Studies of American history generally begin when Christopher Columbus sailed the Blue Ocean in 1492. From the time the Spaniards set foot on American soil, racial prejudices and stereotypes ensued. Two hundred years later, America was steeped in the African slave trade. Even with the release of three million slaves after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the inequalities have not ended. Even today, as the assassination of George Floyd demonstrated, a racist legacy remains woven into the fabric of America.
America was built on the inequalities of others.
By the late 1800s, Asian American immigrants were filling labor shortages in mines and railroads for less than white men. Large-scale Chinese immigration followed, as did a growing bias against them. After World War II, anti-Japanese sentiment grew. Between March and June of this year, TBEN News reported more than 2,100 anti-Asian American hate incidents related to COVID-19. The incidents included physical assault, verbal assault, discrimination in the workplace and online harassment.
American racist sentiment must also recognize the prejudice and discrimination against Mexican Americans. And the Iranians. And the Jews.
The civil rights movement began in 1955 with Martin Luther King, Jr. It has never stopped because America has not yet evolved into a nation of equity. Women and people of color continue to struggle for opportunities and fair and equal treatment.
Progress has been made over the years, starting with affirmative action and continuing with the evolution of diversity, equity and inclusion programs. In particular, they have used education and training to help individuals explore their own biases, examine where the mindset has developed, and encourage people to ask themselves, “Is- this really true.
This is the power of unconscious bias training. It facilitates an individual through a personal journey of self-reflection and analysis that can lead to a shift in thinking – a shift that makes space to embrace the difference.
Executive Decree 13950
Declared on September 22, 2020, the Tackling Racist and Sexual Stereotypes Executive Order states that unconscious bias training divides into that it implies that “America is rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irreparably racist and sexist country ”.
America East rooted in racism and sexism. Evidence of this sown past can be found every day. This does not mean that it is irremediable. To continue to progress, there must be the freedom to explore the root of prejudice.
In the OE FAQ, training on unconscious or implicit prejudices is prohibited “insofar as it teaches or involves that an individual, by reason of race, gender and / or national origin, is racist, sexist, oppressive or biased, whether consciously or unconsciously.
Implicit bias is important because it has the potential to negatively impact others. Cornell University cites “one of the most comprehensive studies on judicial sentencing, David Mustard examined 77,236 federally sentenced offenders sentenced under the 1984 Sentencing Reform Act (SRA). The SRA aimed to eliminate sentencing disparities based on race, ethnicity, gender and income. However, after controlling for offense type, severity, criminal history, and other criminological variables, blacks, Hispanics, and other racial minorities received 12% longer sentences than white defendants. Black defendants are quite liable to the death penalty. “
Stating historical facts (like stating scientific facts) does not divide. It is not, as the OE declares, a destructive ideology that infects the central institutions of our country. This is America’s ugly truth – and why it’s so important to continue, as a nation, to tackle issues of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
Recognizing history and examining the legacy that history has imbued with honesty and courage is the only hope we have of building a unique nation.
Stereotypes and scapegoats
The ordinance applies to federal government employees and contractors and is expected to come into effect on November 21. A hotline has been set up for individuals to report racial and gender stereotypes and scapegoats.
Stereotype is defined as the attribution of character traits, values, moral and ethical codes, privileges, status due to race or sex. The scapegoat is defined as the attribution of fault, blame or bias to a race or gender, or because of race or gender.
The authorities will investigate complaints of non-compliance with the OE. While the penalties for violations are not yet clear, they could include the loss or suspension of federal funds or contracts.
Calls to cancel the order
While many organizations and businesses have suspended diversity training initiatives until further notice, widespread opposition to the order continues to grow. The American Federation of Government Employees, a union representing 700,000 government employees, is one of many organizations and coalitions calling for the order to be overturned.
“The federal government’s diversity and inclusion programs help us understand each other’s perspectives and build a workplace where every employee is treated with dignity, fairness and respect, regardless of their background,” says AFGE National President, Everett Kelley, on the AFGE website. “As racial injustice continues to rock this nation, we should build more bridges of understanding. But all this president seems to know how to do is build walls of division.
Executive orders can be overruled by Congress by passing a bill that blocks it. However, the president can veto this bill. Congress would then have to override this veto to pass the bill. Alternatively, the Supreme Court can declare an executive order unconstitutional.
Either way, it’s a matter of time. A few days before the presidential election, nothing should happen until the dust settles.