Vought said President Donald Trump wanted to ensure that agencies “cease and desist” from conducting racial sensitivity training sessions. So how did this come to “the President’s attention,” as he put it?
Tucker Carlson’s talk show on Fox News.
For several months conservative media outlets condemned “critical race theory” and portrayed it as a threat to the country, just as Vought’s memo did.
Websites like Breitbart and the Washington Free Beacon wrote about the efforts of Christopher Rufo, a conservative activist and filmmaker. Rufo is also a contributing editor at City Journal, published by the right-wing Manhattan Institute.
Rufo said he found examples of taxpayer-funded sessions about addressing “white privilege.” One such training course was titled “White Men’s Caucus on Eliminating Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in Organizations.”
Carlson asked on the program, “Why do we allow this kind of garbage to continue, this poison, at public expense?”
Rufo told him, “I am declaring a one-man war against ‘critical race theory’ in the federal government, and I’m not going to stop these investigations until we can abolish it within our public institutions.”
“I can’t think of many things more important than that,” Carlson said.
So in right-wing media circles, this was an outrage. In the rest of the media, it barely made a peep.
But not in Trump’s government.
The White House noticed. On Thursday, “in response to Rufo’s claims, a senior administration official told Fox News that the administration was doing everything they could to stop those types of trainings for federal employees,” a FoxNews.com story reported.
Trump tweeted a link to that story and said “this is a sickness that cannot be allowed to continue. Please report any sightings so we can quickly extinguish!”
Carlson’s program evidently got results.
It was, among other things, a defense of whiteness, as evinced when Trump went on a Twitter spree about the subject on Saturday. He retweeted posts that said things like “Sorry liberals! How to be Anti-White 101 is permanently cancelled!”
And he retweeted Rufo, who wrote in a Friday night post, “On Tuesday, I called on the President to abolish critical race theory in the federal government. Tonight, he delivered.”
Trump also shared a clip from Rufo’s segment with Carlson, captioned “critical race theory is the greatest threat to western civilization,” and Trump wrote “Not any more!”
Antiracism scholars like Ibram X. Kendi reacted to the administration’s action with disappointment.
Kendi, author of “How to Be an Antiracist,” said the directive’s description of training sessions as “anti-American propaganda” means that “Trump is saying to be an ‘American’ is to be racist like him and deny it like him.”