High thoughts must have high language.
—Aristophanes, The Birds
The questions that many have posed after listening to the trump’s interview with his personal news outlet, Fox, and its many iterations and bloviators, is whether the Executive Order issued on September 22, 2020 was intended to address the kind of language that could be called the hallmark of the trump. It was brought to mind by his interview on Fox on October 8, three days before he was once again turned loose on the country to roam at will in his search for four more years.
The Executive Order in question is entitled “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.” In the preamble to the Order, one of the stated purposes is said to be “to combat offensive and anti-American race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating.” It explains that many people are pushing a vision of America “grounded in hierarchies based on collective social and political identities rather than in the inherent and equal dignity of every person as an individual.”
In commenting on the sorts of conduct the Order is designed to correct, the Order observes that there is in this country an ideology “rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country.” It criticizes training materials from Argonne National Laboratories that say that racism “is interwoven into every fabric of America and describes statements like ‘color blindness’ and the ‘meritocracy’ as ‘actions of bias.’”
On November 3 we have the opportunity to return the trump to the private sector where he can say whatever he wants, and no one will care-and the Executive Order can be rescinded.
In further describing the behavior that is being corrected by the Order, it offers as an example a recent Department of the Treasury seminar in which attendees were instructed to avoid “narratives” that Americans should “be more color-blind” or “let people’s skills and personalities be what differentiates.”
In another seminar conducted by the Department of the Treasury, employees were told that “Americans should be more color-blind” and “should let people’s skills and personalities be what differentiates them.” That language, the Order said, was inappropriate.
A Smithsonian Institution museum graphic stated: “[f]acing your whiteness is hard and can result in feelings of guilt, sadness, confusion, defensiveness, or fear.” The Order says that kind of language is “contrary to the fundamental premises underpinning our Republic . . . that all individuals are created equal. . . .”
After offering numerous similar examples the Order says that “Training like that discussed above perpetuates racial stereotypes and division and can use subtle coercive pressure to ensure conformity of viewpoint. Such ideas may be fashionable in the academy, but they have no place in programs and activities supported by Federal taxpayer dollars. Research also suggests that blame-focused diversity training reinforces biases and decreases opportunities for minorities.”
It is hard to believe that the trump would sign an Executive Order that asserts that the problem with the approach taken by the training offered by many companies is based on an ideology “rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country; that some people simply on account of their race or sex , are oppressors; and that racial and sexual identities are more important than our common status as human beings and Americans.”
The Order was signed by the trump who has repeatedly shown his disrespect for people with whom he disagrees by the language he uses when addressing them. It is mostly directed towards women and people of color.
The morning after Kamala Harris’s debate with Mike Pence, the trump referred to her as “this monster who was onstage with Mike Pence.” He went on to say that she was “totally unlikable” and a “communist” and called her a monster a second time during his commentary. Kamala was only the latest recipient of insults hurled at women who have offended the trump.
Following his brief encounter with a pornographic film actress who sued him he called her “horse face.” Other women he has occasion to comment on he describes as having “fat, ugly faces.” He described one woman he disliked as having the “face of a pig.” Another woman was described by him as a dog. During the Republican presidential debate prior to the 2016 election, he posed a hypothetical question about Carly Fiorino, one of his competitors, saying “Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really folks, come on. Are we serious?” Of Rosie O’Donnell he said she has a “fat ugly face. Describing his former aide, Omarosa Manigault Newman, a black woman, he called her “that dog” and a “crazed, crying lowlife.” Referring to New York Times columnist, Gail Collins, he called her a “dog and a liar” and said she had “the face of a pig.”
The foregoing is nothing but a smattering of the words the trump has used to describe women. More can be found online. They all give rise to the same question. Is that one of the kinds of conduct that the trump’s Executive Order says companies should not try to correct? Who knows?
Here is one thing we know. On November 3 we have the opportunity to return the trump to the private sector where he can say whatever he wants, and no one will care-and the Executive Order can be rescinded.