Critical race theory was trending on Twitter after President Donald Trump tweeted his plan to halt funding for federal agencies that promote it.
The theory is a controversial ideological framework that some legal scholars argue interrogates the relationship between race, law, and power. Trump directed federal agencies to stop teaching government workers about it and other concepts like “white privilege” because they are “divisive, anti-American propaganda,” as described by a White House memorandum.
Alberta Civil Liberties Research Center defines white privilege, a component of CRT, as “the unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed upon people solely because they are white.”
The memorandum was sent to heads of executive departments and agencies on Friday by Russell Vought, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Vought explained that millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on teaching the controversial theory. Vought further noted that the training teaches employees that “virtually all white people contribute to racism” or are required to say that they “benefit from racism.”
“According to press reports, in some cases these training have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job,” Vought’s memorandum read.
“We can be proud that as an employer, the Federal government has employees of all races, ethnicities, and religions. We can be proud that Americans from all over the country seek to join our workforce and dedicate themselves to public service. We can be proud of our continued efforts to welcome all individuals who seek to serve their fellow Americans as Federal employees. However, we cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce,” Vought said. “The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions.”
Vought further explained that his office will soon issue more detailed guidance on how to implement the president’s directive.
In the interim, all agencies have been directed to identify spending covering “‘critical race theory,’ ‘white privilege,’ or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.” All federal agencies have also been directed to “identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these un-American propaganda training sessions.”