Trump vows to fight ‘anti-white feeling’ in US. His allies have a plan

Trump supporters hold signs as they attend a campaign rally on April 20 in Wilmington, N.C. (Brian Snyder/REUTERS)

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s pledge to fight what he calls “anti-white feeling” in the U.S. will likely embolden allies who seek to dismantle government and corporate programs created to battle racism and boost diversity in American life.

Some high-profile supporters of the former president, now the 2024 Republican presidential candidate, say policies for safeguarding people of color in classrooms, workplaces and charities should be repurposed to protect the rights of white people as well.


“I think there is a definite anti-white feeling in this country,” Trump told Time in an interview published on Tuesday. “I don’t think it would be a very tough thing to address, frankly. But I think the laws are very unfair right now.”

Trump did not specify examples of anti-white bias nor policy prescriptions in the interview.

But Trump’s campaign website lays out several plans, and some of his allies are making detailed recommendations should Trump win back the White House from Democrat Joe Biden in a Nov. 5 election.

One Trump proposal would reverse Biden’s executive order requiring federal agencies to assess whether underserved communities – including people of color, LGBTQ Americans and rural Americans – can adequately access their programs.

At campaign rallies, Trump pledges to strip funds from schools teaching critical race theory, an academic concept – rarely taught in public schools – that rests on the premise that racial bias is baked into U.S. institutions.

One campaign adviser, Lynne Patton, told conservative activist and journalist Laura Loomer in an interview posted on Friday that she expected a second Trump White House would refuse federal money to any schools, companies or charities that enacted hiring practices under Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs, widely known as DEI.

Rights advocates assail what they view as any efforts to deny communities of color equal footing. They say the programs Trump wants to dismantle exist to reverse centuries of documented inequities.

“There’s always been an ability to foment this kind of anxiety and frustration among many whites whenever an effort to level the playing field for non-whites has been successful in any way,” said Tricia Rose, director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University.

One Trump ally, Gene Hamilton, told Reuters the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division must ensure that corporate programs meant to boost diversity in the workplace are not themselves discriminatory.

The department could derive its authority, he said, in part from Section VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Passed during a time when Black Americans campaigned aggressively for civil rights, the act prohibits hiring or compensation decisions based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

Hamilton, who served in the Justice Department under Trump, says the act should protect white people as well. For instance, a hiring program meant to boost the number of people of color in the workplace should not exclude other applicants.

Such a focus would depart dramatically from the Civil Rights Division’s historic role of protecting marginalized groups.

In recent years, it has led investigations into police departments for alleged racism against Black Americans and sued companies for discriminating against immigrants.

“Programs and policies … that deny benefits or employment to Americans solely because of their race or their sex or anything of the sort is violative of that central tenet that has held the country together,” said Hamilton, who laid out his views in a policy book published by a consortium of Trump-friendly think tanks known as Project 2025.

A policy blueprint for a second Trump term

While the Trump campaign has distanced itself from the project, the consortium has drafted a policy blueprint for a potential Trump administration. Many of the former president’s allies are involved.

In practice, official race-based complaints of anti-white workplace discrimination appear to be rare.

For instance, only a fraction of race-based claims before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an independent government agency, are filed by white people, who make up the majority of the American workforce.

Still, a majority of self-identified Trump voters believe that white Americans face discrimination. Some 53% of self-identified Trump voters responding to a March Reuters/Ipsos poll said they believed that white people in the U.S. are discriminated against because of the color of their skin, compared with 14% of self-identified Biden voters.

One Project 2025 chapter, co-written by conservative economist and Trump adviser Stephen Moore, argues the Treasury Department should seek to fire employees who willingly take part in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs.

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