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Gov. Roy Cooper Slams NCGOP Bill Banning Workplace Discussions of Race, Equity, Inclusion

Source: WRAL, The News & Observer 

Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed legislation earlier this month that would ban the promotion of beliefs that some Republican lawmakers have compared to critical race theory in state government workplaces, WRAL reported.

Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 364 was overridden in the Senate just a few days later by a 30-18 vote along party lines, according to The News & Observer.

Under the bill, beginning on Dec. 1, anyone entering a state government workplace, such as a diversity trainer or private contractor, would be prohibited from trying to convince “employees to believe they should feel guilty or responsible for past actions committed by people of the same race or sex,” according to WRAL.

The bill would also make it illegal for hiring managers at state agencies, community colleges and the UNC System from compelling a job applicant to explain their personal or political beliefs as a condition of employment.

The legislation would prevent state government agencies and institutions from either promoting or including in any training, 13 concepts Republicans consider to be critical race theory.

Some of those concepts include:

“One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex. An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive. An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex. Any individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress.”

Cooper criticized the bill when he vetoed it, saying that Republicans are trying to suppress productive workplace discussions about topics like diversity, equity and inclusion. 

The governor also accused the NCGOP of “pretending that bias and racism don’t exist” even though they saw it happen right in front of them when Rep. Jeff McNeely (R-Iredell) asked Rep. Abe Jones (D-Wake) if he would have gotten into Harvard if he wasn’t an athlete or a minority.

“It is troubling that a legislature that witnessed open racism on the floor of the House of Representatives wants to stop training aimed at creating a more effective and understanding workforce,” said Cooper.

The governor added that “In North Carolina, the diversity of our people is a strength.”

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