Three Trump “Diversity Wrongs” for President Biden to Quickly Correct

NOTE: I drafted this blog prior to the January 6th horrific happenings at our nation’s Capitol building.

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.”

Let’s restart the process of getting Harriet Tubman on our $20 bill

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.

Five Examples of LGBTQ Equality – It’s equal rights, not special rights!

Allowing same gender couples to marry does not infringe in any way on heterosexual marriage.

In my last blog, “Why So Much Hate,” I wrote about the hateful comments I receive on social media after blogging about topics such as Islamophobia, LGBTQ equality and Racism. In the LGBT area, I am shocked about some of the people commenting about LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) people clamoring for “special rights.”

Last month when I published a blog about an LGBTQ+ Workplace Equity Training toolkit that will be launching in North Carolina in February, one woman commented that “this crap should not be allowed in our schools or at work” and that she is fed up with “gays wanting special rights.” When I tried to engage her in a conversation about areas where LGBT people are not treated equally, he accused me of harassing her and reported me to Facebook!

I am hoping that those who continue to shout “special rights” read this with an open mind to sincerely understand the difference between equal rights and special rights.

Marriage: Equal Rights – people can marry the person they love, whether they are same gender, opposite gender or gender fluid. Special Rights – if we made marriage only available to same gender couples and no longer allowed heterosexuals to get married. I would love to have someone explain to me why allowing a same-gender couple to get married infringes on their rights.

Workplace Protections: Equal Rights – all people should be able to work if they are qualified and capable of doing their job, and not get fired simply because they are gay. Special Rights – if we passed a law that stated if a gay person and a straight person applied for a job, preference must be given to the gay person. If you are so afraid that a gay person is going to steal your job, work harder and update your skills.

Shouldn’t all kids … straight, gay and trans …. be able to get a quality education without being bullied?

Safety in our Schools: Equal Rights – All children, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or gender fluid should be allowed to get a quality education without being bullied or having their issues not addressed by school administration. Special Rights – Establishing top-notch special schools exclusively for LGBTQ children only with the best teachers, facilities and equipment, and providing scholarships to top colleges only for LGBTQ students.

Safety on the Streets: Equal Rights – A gay couple should be able to walk down the street holding hands without being heckled or physically accosted. Special Rights – Passing a law that only same gender displays of public affection (PDA) are allowed and that heterosexuals are forbidden to hold hands or kiss in public.

Transgender people should have the right to use the restroom of their gender identity in peace.

Bathroom accessibility for transgender people. Equal Rights – all people should be permitted to use a public restroom that matches their gender identity and presentation. Special Rights – when a transgender person wants to use a restroom, everyone must immediately leave and wait until the trans person is finished.

I hope my readers get the drift here. LGBTQ people pay their taxes just like everyone else, and deserve equal treatment and respect under the law. We are just asking for equality without taking anything away from anybody else.

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Blog author Stan Kimer is a diversity consultant and trainer who handles all areas of workplace diversity and with a deep expertise in LGBT diversity strategy and training. Please explore the rest of my website and never hesitate to contact me to discuss diversity training for your organization, or pass my name onto your HR department.  [email protected]