Coca-Cola has been facing backlash after it was revealed they told their employees to be “less white” in one of their resource videos.
The incident came to light after a whistleblower working for the company shared slides from the controversial 11-minute video that was uploaded to the company’s LinkedIn Learning platform for employees around the world to watch.
In the video named ‘Confronting Racism with Robin DiAngelo’, the employees were told to be “less white” while whiteness was compared to oppression, arrogance, and a lack of humility.
“In the US and other Western nations, white people are socialized to feel that they are inherently superior because they are white,” one of the slides read. “Research shows that by age 3 to 4, children understand that it is better to be white.”
Though it is not clear whether DiAngelo, who is the author of the book ‘White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism’, was behind the creation of the video, the ideas presented in the educational material appear to have been inspired by the author.
After the whistleblower’s post went viral, people were quick to accuse the soft drinks giant of racism and urge employees to launch a lawsuit against Coca-Cola.
“This is a gold mine for any decent civil rights lawyer. Where are the lawsuits??” someone suggested while Republican National Committee leader Harmeet K. Dhillon wrote: “This seems like blatant racial discrimination to this employment lawyer.”
Following the backlash, Coca-Cola claimed that the video “was not part of the company’s curriculum” even though it’s accessible to employees as a part of their Better Together global training.
“The video in question was accessible on the LinkedIn Learning platform but was not part of the company’s curriculum,” the spokesperson said while insisting that the global program aims to “help build an inclusive workplace.”
“We will continue to listen to our employees and refine our learning programs as appropriate,” they added.
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