If you’re white and work for the federal government, get ready to be labelled a racist, regardless of how fair and open-minded you are. On Friday, President Joe Biden ordered all federal agencies to ramp up workplace training on “systemic and institutional racism” and “implicit and unconscious bias.”
Those are buzzwords for critical race theory, which holds that all whites are biased against people of color, even if unconsciously. Under this theory, throughout American history and continuing now, whites oppress Blacks and need to acknowledge their guilt.
Assume you work in an office with people of several races and, until now, you worked pretty smoothly as a team. Then you and your co-workers undergo mandated critical race theory training. Whites will be ridiculed as racists, and if they try to deny that, they’ll be told their denials are proof of their unconscious bias and “white fragility.” Black employees will understandably question if they can even trust their white co-workers and if they all have the same goals. Critical race theory is a disaster for workplace morale.
Expect an avalanche of lawsuits challenging Biden’s efforts to saturate the federal workplace with this divisive doctrine. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 — still the law of the land, Mr. President — bars employers from allowing a toxic work environment. Federal regulation defines a toxic work environment as permitting “intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put downs” based on race, religion, age or other distinctions. That’s exactly what goes on in these training sessions. No one should have to put up with being called a racist as a condition of their employment.
Or as a condition to serve in the military. No other institution in American society has been more colorblind since the early 1950s than the U.S. armed forces. In Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East, Black and white infantry soldiers have fought side by side in the trenches, trusting each other with their lives
But on Wednesday, the nation’s top military man, Army Gen. and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, defended teaching critical race theory at West Point and assigning critical race theory texts to troops. What could be the outcome except distrust based solely on skin color?
Requiring employees to hear about “their racial ancestors or their individual current white privilege runs contrary to an employer’s responsibility to avoid creating a hostile work environment,” cautions University of Maryland professor George R. La Noue.
Biden is already buried in legal challenges against his other racially discriminatory policies. Federal judges have suspended his debt forgiveness program for Black farmers because it specifically excludes white farmers. Federal courts have also halted grants to restaurant owners hurt by the pandemic because most white male restauranteurs were told they had to go to the back of the line, behind minorities and women. Team Biden seems to forget that discrimination is against the law. Period.
It’s one thing to promote diversity and inclusion. We need to show mutual respect and work together. In the federal workforce, people of color make up nearly half of entry-level positions but only one-third of senior positions.
More can be done to help minorities succeed. But not by demeaning whites.
Defending assigning critical race theory texts, Milley told Congress that it’s important for military personnel to be widely read. “I’ve read Karl Marx, I’ve read Lenin, that doesn’t make me a communist,” Milley said. But that’s misleading. Critical race theory isn’t taught as one of many ideas to be debated. It shuts down debate.
Activist Robin DiAngelo says that even keeping your own viewpoint to yourself and staying silent during a discussion of racism makes you a racist.
The idea isn’t to foster debate. It’s used only to indoctrinate and compel acquiescence.
On Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz introduced a bill to block funding for Biden’s workplace indoctrination scheme. “The federal government has no right to force a political agenda on Americans … and divide us based on race.” The U.S. Constitution agrees.
PHOTO: Joe Biden. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of "The Next Pandemic," available at Amazon.com. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.