Coca-Cola found itself mired in controversy Friday after a post alleging to reveal “antiracism” training materials — purportedly instructing employees to “be less white” — went viral.
Psychologist Karlyn Borysenko, an activist who is trying to combat critical race theory, said she obtained the images of the online training from an “internal whistleblower” at the company.
🚨🚨🚨 BREAKING: Coca-Cola is forcing employees to complete online training telling them to "try to be less white."
These images are from an internal whistleblower: pic.twitter.com/gRi4N20esZ
— Karlyn supports banning critical race theory in NH (@DrKarlynB) February 19, 2021
The course, titled “Confronting Racism,” came from a LinkedIn learning video from leftist activist Robin DiAngelo, author of the bestselling book White Fragility, which has since come under fire from voices on the left and right.
“In the U.S. and other Western nations, white people are socialized to feel that they are inherently superior because they are white,” DiAngelo says. “Research shows that by age 3 to 4, children understand that it is better to be white.”
One slide of the presentation says there are several things employees can do to be “less white”:
Be less oppressive
Be less arrogant
Be less certain
Be less defensive
Be less arrogant
Be more humble
Break with apathy
Break with white solidarity
Another one of the slides says: “Try to be less white.”
As soon as the post went viral, Coca-Cola started to receive backlash on social media.
Wut…. this seems like blatant racial discrimination to this employment lawyer. https://t.co/IEmpycTP6P
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) February 19, 2021
“Wut…. this seems like blatant racial discrimination to this employment lawyer,” attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon tweeted.
If a corporate company sent around a training kit instructing black people how to “be less black”, the world would implode and lawsuits would follow.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) February 19, 2021
“If a corporate company sent around a training kit instructing black people how to “be less black”, the world would implode, and lawsuits would follow. I genuinely hope these employees sue @CocaCola for blatant racism and discrimination,” activist Candace Owens tweeted.
In response to the backlash, Coca-Cola sent out a carefully-worded statement neither confirming nor denying that employees were forced to complete the training.
“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 company said. “Our Better Together global learning curriculum is part of a learning plan to help build an inclusive workplace.”
“It is comprised of a number of short vignettes, each a few minutes long. The training includes access to LinkedIn Learning on a variety of topics, including on diversity, equity, and inclusion. We will continue to refine this curriculum,” the statement continued.
— Chris Pandolfo (@ChrisCPandolfo) February 20, 2021