Biden Administration Embraces ‘Racial Equity’ Ideology Among Executive Actions

Biden Administration Embraces ‘Racial Equity’ Ideology Among Executive Actions
President Joe Biden prepares to sign a series of executive orders at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office hours after his inauguration in Washington on Jan. 20, 2021. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Petr Svab
News Analysis

President Joe Biden signed an executive order that opens the door for instituting the quasi-Marxist critical race theory across the federal government.

The order is to “launch a whole-of-government initiative to advance racial equity,” his transition team said in a Jan. 20 release.

Biden “will sign an Executive Order beginning the work of embedding equity across federal policymaking and rooting out systemic racism and other barriers to opportunity from federal programs and institutions.”

Equity means equality of outcome, a concept tied to the critical theories that slice up society into identity groups based on race, gender, sexual proclivities, and others, while positing which groups are oppressed and which are the oppressors, similarly to how Marxism labels people as oppressors or the oppressed based on class.

The order defines equity as “consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.”

While the order notes fair treatment of all, its specifics indicate some people will be more equal than others, based on whether their demographics fit the administration’s profile of “historically underserved and marginalized.”

“Each agency must assess whether, and to what extent, its programs and policies perpetuate systemic barriers to opportunities and benefits for people of color and other underserved groups,” the order says.

The assessment will consider “access to benefits and services in federal programs,” “taking advantage of agency procurement and contracting opportunities,” as well as “whether new policies, regulations, or guidance documents may be necessary to advance equity in agency actions and programs.”

The order tasks the Office of Management and Budget to find ways “to assist agencies in assessing equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability” and “study strategies, consistent with applicable law, for allocating Federal resources in a manner that increases investment in underserved communities, as well as individuals from those communities.”

The administration also seeks to improve access to government benefits and services, “for example, by reducing language access barriers” and having agencies “engage with communities who have been historically underrepresented, underserved, and harmed by federal policies,” the release said.

Biden also reversed the September 2020 executive order of then-President Donald Trump that banned federal agencies, contractors, subcontractors, and grantees from instructing their employees to follow the tenets of the critical theories.

Trump’s order cited the work of Christopher Rufo, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth and Poverty, who has been waging a “one-man war” against critical race theory in U.S. government. Rufo has repeatedly warned of the intrusion of the ideology into civil society, after obtaining documents showing the theory being pushed in various institutions.

In a Jan. 20 release, Rufo called the theory a “grave threat to the American way of life” that “traffics in the pernicious concepts of race essentialism, race stereotyping, and race-based segregation—all under a false pursuit of ‘social justice.’”

The theories have produced an industry of consultants and speakers who are hired by corporations and government agencies to train their employees on themes such as “implicit bias” and “white privilege.”

Trump’s order said the concepts of the theory are “divisive” and lead to “race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating.”

Biden’s release said such training is “important and needed.” His order says that federal agencies shall consider reinstating any contracts that were canceled or restricted due to Trump’s order.

Rufo says the training sessions “advance the ideology through cult-like indoctrination, intimidation, and harassment.”

He announced the formation of a coalition of law firms and legal foundations called “Stop Critical Race Theory,” saying the group has already filed three lawsuits, with the goal of having the Supreme Court rule that programs based on the theory violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Constitution.

“When we are victorious in the courts, it will have an immediate ripple effect through every school, government agency, and private employer in the nation,“ Rufo said. ”We will effectively abolish critical race theory programs from American life.”

Update: The article has been updated with information from President Joe Biden’s executive order.
Petr Svab is a reporter covering New York. Previously, he covered national topics including politics, economy, education, and law enforcement.
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