Report: Orwellian USDA 'Cultural Sensitivity Training' Videos

Hold on to your hat.  Because the video we just obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will knock it off.

The video, which we obtained pursuant to a May 18, 2012, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, reveals a compulsory “Cultural Sensitivity Training” program sponsored and administered by the USDA. Owing to the controversial nature of the material, the video received a ton of press interest, including a featured spot on last night’s Fox News Channel Program The O’Reilly Factor.  As a national audience saw last night on O’Reilly’s program: 

During the training, government employees are being asked to chant, “The Pilgrims were illegal aliens.”

As I said, shocking. And expensive.

These sensitivity training sessions are described on the video as “a huge expense” by diversity awareness trainer and self-described “citizen of the world” Samuel Betances. The diversity event, held on USDA premises, is apparently part of what USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack described in a memo sent to all agency employees as the “new era of Civil Rights” and “a broader effort towards cultural transformation at USDA.” American taxpayers have paid dearly for this so-called cultural transformation. In 2011 and 2012, the USDA paid Betances and his firm nearly $200,000 for their part in the “cultural transformation” program.

Of course, information regarding the program was not supposed to see the light of day. USDA Training Administrator, Vincent Loran, in an October 10, 2011, email previously revealed by Judicial Watch, asked Betances for a copy of a training video vowing to keep it secret. “It will not be used for or show [sic] in any way shape or form,” Loran promised. (In other bizarre correspondence, Loran professes his love for Betances and called him “father.”)

Now we know why. Judicial Watch was able to obtain the video and here are some of the highlights:

  • USDA Sensitivity Training Video 1 – “If you take a look at all of you here and you think about your salaries and your benefits and what you have left undone – plus my fee – plus the expense of the team that putting the video together, this is a huge expense.”

  • USDA Sensitivity Training Video 2 – “I want you to say that American was founded by outsiders – say that – who are today’s insiders, who are very nervous about today’s outsiders. I want you to say, ‘The Pilgrims were illegal aliens.’ Say, ‘The Pilgrims never gave their passports to the Indians.’”

When you watch the video, I think you’ll agree that the psychological conditioning techniques employed by the speaker on these videos are Orwellian. And how disturbing it is that a leftist like Betances has been given a platform inside the USDA.

Betances is a Harvard grad who describes himself as a “biracial, bicultural and bilingual citizen of the world.” Betances’ biography states that he is a “great motivator who rose out of the bowels of inner city poverty, stigma of minority group status, violence, welfare and illiteracy in two languages.”)

As reported by Fox News in October, 2012, Judicial Watch first broke the news of the USDA compulsory sensitivity training program based upon information it obtained in response to a FOIA request. That request was prompted by a tip provided to the organization by a USDA whistleblower.

And, as far as the USDA’s wasteful and irresponsible government initiatives are concerned, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

In addition to diversity training, the USDA’s “diversity overhaul” includes public education campaigns; the settlement of class action lawsuits for minority populations, such as Native American and Hispanic farmers; gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual diversity programs; and streamlined systems for the processing of civil rights complaints and “special events.”

For example, check out this April 2011 issue of the USDA’s Cultural Transformation Newsletter. It describes a USDA event called a “Taste of Culture” where 300 USDA employees were treated to a “tasty celebration” of dishes from around the world, salsa dancing lessons from training administrator Vincent Loran, and a rap music performance by another USDA employee about his feelings on human differences.

Can someone please explain how any of this helps USDA employees to better serve the American taxpayer? The obvious answer is they don’t. In fact, the video further confirms that politically-correct “mandatory” diversity training programs are a waste of taxpayer money – and offensive.  This is government-sponsored brainwashing.  If we’re looking for government programs to cut in this age of out-of-control government debt, “Cultural Transformation” is a good place to begin.


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