In one of his first moves as president, Joe Biden issued an executive order overturning former President Donald Trump’s ban of critical race theory seminars and trainings.
A theoretical and interpretive philosophy, CRT teaches that racism has infected all of American culture and can be seen in all the country’s institutions as well as social interactions between individuals of different races.
Christopher F. Rufo, a journalist and researcher well-known for waging a “one-man war” against critical race theory, released a statement announcing a “new coalition of law firms and legal foundations with the explicit goal of fighting critical race theory in the courts.”
Today, President Biden doubled-down on critical race theory in the federal government.
In response, I am announcing a new coalition of legal foundations and private attorneys that will wage relentless legal warfare against race theory in America’s institutions.
The fight is on. pic.twitter.com/JZJYpjla1k
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) January 20, 2021
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“Critical race theory is a grave threat to the American way of life. It divides Americans by race and traffics in the pernicious concepts of race essentialism, racial stereotyping, and race-based segregation — all under a false pursuit of ‘social justice.’ Critical race theory training programs have become commonplace in academia, government, and corporate life, where they have sought to advance the ideology through cult-like indoctrination, intimidation, and harassment,” Rufo’s wrote in a news release.
“Today, I am announcing a new coalition of law firms and legal foundations with the explicit goal of fighting critical race theory in the courts. This coalition, called Stop Critical Race Theory, has already filed three lawsuits against public institutions conducting critical race theory programs and, in the coming months, will file additional lawsuits in state and federal courts.”
Because they “perpetuate racial stereotypes, compel discriminatory speech, and create hostile work environments,” these programs “violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the United States Constitution,” Rufo argued.
Lead by the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth and Poverty, the Stop Critical Race Theory coalition includes the Southeastern Legal Foundation; the Upper Midwest Law Center; Jonathan O’Brien with Schooolhouserights.org; The Pivtorak Law Firm; Wally Zimolong, LLC; and Eric Early and Peter Scott of Early, Sullivan, Wright, Gizer, and McCrae.
“The conservative legal movement and a network of private attorneys are gearing up for war against critical race theory. We will fight and we will win,” Rufo wrote.
Many proponents of Biden’s decision wrongly describe Trump’s ban as an exclusion of any diversity curriculum that confronts bigoted discrimination.
For example, a USA Today article published Wednesday described Trump’s executive order as a “diversity training ban that restricted the federal government and its contractors from curriculum that explored race and gender bias.” Similarly, Forbes described it as a “ban on diversity training at federal agencies and federal contractors.”
In reality, the ban did not restrict all diversity trainings, only those that promote the controversial ideas present within critical race theory.
Some of the ideas taught within critical race theory include race essentialism, meaning a person’s race is a core “essence” of who they are; racial stereotyping and scapegoating, as seen in the “white privilege” narrative; and systemic racism, an unprovable theory often criticized for blaming complicated, multifaceted issues on “racism” without providing any substantive evidence of bias.
When the Trump administration first issued its ban of critical race theory seminars, Russell Vought, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget at the time, explained the reasoning behind it in a memorandum.
“It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date ‘training’ government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda,” Vought wrote.
“For example, according to press reports, employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that ‘virtually all White people contribute to racism’ or where they are required to say that they ‘benefit from racism,’” he added.
“According to press reports, in some cases these training[s] have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job.”
Furthermore, the memo directed all agencies to stop all trainings teaching critical race theory, the idea “that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country” or “that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.”