New York City will require all government employees to undergo Critical Race Theory (CRT) training, according to Fox News Digital, which received a copy of the curriculum.
The mandatory training was purportedly sent to all city employees with a requirement that the training be completed in March. Fox News Digital did not share the copy of the training but provided some of what was included.
“The training provides all NYC employees with a framework to understand…the importance of racial equity…in the workplace,” the Fox article quoted.
The training is said to give information on different forms of racism. Institutional racism, it says, is defined as “policies, practices, patterns and structures within public and private institutions that impose oppressive or otherwise negative conditions on identifiable groups on the basis of race or ethnicity.”
Structural racism/systemic racism is defined as racism “that occurs across multiple institutions and is integrated into politics, culture and other aspects of life,” the result being that it creates “a system that negatively impacts communities of color compared to White communities.”
The training also states that race is not a real classification:
“Race has no genetic or scientific basis. It is a social construct created to classify people on the arbitrary basis of skin color and other physical features. Despite this, race has a very real impact on people’s lives. This is because our society has used race to establish and justify systems of power, privilege, exclusion and oppression.”
Employees are encouraged to do their part to solve racism by fostering equity. It suggests,
“Embrace the idea that a problem may exist. Become aware of systematic racism and the possible presence of racial inequity in your workplace. Understand the dominant cultural patterns of your workplace and whether they are hurting or helping your diversity, equity and inclusion goals.”
A person with knowledge of the training said,
“Where they were discussing equity, how we have to look at people through a particular lens, that contradicted … [the idea that] we should treat everybody equally. I do not agree with what they want us to do as city employees. The [racial equity training] leads me to believe that they want the contracts with the city and the hiring from the city being looked at through this lens. And that’s what I think is really unfair. It goes against their [stated claims] … that everybody should be treated equally.”
Adams’ office says the report is not accurate. An unnamed member of the NYPD confirmed they were required to take the training, but a New York City teacher said she was not required to take the training.
Studies show that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) trainings do little to increase diversity. Writing for “Anthropology Now,” Frank Dobbin, a Harvard, professor of sociology, and Alexandra Kalev, an associate professor of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University, stated that
“…hundreds of studies dating back to the 1930s suggest that antibias training does not reduce bias, alter behavior or change the workplace. We have been speaking to employers about this research for more than a decade, with the message that diversity training is likely the most expensive, and least effective, diversity program around. But they persist, worried about the optics of getting rid of training, concerned about litigation, unwilling to take more difficult but consequential steps or simply in the thrall of glossy training materials and their purveyors.”
Many of the studies Dobbin and Kalev viewed showed the trainings can have negative effects.
In 2017, Iris Bohnet, a Harvard Kennedy School professor of public policy, came to a similar conclusion, “Sadly enough, I did not find a single study that found that diversity training in fact leads to more diversity. Now, that’s disappointing, discouraging, but maybe when we unpack it also understandable.” Bohnet added that “it is actually very hard to change mindsets.”
New York City is hardly alone. As Dobbin and Kalev noted, Fortune 500 companies, universities, public K-12 schools, government agencies, and others are wasting precious dollars and time on DEI trainings that do nothing but make them feel like they’re doing something about an exaggerated or even made-up problem.
Unfortunately, it’s not just benign virtue signaling. The goals of woke trainings like CRT are divisive and harmful, not just to those forced to take them but to society at large. Ideologies that teach equity and blame certain groups for the problems of all others are anathema to the foundation of America. Our country was built on the guarantee of equal opportunity, not forced favor of certain people based on skin color or sex or LGBTQ affiliation.
Moreover, the Bible teaches against this type of shallow thinking. When Samuel went to anoint the king of Israel, he judged solely by physical attributes. 1 Samuel 16:6 says, “When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.’”
God had a different son of Jesse in mind. Verse 7 says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’.”
God had chosen David, a man after God’s own heart, rather than his brother, who “looked” more like a king.
Woke trainings teach us to choose and favor people based on the outside rather than that person’s character and gifting. People should be judged as individuals, not as bland, uniform members of some arbitrarily classified group. All of these trainings based on divisive and unrighteous ideologies — CRT, Critical Gender Theory, Critical Queer Theory, DEI, and all other Marxist-infused thinking — should be rejected in favor of a view more like our Lord’s.
Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.