Arnold Ahlert / August 10, 2020

Whitmer Imposes Implicit Bias Training on State Workers

But according to the Democrats’ gross narrative, only the white ones are “racist.”

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who has built a pandemic-related reputation as one of the more arrogant and capricious politicians in the nation, has further burnished those dubious credentials. Last Wednesday, after declaring that racism is a public health crisis, the governor signed an executive order requiring all state employees to undergo “implicit bias” training.

The order itself is a paean to the institutionalized victimhood progressives have foisted on minorities for decades. “Racism has existed in America for over 400 years,” it states. “From the genocide of Indigenous peoples upon the arrival of the Europeans, to chattel slavery beginning in the 1600s, to the Jim Crow era. Even today, through inequitable outcomes in the criminal justice system, achievement gaps in education, disproportionate results in health and infant mortality, and job and housing discrimination, racism remains a presence in American society while subjecting Black, Indigenous, and other people of color to hardships and disadvantages in every aspect of life.”

First, racism has existed for thousands of years among people of every country and culture. Fear of “the other” is a hard-wired biological reality, and thus the notion that racism is particularly American, or that white people are the sole perpetrators of it, is nonsense. Moreover, no country has made a greater effort to atone for its racial shortcomings than the United States.

Yet, as Whitmer’s order makes clear, none of it matters. If “Black, Indigenous, and other people of color” are the sole victims of racism, while whites are the sole perpetrators of it, one can reasonably assume the governor subscribes to the odious aspect of progressive ideology declaring that only whites can be racist because they control the levers of power.

That worldview may be somewhat problematic among white state workers whose “power” largely consists of showing up for work like everyone else, and who are now being forced to undergo what amounts to a proscribed level of self-abasement as a condition of employment. As for non-white employees, one suspects there might be more than a few who resent being subjected to a categorical assumption of victimhood as much as some of their white counterparts resent being automatically labeled as privileged.

Unfortunately, demagoguery prevails, and bias training is only part of the equation. Whitmer is also creating a Black Leadership Advisory Council that will identify “state laws, or gaps in state law, that create or perpetuate inequities,” serve as a “resource for community groups on issues, programs, sources of funding, and compliance requirements within state government in order to benefit and advance the interests of the Black community,” and promote “the cultural arts within the Black community through coordinated efforts, advocacy, and collaboration with state government.”

This is not Whitmer’s first effort to force-feed her worldview on state workers. In July, she announced that the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs would require healthcare providers in that state to take the same implicit bias training as part of the licensing process.

“This is not alleging that people are racist,” Whitmer insisted. “It’s recognizing everyone has biases, from where we grew up or how we were raised. It’s just a fact and that’s why we’ve got to acknowledge it and seek to address it.”

Address what, exactly? A curriculum on “Institutionalized Racial Superiority for white people” developed by the Civil Rights Office for the city of Seattle may provide some insight. It asked white participants to explain how they benefit from “white supremacy,” how their “white fragility” “shows up at work,” or if they’re aware of their “white silence.”

In short, a white person is guilty of racism until proven otherwise. And in Whitmer’s world, there is apparently a government standard of acceptable groupthink that is necessary to implement because “where we grew up or how we were raised” is, like America itself, an inherently flawed proposition.

The arrogance is breathtaking. Those who wish to remain on the government payroll must subject themselves to the contemptible notion that any judgment one makes about anything, no matter how well reasoned, is “biased.” Even worse, workers must assume that wholly unconscious behavior evinced by whites and minorities automatically aligns itself with the progressive worldview that all whites are oppressors and all minorities are oppressed.

And that’s “just a fact.”

Thus, if one is white, one is either a progressive or a bigot. And if one is a minority? Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden succinctly explained that his or her choices are equally limited. “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump,” Biden said, “then you ain’t black.”

As for defining racism as a public health crisis, reveals the pernicious mindset behind such assertions. “The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed, confirmed, and highlighted the deadly nature of pre-existing inequities caused by systemic racism,” it states. “For example, in cases where race and ethnicity is known, the rate of reported COVID-19 cases for Black/African American Michigan residents is 14,703 per 1,000,000, compared with 4,160 per 1,000,000 for white residents, more than three times higher. And the rate of reported COVID-19 deaths for Black/African American Michigan residents is 1,624 per 1,000,000 compared with 399 per 1,000,000 for White residents, more than four times higher.”

That such data ignore other health problems exacerbating the effects of coronavirus is telling. For example, black Americans have greater levels of high blood pressure and higher rates of diabetes than white Americans. Lifestyle choices count as well, but when U.S. Surgeon General and black American Jerome Adams suggested that blacks “avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drugs,” he was excoriated for undermining the systemic racism narrative that insists the entire society must be reordered to ensure equal outcomes for all — even in terms of equal infection and death rates from disease.

Yet if Whitmer et al. were being honest, they’d acknowledge it is the elderly who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. As of May, an astounding 42% of all coronavirus deaths took place in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Moreover, Whitmer herself deserves a substantial portion of blame for elderly deaths in her state. Despite evidence that made even a progressive stalwart like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo backtrack on his own order to place infected people into state nursing homes and assisted living facilities, Whitmer actually vetoed a bill on July 31 that would have moved elderly coronavirus patents into separate facilities.

In other words, after the catastrophic data from New York were available.

Nonetheless, in a letter explaining her decision, Whitmer asserted that her veto was based on “the false premise that isolation units created within existing facilities are somehow insufficient to protect seniors.”

That 33% of the coronavirus deaths in her state were nursing home residents or employees? The establishment of an Elderly Leadership Advisory Council — as in the requirement that state workers take “elderly bias” training — will not be forthcoming.

Instead, Michigan workers will be subjected to progressive indoctrination sold as spiritual enlightenment. Yet what about Whitmer herself? A search of relevant stories reveals nothing about whether the governor will participate in the same training. Shouldn’t she lead by example? Or are some state employees — or maybe just one state employee — “more equal” than others?

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