Rep. Burgess Owens introduces bill banning ‘discriminatory practices’ in federal diversity trainings

Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) introduced a bill that would ban the federal government from funding diversity training that divides employees by their race.

“From the Tulsa Race Massacre to Jim Crow and Juneteenth, young Americans deserve to learn about all significant events in our country’s history,” Burgess said about his legislation.

“Critical race theory, however, teaches students that America is irredeemably racist and intrinsic characteristics like race, color, and national origin define you. As we strive to address injustice, I’m proud to introduce the say no to indoctrination act to keep taxpayer dollars from funding discriminatory practices and divisive worldviews.”

The “Say No To Indoctrination Act” prohibits the federal government from funding trainings that “separate individuals based on race, color, or national origin; assign characteristics or assumptions to individuals based on race, color, or national origin; or state or imply that the United States is an inherently racist country.”

In June, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that required race and diversity trainings at the federal government level, which Republicans have argued would cause more racial division.

Former President Donald Trump issued executive orders meant to ban diversity training and critical race theory from federal agencies. Biden rescinded that order.

“Earlier this year, Biden signed an executive order pushing toxic, critical race theory into our children’s schools and into our military,” Trump said at a rally in Arizona on Saturday. “How about our military? This poisonous left-wing doctrine is flagrant racism, plain and simple, and it has no place in our schools, no place in our military, and no place in our country.”

“If you remember, I ended it very rapidly with a very powerful executive order, but that executive order was immediately repealed and terminated by the radical left,” he added.

Last week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration is not pushing critical race theory and that it’s up to local schools to decide. Many disputed her claim, citing the promotion of the Abolitionist Teaching Network’s “Guide for Racial Justice & Abolitionist Social and Emotional Learning” in the administration’s handbook intended as a “roadmap” for schools to reopen safely during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Well, first, I would say that, as we’ve said many times before, we don’t dictate or recommend specific curriculum decisions from the federal government,” she said. “That is and will continue to be handled at the local level, and we believe that the American people trust teachers to make those decisions, not government.”

The Department of Education issued a statement distancing itself from the group and blaming an “error” for the guide’s inclusion in its handbook.

“The Department does not endorse the recommendations of this group, nor do they reflect our policy positions,” the statement read. “It was an error in a lengthy document to include this citation.”