is this considered biased?
Merriam-Webster’s definition of MERITOCRACY: “a system, organization, or society in which people are chosen and moved into positions of success, power, and influence on the basis of their demonstrated abilities and merit.”
Is it not the foundation of the true American spirit that we, as a people, work hard in the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that all people, no matter what race, color, creed, or sexual orientation, have opportunities based on their natural and trained abilities?
When did meritocracy become a bad word?
In another cited example within EO 13950, another Federal entity, Sandia National Laboratories, stated that “rationality over emotionality” was a characteristic of ‘white male[s]’, then proceeded to ask the “white males” present in the meeting to acknowledge their privilege. In other words, they were called out for the color of their skin and essentially berated and forced to apologize for an ideology that was projected upon them.
When did being rational turn into a bad practice and characteristically, and rather specifically, a white male trait? Does that omit all others of all race, color, creed, and gender from having the privilege of being… RATIONAL?
The following citation is from a Smithsonian Institution museum graphic:
“claimed that concepts like “[o]bjective, rational linear thinking,” “[h]ard work” being “the key to success,” the “nuclear family,” and belief in a single god are not values that unite Americans of all races but are instead “aspects and assumptions of whiteness.” The museum also stated that “[f]acing your whiteness is hard and can result in feelings of guilt, sadness, confusion, defensiveness, or fear.”https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2020-21534/p-9
Let that sink in for a bit. Our Federal institutions are telling their employees and visitors that success based on merit, being rational, and the nuclear family is “whiteness” and if you’ve had the misfortune of being born this color, you should apologize right now and face your guilt.
Section 8 – EO 13950
Section 8 reiterates that divisive concepts which may contribute to a hostile work environment, such as singling out a specific color to stand and apologize for their whiteness may have legal ramifications.
Title VII Guidance. The Attorney General should continue to assess the extent to which workplace training that teaches the divisive concepts set forth in section 2(a) of this order may contribute to a hostile work environment and give rise to potential liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq. If appropriate, the Attorney General and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shall issue publicly available guidance to assist employers in better promoting diversity and inclusive workplaces consistent with Title VII.https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2020-21534/p-43
This Executive Order was signed by President Donald Trump on September 22, 2020.
This Executive Order was also revoked by President Joe Biden on his first day in office, January 20, 2021 with Executive Order 13985.