White House, civil rights organs lock horns over executive order

| Nov 3, 2020 | Federal Employment Law

The Trump administration states that the clear and unbiased goal of a recently issued executive order is to stamp out “ideologies that label entire groups of Americans as inherently racist or evil.”

A principal with a prominent civil rights group decries that rationale, countering that the order is racist itself and seeks “to keep individuals from even expressing their thoughts.”

The ire and stated deep concern of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and additional groups is on clear display in a federal lawsuit filed last week in Washington, D.C.

The claimants seek a judicial repudiation of attempts to stifle the creation of diversity training programs in federal agencies and by entities that contract with the federal government. Their complaint alleges violation of free speech rights in a manner that “undermines efforts to foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace.”

Basis of the order: what the White House asserts

Department of Labor officials stress that the executive order is grounded in the principle that no program or initiative should promote “race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating in employment.” The White House asserts that newly authored company training offerings in the wake of recent social unrest do exactly that through a historical portrayal of the country that unduly and incorrectly emphasizes white privilege and bias.

“I’m not gonna allow that to happen,” the president stated during his first debate with presidential contender Joe Biden.

Critics cast the order in a quite different light

Criticism of the executive order prominently labels it as “un-American” and stresses that it seeks to flatly silence discussion spotlighting systemic discrimination in the country.

We will keep readers timely apprised of any material developments that occur in the litigation.

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