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BY CHETT PRITCHETT

September 5, 2020


Join the Resistance Prays founder Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons for a Q&A about his book "Just Faith: Reclaiming Progressive Christianity" on Friday, September 11 at 7pm ET. RSVP here.
Donald Trump makes another announcement actively pushing his agenda of showing zero care for humans.
Photo credit: Chris Kleponis | Polaris/Bloomberg
Trump Moves to Curb Racial Sensitivity Training in U.S. Agencies - from Bloomberg
Train children in the right way,
   and when old, they will not stray.
                    -Proverbs 22:6, NRSV
In yet another act to rile his base, Trump has given a directive to federal agencies to stop conducting “racial sensitivity trainings” by labeling them as “un-American.” Office of Management and Budget director Russell Vought called critical race theory a “divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda.”

Russell Vought should know a lot about propaganda. When his alma mater, Wheaton College, suspended a faculty member for her belief that Muslims worship the same God as Christians, Vought was vociferous in stating that Muslims were not just theologically deficient, but that they were condemned to Vought’s understanding of hell. 

Racial and religious gaslighting aren’t new concepts. Racism as federal edict isn’t that new either. In fact, they were part of America’s founding documents. This latest pronouncement is consistent with the Trump administration’s commitment to “Make America Great Again.” Coming to terms our White (House) Supremacy, also means that racism in governance didn’t develop in a vacuum. It neither started with Trump’s election, nor will it end with his eviction from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – especially since the federal government is the nation’s largest employer.

But we can send a message to those who wish to gaslight our friends and family.
  • At a minimum, if your workplace offers professional development benefits, request implicit bias training. Most human resource divisions have accesses to this type of training. It’s pretty basic (use whatever definition of this word you like), but it’s a baseline.
  • If you’re a federal employee, be creative. Consider how to appropriately share information about implicit bias, microaggressions, and systemic racism – and actively model anti-racism in the workplace.
  • Do you have a voting plan? While a change at the top won’t automatically make racism go away, it sends a message to those emboldened by fascism.
Train us, Holy One, 
     to walk in the ways of your prophets;
     to face the Lion’s Den with dignity;
     to forge through the muck of the Sea;
     to question “what is it?” when presented with the unknown;
     to break through prison walls and bring others along with us.
Train us, Holy One, 
     so we may run the race set before us
     and not stray.
Train us, Holy One, 
     in the ways that lead to Life.
Chett Pritchett (he/they) is a former United Methodist. Living in Appalachia of Ohio, Chett finds resilience in changing narratives about rural communities and has taken up the spiritual discipline of hammocking.
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