The Federal Reserve conducted diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings in which staff members learned that "correct pronoun usage is a civil right" and were told to acknowledge their "white privilege," documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show.
The Fed held at least four DEI training sessions in the spring and summer of 2021, the documents reveal. During the training sessions, staffers learned to use "inclusive language," like "Latinx," and were shown an illustration of a transgender gingerbread man that could have a woman's brain and male reproductive organs. Staffers were also told to refer to Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell as "chair," an example of "gender-inclusive language." The Federal Reserve's website refers to Jerome Powell as "chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System."
The training materials also asserted that individuals have a "civil right" to their preferred gender pronouns. To support the claim, the training materials cite Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which they say "prohibits any employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or sexual orientation."
The documents show the pervasiveness of DEI training in the federal government. DEI training has wormed its way into virtually every government agency. At the Department of Defense, soldiers are taught about a "male" who wants to "discuss his newly confirmed pregnancy." NASA staff are trained to believe that efforts to be colorblind "actually limit us" and warned against "microaggressions," such as saying that "America is a melting pot."
At the time of these training sessions, the Federal Reserve—which is tasked with managing the nation's monetary policy and regulating financial institutions—was facing the highest inflation in four decades. The Fed has faced low levels of approval in recent years. An April 2023 poll found that 54 percent of Americans do not trust Powell to manage the economy.
The Federal Reserve seminars included lessons on "Pronouns, Gender Inclusion, & Inclusive Language" and "Acknowledging Your White Privilege," among others. Much of the lessons were dedicated to "white privilege," the idea that all white Americans are born with advantages because of their skin color. The materials given to Federal Reserve staff list examples of white privilege such as not "wondering why none of the characters or people look like you" when "watching a TV show or movie."
"If you are offended by the term 'white privilege,' consider why you feel that way," a PowerPoint slide reads. "Be committed to helping people fight anti-racism."
The DEI training materials list other types of privilege related to "body size" and "language." A Federal Reserve staffer may have privilege, another slide says, if he or she thinks that "I don't have to change who I am to 'fit in.'"
It is not clear whether the DEI training sessions were mandatory for all Federal Reserve staff or whether they were conducted virtually or in-person. The Federal Reserve did not respond to a request for comment.
Federal Reserve staffer John Allegro, who oversaw a June training session, said the "framework for today's content" was inspired in part by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. A critic of organized religion, Adichie in 2017 slammed the Catholic Church as "not a women-friendly institution" and said its teachings have "been used to justify oppressions."
That same year, in an interview with "antiracist" author Ta-Nehisi Coates, Adichie said, "There's a particular kind of asshole-ry that white people reserve for black people," and claimed that America is a racist country.