In late July, Russ Vought, the former chief of the Office of Management and Budget during the Trump administration, filed a Freedom of Information Act request regarding the ties between the Biden administration’s Department of Education and the Abolitionist Teaching Network, which embraces Critical race Theory.
On Wednesday, Vought was asked to resign from his position or be fired by the end of the day by President Biden’s White House. Vought was serving as a Member of the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy; he was appointed in December 20 by former President Trump.
Vought fired back succinctly on Twitter, “No. It’s a three year term.”
— Russ Vought (@russvought) September 8, 2021
Vought also serves as the president of the Center for Renewing America. When he filed the Freedom of Information Act request in July, he told Fox News, “The American people deserve to know who at the highest levels in the White House pushed this radical, racist group into reopening guidelines for our schools. It’s extremely troubling that Biden’s Department of Education promotes a group that accuses children of ‘spirit murdering’ other children based on their skin color. This Administration has made an Olympic sport out of State Sanctioned Racism and it’s about time the curtain gets pulled back.”
Biden’s Department of Education linked to a guide by the Abolitionist Teaching Network which states, “Abolitionist Teachers” should “[b]uild a school culture that engages in healing and advocacy. This requires a commitment to learning from students, families, and educators who disrupt Whiteness and other forms of oppression.”
The Biden Department of Education’s Deputy Secretary, Cindy Marten, reportedly hosted Abolitionist Teaching Network founder Bettina Love for a training seminar when Marten served as superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District. Investigative reporter Christopher Rufo wrote, “According to whistleblower documents, Martens personally introduced the speaker, Bettina Love, and praised her presentation about ‘spirit murder,’ ‘antiracist therapy,’ and ‘abolitionist teaching’” when Love was a featured speaker at a training program last August.”
Rufo noted that a whistleblower “took detailed notes of the speech and captured screenshots of the presentation” despite the district’s ban on attendees from recording the session. He continued, “According to these notes, Love began her presentation by claiming that ‘racism runs deep’ in the United States and that blacks alone ‘know who America really is.’ She argued that public schools in particular ‘don’t see [blacks] as human,’ are guilty of systemic ‘anti-Blackness,’ and ‘spirit murder babies’ in the education system.”
“At the end of her presentation, Love told the teachers that whites are directly responsible for the plight of ‘dark children,’” Rufo reported, adding that a slide labeled “Teacher Education Gap” stated, “Whiteness reproduces poverty, failing schools, high unemployment, school closings, and trauma for people of color.”
“The documents Vought requested Wednesday could show deeper ties between the Abolitionist Teaching Network and the Biden administration,” Fox News opined in July.
In 2020, as chief of the Office of Management and Budget, Vought wrote a memo outlining steps to be taken vis-à-vis federal worker “training sessions” that incorporated Critical Race Theory and harped on “white privilege”:
On September 4, 2020, M-20-34 was issued at the President’s direction, which states in part, “The President, and his Administration, are fully committed to the fair and equal treatment of all individuals in the United States.” M-20-34 alerted agencies that some Federal worker “training” sessions are being held at taxpayer expense – that demonstrably undermine this core American principle by stereotyping and scapegoating specific groups of people. These divisive trainings constitute a malign subset of a larger pool of Federal agency trainings held to promote diversity and inclusiveness. The sort of training at issue does neither; it sows division among the workforce by attempting to prescribe and impose upon employees a conformity of belief in ideologies that label entire groups of Americans as inherently racist or evil (e.g., critical race theory).
Vought suggested that agencies:
Review these trainings to determine whether they teach, advocate, or promote the divisive concepts specified in the Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping (e.g., that the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist or that an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive).
Vought banned federal agencies from using funding for training that used Critical Race Theory.
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