UPDATE: President Biden addressed all 3 of these items within the first few days of his presidency!
The past four years has seen an unparalleled assault on diversity and inclusion under the Trump administration, and throughout this time I have written about some of the areas Trump attacked. In this blog, I highlight three areas I have blogged about that hopefully the new President Biden will quickly address after his inauguration.
1) Reversing Trump’s attacks on transgender Americans. Throughout his tenure, Trump has relentlessly attacked the rights of transgender people, effectively denying transpeople actually exist. Trump started the ball rolling in the Fall of 2019 tweeting that gender should be defined as a biological immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, and directing the US Dept of Health and Human Services in an effort to establish a tight legal definition of gender under Title IX.
The US Dept of Health proposed that “the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence,” which led to the US Health and Human Services publishing a final rule interpreting the Health Care Rights Law (§1557 of the Affordable Care Act) removing explicit protections against trans exclusions in health insurance on June 19, 2020.
Click and go to the bottom of this earlier blog to find links to multiple blogs and resources I have written about supporting transgender people in the workplace.
2) Rescinding Executive Order 13950 which tries to stop workplace training that deals with systemic racism in our country. Actually, the way the executive order was written, it is still possible to deliver meaningful diversity, equity and inclusion training that does address our systemic issues, but it may just need to be toned down a little. Unfortunately, the mean-spirited intentions behind the executive order frightened a lot of organizations to stop all forms of diversity training out of fear of losing government contracts.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the National Urban League and the National Fair Housing Alliance have filed a lawsuit arguing that this executive order violates free speech rights and strangles workplace attempts to address systemic race and sex discrimination.
Link to the blog I quickly published when this executive order first hit the news, “Trump cancels federal racial sensitivity training – Five reasons why this is so wrong.”
3) Restart the machinery to place Harriet Tubman on our $20 bill. With nothing but white men on all circulating US coins and paper money, everything was aligned to finally place a woman on one piece of major circulating currency. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of women suffrage in 2020, a poll was taken and African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman won the vote to the first woman placed on our paper money. Everything was set and ready to go.
But then Trump and his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnunchin cancelled the effort, stating that this cannot happen before 2028 (!!) You can read the complete story in my blog “Black Lives Matter and our $20 Bill – An Awful American Travesty.” Now with President Biden about to take office and his appointment of our country’s first female Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, perhaps Ms. Tubman can much sooner grace our $20 bill.
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I know there are probably 1,000 awful horrible things Trump as done over the past four years like enabling the polluting of the earth, allowing hundreds of thousands to die from COVID, permitting Russia to hack into our national security systems, and more, but these are the three I have blogged about in the past.