Last Updated on February 20, 2021
Coca-Cola have denied a viral story that they forced their employees to take a lesson to “be less white,” but confirmed they purchased access to the course.
A whistleblower from Coca-Cola had alleged on Friday that the company was forcing employees to take a course by noted anti-white activist Robin DiAngelo, entitled “Confronting Racism” on LinkedIn Learning. As National File reported:
Coca-Cola employees are taught to be “less white” by the course, which implies that to be white is to be arrogant, defensive, ignorant, and oppressive. The course also claims that in the West, white children are socialised “to feel that they are inherently superior,” and that “one-time workshops” on racism are not enough, claiming that people must be regularly indoctrinated by “anti-racism.”
In a statement provided to National File by Coca-Cola, the company claimed that “the video and images attributed to a Coca-Cola training program are not part of the company’s learning curriculum”:
Our Better Together global training 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 the LinkedIn Learning platform on a variety of topics, including on diversity, equity and inclusion. The video in question was accessible on the LinkedIn Learning platform but was not part of the company’s curriculum. We will continue to listen to our employees and refine our learning programs as appropriate.
The statement provided to National File differs from an earlier statement attributed to Coca-Cola, where the company had confirmed that the course was, in fact, a part of their curriculum, but “not a focus” of their training. In both statements, Coca-Cola confirmed that they had bought access to the course for their employees, arguably tacitly endorsing the message regardless.
— Chris Pandolfo (@ChrisCPandolfo) February 20, 2021
According to Karlyn Borysenko, who broke the story, similar anti-white courses were halted by Coca-Cola following President Trump’s executive order banning critical race theory training for federal contractors last year, “telling staff that they would start again if Biden won,” and that they now plan to integrate this course “with on boarding and training” of new employees.
National File noted that employees of companies other than Coca-Cola had taken the “be less white” course, including Microsoft, LEGO, Carhartt, Regeneron, the Blue Cross, and Nokia, who all had multiple employees like the course, suggesting a higher likelihood of engagement