The Suspension of Diversity and Inclusion Training is Ignoring the Problem

By Anicia Aguilar, Staff Writer

Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, it has been clear that he is no activist for minority communities. He continues to harm historically excluded groups, with his most recent executive order suspending all diversity and inclusion training within the federal government.


Diversity and inclusion training helped officials realize their conscious and unconscious bias in the federal government’s granting of contracts. Trump claimed these training sessions were “divisive” and “un-American.” Still, he fails to acknowledge that bigotry towards others for their skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors fits the category he is describing. The president is refusing to acknowledge the discrimination that is prevalent within American society. 


Trump’s order states, “Instructors and materials teaching that men and members of certain races, as well as our most venerable institutions, are inherently sexist and racist are appearing in workplace diversity training across the country, even in components of the Federal Government and among Federal contractors.” The order refuses to let workplaces acknowledge real problems like white privilege. Instead, President Trump cites Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in wanting his children to “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” While people shouldn’t be judged based on their skin color, this is a common problem. The training sessions that Trump suspended did help recognize and do something about these judgments. 


Katie Benner from The New York Times reported that the order “said that no training should support the idea that a person ‘bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex’ or that ‘any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex.'” In other words, Trump is also refusing to acknowledge the past. Both minorities and women have been held back by American society for too long. Yet, the United States President is ignoring the struggles these groups have faced and are facing. 


M.E. Hart, an attorney who has given hundreds of these diversity training sessions, stated, “If we are going to live up to this nation’s promise -’we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’ – we have to see each other as human beings. We have to do whatever it takes, including taking whatever classes make that possible.” Unlike the American President, this attorney acknowledges the racial and other inequities in American society. 


While it would be amazing to live in a world where things like white privilege do not exist, such a world is impossible without training that undoes the past’s evils. The topics banned from the training sessions are designed to bring attention to racism, sexism, and more. Instead, President Trump ignores the real issues, which harms communities to whom he has shown a history of bias.