Coca-Cola is facing major backlash from people online over their “diversity training,” in which employees are told to “try to be less white.” Coca-Cola has responded to allegations of anti-white rhetoric after an internal employee leaked screenshots of the seminar. Karlyn Borysenko, an activist for banning critical race theory, shared images on Twitter of the “racism training.” The slides on the course, ‘Confronting Racism,’ included tips for staff on how to be “less white.”
Being “Less White” According To Coke
The slides included tips such as “be less arrogant, be less certain, be less defensive, be more humble, listen, believe, break with apathy,” and “break with white solidarity.” The presentation tells employees in order to confront racism, they must understand “what it means to be white, challenging what it means to be racist.” It goes on to say white people in the United States and other western nations, are “socialized to feel that they are inherently superior because they are white,” and “that by age 3 to 4, children understand that it is better to be white.” This builds a false stigma that all white people are racist. This course was found in Coca-Cola’s curriculum on Linkedin. The biggest question, did they use this course as mandatory training?
Does Coke Use “Less White” Training Materials
According to Snopes they were able to confirm Coke does have the course under their materials on Linkedin but that does not mean it is mandatory viewing for all employees. Coke has denied using the “be less white” materials, however, Snopes has been unable to confirm that. Borysenko said the screenshots were sent by an “internal whistleblower” from Coca-Cola, who told her the course was “required.” Her tweet from Feb. 19 now has 36.6k likes and 30.5k retweets. LinkedIn has pulled the course featuring DiAngelo, the author of “White Fragility.” “The Confronting Racism course featuring Robin DiAngelo is no longer available in our course library, at the request of the 3rd party content provider we licensed this content from,” Nicole Leverich, vice president of corporate communications, told Newsweek in an email. “We provide a wide variety of learning content, including more than 270 courses on the topics of diversity, inclusion and belonging. We will continue to add new courses to help people learn the skills they need to be more successful in their career, including the foundational skills we all need to be effective allies and help build a more equitable future.”
DiAngelo maintains she was unaware of the course. “The slides included were not created by Dr. DiAngelo,” said her rep, Caitlin Meyer. “She was unaware that the videos had been re-edited in this way, or that they were being marketed as a course/training on anti-racism, since the way the content was put together did not accurately represent the way she would facilitate that type of work.” Coca-Cola maintains the “be less white” presentation is not mandatory and they will continue to refine their curriculum.