Lawmakers of color blast Trump administration for reportedly instructing agencies to end anti-bias training

Greg Nash

Leading lawmakers of color blasted President Trump’s administration on Tuesday for reportedly instructing federal agencies to cease employee racial sensitivity training.  

The chairs of the Congressional Tri-Caucus, Reps. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and Karen Bass (D-Calif.), called on administration officials in a statement to reverse the reported decision to cancel anti-bias training. 

Chu, Castro and Bass head the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus, respectively.

The lawmakers accused the administration of “trying to sweep our nation’s history of racism under the rug.”

“It is profoundly disappointing but not surprising that the Trump administration is out of touch with what’s important to the American people and wants to terminate the federal government’s efforts to root-out institutional racism through anti-bias training,” the lawmakers said in a statement. 

“From our nation’s original sin of slavery to state-sponsored segregation and discrimination through Jim Crow laws, to the murder of people of color at the hands of police today, structural racism casts a long shadow and still continues to cause inequality and injustice to date,” the statement continued. 

Chu, Castro and Bass also cited the coronavirus pandemic’s disproportionate cases and deaths in Black, Latino, Pacific Islander and Native American communities. They mentioned Trump’s labeling of the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and “kung flu,” calling them “racist anti-Asian slurs.”

“His words and actions have had deadly consequences,” they wrote. “Our institutions, particularly the federal government, play a critical role in dismantling systems of oppression and creating a more just and equitable society.”

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reportedly instructed federal agencies to stop racial sensitivity training, according to a memo obtained by The Washington Post and first reported by RealClear Politics

OMB Director Russell Vought in the memo said the president directed him to cut millions in taxpayer dollars used for anti-bias training as it frames the U.S. as an “inherently racist or evil country.”

“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,” the memo reads.

Tags anti-bias training Diversity Donald Trump federal agencies federal employees Joaquin Castro Judy Chu Karen Bass Office of Management and Budget OMB Racism Training

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