Coca-Cola raised eyebrows this week for promoting an online training seminar that urged employees to “try to be less white” in order to fight racial discrimination.
The training seminar slides shared online this week featured tips on how to reduce whiteness.
Advice on “being less white” included: “be less arrogant, be less sure of yourself, be less defensive, be more humble, listen, believe, break with apathy” and “break with white solidarity”.
Another slide tells viewers that in order to face racism they have to understand “what it means to be white, challenge what it means to be racist”.
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Whites in the United States and other Western countries are “socialized to feel inherently superior because they are white,” reads another slide.
He continued, “Research shows that by the age of 3 to 4, children understand that it’s better to be white.”
The seminar predictably created the divide, with some praising the company and others threatening to boycott it.
Lawyer and Center for American Liberty founder Harmeet Dhillon, who shared the slides on her Twitter, said the slides appeared “like blatant racial discrimination.”
In a letter to Fox Business, the soft drink giant said slides awarded to a Coca-Cola training program “are not part of the company’s learning program.”
“Our Better Together global training is part of a learning plan to help create an inclusive workplace. It’s made up of a number of short thumbnails, each a few minutes long, ”the company said.
He noted that the training is publicly available on LinkedIn, and includes a “variety of topics, including on diversity, equity and inclusion.”
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“We will continue to listen to our employees and refine our learning programs as appropriate,” the company said.