It’s a head-scratcher, isn’t it?
On Friday, a letter from the Office of Personnel Management went out to all federal government agencies directing them to stop all “mandatory instruction” being administered to the federal workforce on the subjects of “critical race theory” and “white privilege.”
While both these concepts benefit from quite a bit of “shape-shifting” in order to dodge criticism (“It’s not really about that…”), the general tenet of both is that the current reality of United States economic and cultural life is the result of — and entirely dependent on — historical institutions connected to slavery. From Oxford Research Encyclopedia for Education:
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a framework that offers researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers a race-conscious approach to understanding educational inequality and structural racism to find solutions that lead to greater justice. Placing race at the center of analysis, Critical Race Theory scholars interrogate policies and practices that are taken for granted to uncover the overt and covert ways that racist ideologies, structures, and institutions create and maintain racial inequality.
Another way you could phrase that is that CRT is a built-in excuse and alibi for failure — it runs counter to the concept of taking personal responsibility. It validates the notion “I’m not at fault for my failures.”
It ASSUMES that racism is the cause of all our ills as a society. There is no failure of a minority class that cannot be squeezed into this framework if one simply writes enough fact-free paragraphs of explanation.
So, how is it that the need for government employees to undergo training on this subject percolates up through the system to the point that nearly the entirety of the federal workforce was scheduled to undergo such indoctrination?
Every component of the government bureaucracy has some form of a “Human Resources” department to deal with issues of employee conduct in the workplace. These departments have budgetary authority to spend money on “workforce education” initiatives. Sometimes the spending process is initiated with bringing in an outside management “consultant” to review operations, evaluate strengths and weaknesses from a “human resources” point of view, and make recommended changes with regard to what are considered “best practices” now “in vogue” in corporate American.
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…. [A]ll agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on “critical race theory/”white privilege,” or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil. In addition, all agencies should begin to identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these un-American propaganda training sessions.
So, yes, taxpayer money is being spent in huge amounts to fund these programs. But the spending isn’t just connected to the programs themselves. That’s just the final component of the overall waste.
Governmental institutions always lag the corporate world in adopting management practices simply because of the longer lead-times involved in making changes. It begins with the contracting process to hire a consultant, the time needed by a consultant to evaluate an “insular” work environment, the time needed to prepare a report for the Agency that issued the consulting contract, the time for the agency to digest the report and recommendations, and then the time needed to put in place a process to implement accepted recommended changes — all of which combine to create a tremendous lag time between when someone in HR has an “idea” and when the impacts of that idea begin to show up in the workplace.
At the end of each year, the last two weeks are filled with emailed reminders to government employees about the need to complete video training exercises on a whole variety of subjects. These kinds of mandated training exercises always have some type of “HR” workplace awareness subject matter. They are invariably the result of some “consultant’s” report about what the agency needs to do better based on the consultant’s review of operations. Workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, diversity, etc., — every year as a federal employee you get hit with mandatory training sessions that involve watching videos, and sometimes having to take a “quiz” on the subject-matter to validate that you had, in reality, paid attention to the video rather than just letting it run in the background with the volume turned down (my personal practice).
The “HR” components in various offices are not run by “political appointees”. These offices are run by career officials who carry over from one administration to the next. In my experiences over 22+ years, EVERY such office was stocked by raging left-wing liberals. Political leadership was largely powerless to “rein them in” because any such action would be seen as being based on the “content” of their HR advocacy, and itself the subject on HR complaint. The people in those positions are pretty much “independent operators” within the agencies where they work, and the greater workforce is compelled to be silent about their pushing left-wing social policies under the guise of “HR” compliance.
In one office I know about, the head of HR would — without fail — on the first workday of every month have all the new “Aggrieved Party History Month” posters up on the wall at the entrance to the office as his/her first order of business. That person was also responsible for the pictures of Obama/Biden going up on Inauguration Day in 2009, but I’m told it took nearly six months for the pictures of Trump/Pence to go up in their place in 2017. Even though they were out of office, the Obama/Biden pictures remained up in a form of symbolic “protest” over the outcome of the election until the Trump/Pence pictures were delivered.
Finally, these various “HR” employees/managers from all different agencies have conferences where they get together and discuss government-wide HR policies. I’m 100% certain that what Pres. Trump has put a stop to with his Executive Order is the product of a wide-scale concerted effort to inject CRT nonsense into the federal workforce as a further method to further indoctrinate the “resistance” that is present within a largely liberal federal employee bureaucracy.
Who can imagine Pres. Bush 43 tackling this issue in the manner that Pres. Trump has done?
Yeah. No one. That was my guess.