July 16, 2020 | 7:45pm | Updated July 16, 2020 | 7:50pmEnlarge Image
Last month, a private diversity-consulting firm conducted a training titled "Difficult Conversations About Race in Troubling Times" for several federal agencies. NYPost Photo composite
Critical race theory — the far-left academic discourse centered on the concepts of “whiteness,” “white fragility” and “white privilege” — is coursing through the federal government’s veins. Under a GOP administration, no less.
Last month, a private diversity-consulting firm conducted a training titled “Difficult Conversations About Race in Troubling Times” for several federal agencies. The training called on white employees at the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller to pledge “allyship [sic] amid the George Floyd Tragedy.”
According to a trove of whistleblower documents I’ve reviewed, the training begins with the premise that “virtually all white people contribute to racism” and hold narratives that “don’t support the dismantling of racist institutions.” Therefore, the trainers argue, white federal employees must “struggle to own their racism” and “invest in race-based growth.”
The trainers then ask “white managers” to create “safe spaces,” where black employees can explain “what it means to be black” and to be “seen in their pain.” White staffers are instructed to keep silent and to “sit in the discomfort” of their racism. If any conflicts arise, the trainers insist that whites “don’t get to decide when someone is being too emotional, too rash [or] too mean.” Whites are told they can’t protest if a person of color “responds to their oppression in a way [they] don’t like.”
Howard Ross, the consultant who created the training, has been a fixture in what might be called the diversity-industrial complex. Since 2006, he has billed the feds more than $5 million for trainings.
In 2011, he billed the General Services Administration $3 million for “consulting services.” NASA coughed up $500,000 for “power and privilege sexual-orientation workshops.”
It is somewhat distasteful but crucially important to note that Ross is a white man. He has a bachelor’s degree in history but pitches himself as an expert in “neuro-cognitive and social-science research” and has spent the past three decades selling the unscientific snake oil of “unconscious bias.”
The irony: Ross has used his own privilege to enrich himself at taxpayer expense. In the language of his own discourse, he has monetized collective black pain to create individual white profit.
Incredibly, Ross and his colleagues in the diversity-industrial complex have only expanded their footprint under the Trump administration. Since President Trump’s inauguration, Ross himself has done at least 17 trainings for federal agencies, including the Justice Department, the National Institutes of Health and the Office of the Attorney General. The permanent bureaucracy knows that it can ignore the priorities of any one commander-in-chief — and continue to remake US institutions in its own ideological image.
The larger goal is explicit: The diversity apparatchiks want to convert “everyone in the federal government” to the work of “anti-racism.” While that sounds innocuous, it emphatically is not what most Americans understand by the term. “Anti-racism,” as the diversity hustlers define it, doesn’t teach Americans to judge each other according to the contents of their character. Rather, the ideology stands for precisely the opposite: a rigid and simplistic account of race, in which minorities are permanent victims and whites are forever tainted by racism.
By promoting this toxic nonsense, activist bureaucrats seek to transform the federal government into power centers for this new racial orthodoxy.
As documents from the Treasury Department reveal, the new orthodoxy won’t be contained in the workplace. At the end of the training, Ross instructs federal employees to “talk to [their] children about race,” because “bias begins to take shape in our brains [when we’re] around 3 years old.” It’s easy to see where it goes from here: a nonstop sequence of diversity seminars, trainings and curricula from preschool to graduate school and beyond — all of it naturally good for Ross’ bank account.
What can be done? First, the Senate Finance Committee should immediately launch a probe into the Treasury Department training and Ross’ massive contracts. Second, Trump should issue an executive order banning federal agencies from teaching the toxic principles of critical race theory, race essentialism and neo-segregationism. And the rest of us must brace for a long war against the diversity-industrial complex and its profiteers.
Christopher Rufo is a contributing editor of City Journal. Twitter: @RealChrisRufo