President Donald Trump on Friday night banned federal agencies from conducting racial sensitivity training related to “white privilege” and “critical race theory”.
Trump’s administration stated a position that the training amounts to “divisive, anti-American propaganda”. This is the latest attempt for Trump to appeal to his Populist political base two months before the presidential election.
If it is “un-American” to train federal workers to view racial inequities as the result of racist policy and not inferior peoples, then how would Trump describe an American? Trump is saying to be an “American” is to be racist like him and deny it like him. https://t.co/tYKVISnbUR
— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) September 5, 2020
According to “press reports,” Russell Vought, director of the Office of Management and Budget, decried the “millions of taxpayer dollars” spent on such programs “across the Executive Branch” in a two-page memo.
Apparently, Vought directed federal agencies to identify contracts and agency spending related to training programs that suggest the US “is an inherently racist or evil country” or “that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.”
‘“The trigger for white rage, inevitably, is black advancement,” Carol Anderson wrote. The 2016 election was a white backlash against the first Black president. DT is no anomaly but a confirmation of America’s pattern of Black political progress and white retaliation.’
The Nation pic.twitter.com/2SMVfLnqDy
— Eliza Todd (@Smilynntodd) September 10, 2020
He urged agencies to seek out legal courses of action “to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these unAmerican propaganda training sessions.”
The memo purports that racial sensitivity training instructs participants that “virtually all White people contribute to racism.”
Populism is defined as a political approach that strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.
But Donald Trump is a manipulator that is expert at hiding in plain sight.
As an elite himself, Trump should be lumped into the same established groups that ordinary people feel would not understand the concerns that they face daily.
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) September 9, 2020
But there is one aspect left out of populism that is assumed but not stated in any dictionary: ordinary White people.
Donald Trump knew that rural and poor White majority have always been tricked into an alignment with the elite White minority because the false American narrative states that even being poor and White is better than being Black, Latino or anyone else non-White.
The 2016 Trump campaign against Hillary Clinton became a battle of attrition over Clinton’s record of public service versus Trump’s so-called business acumen as a primer for his proficiency to lead a nation.
To sour people against Clinton’s experience he focused on border control, an early precursor to his current domestic law and order strategy. His target were Mexicans who have been the ire of ordinary White people for years due to the rage associated with them gaining employment and other opportunities that don’t necessarily require a college degree.
In turn, a border wall was the entire focus of the future President’s strategy to sway Independent and Populist votes. The fear stoked and elation over someone who finally would say what was being thought by this demographic that felt overlooked by the Democratic party since the relatable Jimmy Carter.
Then there’s the dogwhistle of all dogwhistle’s the slogan that paid dividends, Make America Great Again.
The Democrats never even mentioned the words LAW & ORDER at their National Convention. That’s where they are coming from. If I don’t win, America’s Suburbs will be OVERRUN with Low Income Projects, Anarchists, Agitators, Looters and, of course, “Friendly Protesters”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2020
It was a xenophobic, racially divisive phrase that spoke to dormant extreme right wing groups. It emboldened them to come out and have rallies like they did in Charlottesville and other cities.
It apologizes for police brutality as non-White people are always suspects and any attempt to restrain them, even if it results in death, is acceptable. It also apologizes for Dylan Roof and Kyle Rittenhouse, young disillusioned White guys who feel that they need to protect their race from the threat of non-White supremacy and perceived anarchy.
But Trump is not a master manipulator.
He just knew he could hide in plain sight as an elite if he pushed the right racial, xenophobic, and anti-liberal buttons to create a fear like no other. Of course, wrapped conveniently around that fear is the propaganda that only he can solve the problem, with four more years in office.
“This is a sickness that cannot be allowed to continue,” Trump told his Twitter followers. “Please report any sightings so we can quickly extinguish!”
“Sightings”…what is this a UFO exploration?
— Dean Wallace 🗳🗽 (@deanofdublin) September 5, 2020
Director of Office Budget and Management, Russell Vought added, that such trainings “not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce.” He also stated that “we cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce.”
Donald Trump wants to restore America to its origin story, where the White man was king and everyone knew their place. The ascension of Barack Obama to the Presidency will always eat at his core because it disproves the theory that Black flesh is innately inferior.
Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and everything.
Obama is lucky he ran against @MittRomney, a man with very little talent or political skill, as opposed to someone who knows how to fight and win!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2020
But the elimination of the training that allows federal employees to see on-White people as humans first and not potential suspects underscores a convenient truth for Donald Trump.
White rage pays.
Stoke latent guilt that feeds into rage for constantly being reminded of America’s sins, and why the country should repair it. Deflate the concept of equality and suggest it already exists regardless of the statistics across the board of the true inequality we all face as persons of color.
Finally, remind America that starting with the first 12-reel film ever created in 1915, Birth of A Nation, originally called The Clansman, that Black people and non-Whites are too be mistrusted. Only a White knight, like the KKK in the D.W. Griffith film, can come and save the day from the “thugs” as Trump puts it.
Yeah, Donald Trump is a racist. But that comes second to the convenience that America is too.
He just knows how to market it effectively.