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Why has Donald Trump banned diversity training?

Trump's decision to ban diversity training has naturally prompted a backlash, with many commentators saying the move has once again highlighted his racist tendencies.

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in Washington
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Amid ongoing and intensified racial tensions in the United States, President Donald Trump’s move to stop federal agencies from conducting racial sensitivity training comes at a decisive moment.

Trump, who has repeatedly stated that he feels the US is not an inherently racist nation, believes the diversity training is “divisive, anti-American propaganda” that only fosters resentment in the workforce – and on which millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted.

In a memo sent to government agencies, Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought directed “all agencies […] to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on '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.”

The memo also claimed that attendees of these training sessions are "told that 'virtually all White people contribute to […] and 'benefit from racism'."

"These types of '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,” it said.

Reaction to Trump’s ban on diversity training ban

The decision has naturally prompted a backlash on Twitter, with many commentators saying the move has once again highlighted President’s Trump racist tendencies.

“If diversity training is ‘anti-American,’ the soul of America is getting sicker and sicker,” said Bernice King, CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change.

“Cancelling diversity training just makes you look like an even bigger racist. If that was your goal, congrats. You succeeded,” tweeted LGBTQ and racial activist, Bryce Tache.

Some Republicans have also slammed the President’s decision, with Florida legislator, Rep. Carlos G Smith saying: “I didn’t realize there were this many ways someone can be a racist lunatic.”

President Donald Trump during press conference of the WhiteHouse, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in Washington.

Diversity training ban is “deeply problematic”

“What is deeply problematic about this new ban is that the U.S. has a habit of avoiding the country’s dark and racist past. Evading the issue will not make it go away,” writes senior Forbes contributor on Diversity and Inclusion, Janice Gassam Asare. “It will grow more insidious and resilient as each year passes.”

Trump’s presidential election opponent, former vice-president Joe Biden, who is running on a ticket that includes tackling systemic racism in the US, has yet to comment on the move to ban diversity training.