Coca-Cola has employees taking training to "be less white."
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On February 20, 2021, photos surfaced across the web regarding Coca-Cola and recent training they’re accused of providing employees. One post states: “A whistleblower has leaked screenshots of an online training course Coca-Cola employees are allegedly being forced to take which tells them to ‘try to be less white.’ This is what racist hate speech looks like.”
With more than 3K likes, the post quickly started many conversations on Twitter.
The images shown across social media are believed to come from Coca-Cola’s training module called “Confront Racism with Robin DiAngelo.” DiAngelo is the author of the book White Fragility. One section of the training module is allegedly an interaction between two individuals where information is provided on how “to be less white.”
The actual transcript of this section reads, in part, “Be less oppressive, be less arrogant, be less certain, be less defensive, be less ignorant, be more humble, listen, believe, break with apathy, break with white solidarity.”
Coca-Cola has released a statement on the matter: “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.”
They further state that their program “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."
Others are claiming that Coca-Cola released a previous statement that asserted that the course was a part of their curriculum, but “not a focus.” This is noted in the image below within the first line, which differs from the latest statement.
Many companies and individuals seem to be leveraging DiAngelo’s 49-minute training. In fact, it currently has more than 1,000 likes on LinkedIn Learning. The course seems to be one of many provided by Coca-Cola in an effort to mitigate racism and ensure inclusivity. In response to the viral claim, Coca-Cola has stated they will “refine this curriculum.”