Coca-Cola is facing a major backlash for allegedly joining a series of American corporations that indoctrinate their white employees with critical race theory – including demands that they “try to be less white.”
Organizational psychologist Karlyn Borysenko, an activist against so-called critical race theory indoctrination, said on Friday that she obtained copies of the training materials from a whistleblower at Coca-Cola who received an email from management announcing the course. The class is administered online, through the LinkedIn Learning platform, and is entitled “Confronting Racism, with Robin DiAngelo,” a top proponent of critical race theory who offers high-dollar corporate seminars on “whiteness, white fragility” and “racial justice.” She is known to charge up to $40,000 for a half-day talk.
A spokesperson from Coca-Cola responded to the images later on Friday, all but confirming they were from a company-endorsed seminar to Blaze journalist Chris Pandolfo, though said it was not the main “focus” of its educational program.
“The video circulating on social media is from a publicly available LinkedIn Learning series and is not a focus of our company’s curriculum,” the spokesperson said, but added that the course is “part of a learning plan to help build an inclusive workplace.”
The heading for the course indicates that it will cover “understanding what it means to be white,” and “challenging what it means to be racist.” Students are told that “to be less white is to: be less oppressive; be less arrogant; be less certain; be less defensive; be less ignorant; be more humble; listen; believe; break with apathy;” and “break with white solidarity.”
It stands to reason that white people inherently have all those undesirable traits, such as being oppressive, arrogant and defensive. The underlying point of the mandatory training is made all by itself on another slide: “Try to be less white.”
“Your job at Coca-Cola should not depend on whether or not you buy into the idea of being less white,” Borysenko said. “It should depend on whether or not you can go in and do your job.”
The anti-racism training course also includes a slide advising that “one-time workshops on racism are not enough.” Employees are told to take such steps as creating “monthly affinity groups, cross-racial discussions, ongoing professional development, and revamped interview questions.”
Borysenko said that advice is all about keeping the money flowing to so-called “diversity trainers” like DiAngelo.
Conservative author and Blexit founder Candace Owens pointed out that if the course endeavored to teach employees how to “be less black, the world would implode and lawsuits would follow. I genuinely hope these employees sue Coca-Cola for blatant racism and discrimination.”
Netizens roasted the company over the leaked images, some even calling on the Department of Justice to investigate how Coca-Cola allegedly “discriminated against” its employees, while one self-avowed business owner said she’d remove a company vending machine from her establishment. The controversy also prompted Donald Trump Jr., the son of the former president, to weigh in.
Some users pushed back and hailed Coca-Cola for its efforts, suggesting “only bigots are mad” about the training course. While one commenter suggested the seminar should have focused on “whiteness” itself rather than how employees must be “less white,” he nonetheless added “good on Coca-Cola for doing this work.”
One of the leading peddlers of the critical race doctrine, DiAngelo is perhaps best known for her book ‘White Fragility’, which impugns white people for becoming angry, defensive or hostile when “confronted with the idea that they are complicit in systemic racism.” Former President Donald Trump last September banned federal agencies from subjecting their employees to training based on critical race theory after finding that it was “divisive, anti-American propaganda.” President Joe Biden rescinded that ban last month, on his first day in office.
Coca-Cola previously produced an ‘Allyship Guidebook’ for employees amid last summer's wave of US race riots. Borysenko believes the latest racial wokeness effort by the company won't be helpful to employees of any skin color. “You are not creating a healthier work environment,” she said. “You're doing nothing but creating more division and teaching… a large portion of your staff to hate themselves.”