Posted on January 8, 2023

The U.S. Government’s Woke Training

The Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal, December 30, 2022

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a gender gingerbread person. NASA says beware of micro-inequities. And if U.S. Army servicewomen express “discomfort showering with a female who has male genitalia,” what’s the brass’s reply? Talk to your commanding officer, but toughen up.

These are details from hundreds of pages of diversity and inclusion training materials used by the federal government in 2021 and obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). {snip}


A NASA training on “Allyship for Executives” says that the term “African American” is “utilized heavily in white spaces,” and it “can make Black people feel excluded as the term tends to ‘other.’” Another NASA slide series explains that inclusive leaders “are willing to be ‘uncomfortable’” in exploring “race, gender, sexual orientation” and so forth. “We have been taught to act as if we are colorblind and gender-neutral,” it adds, but “these efforts actually limit us.”


A NASA tip sheet on microaggressions gives examples that include, “Asking an Asian person to help with a Math or Science problem,” as well as saying, “America is a melting pot.” A slide deck on inclusive language suggests nixing “the poor” and substituting “people dealing with economic hardship.” A talk to a NASA center by Janice Underwood, then the state of Virginia’s chief diversity officer, urges: “Walk toward the discomfort—when patterns of white supremacy are named or questioned, predictable defensive responses will emerge.” Ms. Underwood now leads the diversity bureau at the federal Office of Personnel Management.

A Department of Homeland Security presentation on “Inclusive Diversity” says that micro-inequities can be fought by micro-affirmations. “Social and Physical Pain Produce Similar Brain Responses,” it argues, using a cartoon rendition of two brain scans.

A National Science Foundation seminar presents data about the race and gender of the NSF’s workforce, before sending participants to breakout rooms to discuss. A National Endowment for the Arts program offers definitions for terms such as “White Fragility,” “Heterosexism,” and “Misogynoir.”


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided training orders of about $313,000 for a slew of courses, such as “8 Tactics for Courageous Workplace Conversations About Race,” “Let’s Talk About Systemic Racism, Unconscious Bias and Privilege,” and “Silence is a Statement: Understanding Race in the Workplace.”

The Environmental Protection Agency’s course lists feature “Everyday Anti-Racism” and “Psychological Safety: Building a Culture of Inclusion and Innovation.” The Food and Drug Administration’s menu offers a two-hour seminar, “Checking Your Blindspot: Ways to Find and Fix Unconscious Bias.”