Last month, President Donald Trump issued an executive order directing federal contractors to avoid “white privilege” trainings that claim the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist or that scapegoat Americans based on their race or sex. In response, a large coalition of human resources organizations and leftist advocacy groups united to condemn the executive order. Tom Kingenstein, founder of the organization America Is Good, defended Trump’s order against this onslaught.
“The Trump administration’s opposition to racist white guilt training cuts to the heart of what is at stake on November 3. The ‘America is systemically racist’ industry is panicked that millions of taxpayer dollars will no longer be available for their racist agenda,” Klingenstein told PJ Media in a statement Thursday.
While Klingenstein also serves as chairman of the Claremont Institute’s board of directors, he spoke in his capacity as founder of America Is Good, an organization dedicated to defending America from claims of systemic racism and discrimination.
“The President deserves credit for standing up against this deeply entrenched industry and for standing up for America’s systemically just traditions of race-blind equality of opportunity and individual liberty — that all Americans are equal under the law,” Klingenstein added. “These traditions are at stake in this election — will we continue to believe that America is systemically just, or will Cancel America totalitarianism overthrow our way of life?”
Indeed, the defenders of “white privilege” ideology are very deeply entrenched. As The Washington Post reported, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce united an extremely broad coalition of business associations to join with liberal groups in condemning Trump’s executive order.
Associations representing American hospitals, physicians, and nurses warned that the order “would effectively reverse decades of progress in combating racial inequality.” The Business Roundtable joined the Chamber of Commerce and many others in condemning the order as “having a broadly chilling effect on legitimate and valuable” training.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, American Association of Advertising Agencies, HR Policy Association, and other business groups have opposed the order, as have the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Council of Nonprofits, which helped the Chamber assemble its coalition.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a lawsuit against Trump and the Department of Labor, claiming the order violates the First Amendment.
Yet the president’s order makes a great deal of sense in the wake of violent riots partially inspired by Marxist critical race theory and attempts to redefine America as fundamentally racist and oppressive.
The order aims to combat an ideology “rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country; that some people, simply on account of their race or sex, are oppressors; and that racial and sexual identities are more important than our common status as human beings and Americans.” That ideology does indeed pose a threat to America today.
The New York Times‘s “1619 Project,” for example, sought to redefine America, claiming that the true founding came not with the Declaration of Independence in 1776 but with the arrival of the first slaves in 1619 (ironically, even this date is incorrect). The Times has had to issue embarrassing corrections to the project, and it even backpedaled from the project’s central claim, but the project’s founder, Nikole Hannah-Jones, won a Pulitzer Prize and Oprah Winfrey has announced she will help produce a documentary series based on the project.
When vandals toppled a statue of George Washington in Portland, they spray-painted “1619” on the statue. When Claremont’s Charles Kesler wrote in The New York Post “Call them the 1619 riots,” Hannah-Jones responded (in a since-deleted tweet) that “it would be an honor” to claim responsibility for the destructive riots. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) called for the “dismantling” of America’s “economy and political system,” in order to root out supposed racist oppression.
Portland activist Lilith Sinclair provided a chilling example of Marxist critical race theory and its ability to inspire an aimless revolution. “There’s still a lot of work to undo the harm of colonized thought that has been pushed onto Black and indigenous communities,” she said. As examples of “colonized thought,” she mentioned Christianity and the “gender binary.” She said she organizes for “the abolition of … the “United States as we know it.”
Millions of Americans peacefully took to the streets to protest after the death of George Floyd, but many of those protests devolved into violent riots, which have proved the most destructive (in terms of insurance claims) in U.S. history. While Democratic nominee Joe Biden has condemned violent looting and arson, he refused to call out antifa or Black Lives Matter agitators, instead attacking “right-wing militias” as if they were the true instigators of violence.
While leftists repeat claims of “institutional racism,” the riots have victimized the black community. The destruction disproportionately hit black communities in Kenosha, Wisc., Minneapolis, and Chicago. The riots destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 26 Americans have died in the riots, most of them black.
For these and other reasons, many black leaders have denounced the official Black Lives Matter movement, the founders of which have described themselves as “trained Marxists.” Over 100 black pastors recently condemned the Black Lives Matter movement and urged Nike to distance itself from it.
In this context, Trump has directed his administration to counter Marxist critical race theory in schools and in federal government training materials. On Constitution Day, he announced he would launch a “1776 Commission” to advance American patriotism in public schools to combat Marxist critical race theory.
The United States is not a fundamentally racist nation, and “white privilege” lessons are wrong to blame white people for abetting oppression due solely to the color of their skin. The president is right to counter the nefarious influence of Marxist critical race theory and this deafening opposition only illustrates just how important it is for him to do so.
Watch Klingenstein’s “America Is Good” speech below.
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Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.