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“They Are Punitive and Demeaning”—EPA Staff Slams Trump’s Anti-Diversity Orders

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07.11.2020

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler speaks at a news conference.Susan Walsh/AP

This piece was originally published in HuffPost and appears here as part of our Climate Desk Partnership.

Environmental Protection Agency staffers are organizing against President Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning diversity trainings, mounting what may be the fiercest opposition to Trump administration policy from within to date.

By Monday morning, at least 80 employees in the agency’s Office of General Counsel―more than one-third of staffers there―signed on to a statement warning that Trump’s move will “result in further institutionalizing racism in the federal government” and “fly in the face of freedom of speech under the First Amendment,” according to a copy of the letter HuffPost obtained. Combined, the signatories represent more than 1,000 years of service to the agency.

“We reject the approach of these directives,” the letter read. “They are punitive and demeaning to federal employees, contractors, and grantees—especially those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. These directives both perpetuate and amplify the harmful stereotyping they purport to discourage.”

The White House issued an executive order on Sept. 22, following a segment on Fox News about diversity training that apparently caught the president’s attention. The order claims that certain kinds of anti-racism and anti-sexism trainings are........

© Mother Jones


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