EPA Staff Slam Trump Anti-Diversity Orders as “Punitive And Demeaning”

“Agency employees signed on to the most vocal condemnation from within the government of the president’s orders yet.”

“Environmental Protection Agency staffers are organizing against President Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning diversity trainings, mounting what may be the fiercest opposition to Trump administration policy from within to date.

By Monday morning, at least 80 employees in the agency’s Office of General Counsel ― more than one-third of staffers there ― signed on to a statement warning that Trump’s move will “result in further institutionalizing racism in the federal government” and “fly in the face of freedom of speech under the First Amendment,” according to a copy of the letter HuffPost obtained. Combined, the signatories represent more than 1,000 years of service to the agency.

“We reject the approach of these directives,” the letter read. “They are punitive and demeaning to federal employees, contractors, and grantees — especially those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. These directives both perpetuate and amplify the harmful stereotyping they purport to discourage.””

Alexander C. Kaufman and Emily Peck report for HuffPost November 2, 2020.