President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Friday purportedly designed to boost “diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility” in agencies across the federal government, as Fox News reports, the latest in his administration’s push to use race, gender, and other criteria to further divide the nation.
Though the White House explained that the federal government has come a long way in furthering the principles of equity and inclusivity, the administration believes that “too many underserved communities remain under-represented.”
Biden’s executive order creates a new initiative meant to advance job opportunities for women, people of color, disabled Americans, LBGTQ+ individuals, aging citizens, and others, and the program will be overseen by the Office of Personnel Management together with the Office of Management and Budget.
The terms of the order provide federal agencies a period of 100 days in which to assess current levels of representation among the identified groups, and all agencies are also urged to create chief diversity officer positions within their hierarchies.
In addition, Biden wants federal agencies to limit their use of unpaid internships and to cease the use of job applicant salary histories when setting compensation rates, purportedly as a way to remedy pay inequities.
Notably, the order also mandates workplace diversity training programs of the sort that were banned by former President Donald Trump. According to Biden’s directive, federal agencies will need to provide instruction on topics such as “implict and unconscious bias” and “systemic and institutional racism,” according to the New York Post.
Trump eliminated the same type of programs within federal agencies last year, calling them “divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions,” as the Post reported at the time.
As Trump’s Office of Management at Budget Director Russell Vought explained at the time of the decision, Executive Branch employees had been forced to attend training classes in which they were told that “virtually all White people contributed to racism” and required to declare that they personally “benefit from racism.”
As Vought rightly asserted in September of 2020, “We cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workplace,” but sadly, that seems to be precisely what the Biden administration is determined to do.