The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the National Urban League, and the National Fair Housing Alliance filed a lawsuit on Thursday to block President Trump’s executive order that bans federal workers and contractors from hosting and participating in racial sensitivity training.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Washington, D.C., is a response to Trump’s September order titled “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.” According to the statute, racial sensitivity training creates divisiness and is unpatriotic. In September, the president launched a campaign to defund critical race theory, claiming the subject matter teaches “people to hate our country.”
“True patriotism demands confronting the truths of our history—no matter how embarrassing or dishonorable—and undertaking the difficult work of learning from the lessons of our past in order to move forward,” the plaintiffs stated in the lawsuit. “For the United States, that work requires reckoning with our shameful legacy of racial subjugation of Black people in this country— from slavery and Jim Crow to mass incarceration and police violence—as well as our long history of express discrimination against other people of color, women, and LGBTQ persons.”
The lawsuit states that Trump’s decree challenges free speech, which is secured by the first amendment.
“Without uninhibited discussion and examination of that legacy, we are ill-equipped as a nation to address its ongoing manifestations in present-day forms of discrimination and bias,” the plantiffs stated.
Federally contracted schools like University of Memphis have already discontinued diversity training programs in order to comply with Trump’s order.
According to the statute, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs will establish a hotline and investigate complaints that contractors are implementing prohibited training. If contractors don’t comply, they risk termination, suspension, or the possibility of being ineligible for further government contracts, which could affect universities that receive federal grant money.