Note: we are republishing this story amid a nationwide conversation about race and racial justice in America.
In its bid to combat discrimination, Coca-Cola’s online racism training material asked its employees to "try to be less white."
Pictures of the online seminar were shared on social media, and featured slides which had tips on how "to be less white," "less ignorant," and "less oppressive."
One slide, titled "To be less white is to," listed various items, including "be less arrogant, be less certain, be less defensive, be more humble, listen, believe, break with apathy," and "break with white solidarity."
"Confronting racism: understanding what it means to be white, challenging what it means to be racist," one slide read.
Another slide read: "In the US and other Western nations, white people are socialized to feel that they are inherently superior because they are white."
"Research shows that by age 3 to 4, children understand that it is better to be white," the slide continued.
The shared training material received mixed reactions on social media, with some stating that they would consider buying the company’s products while others threatened to boycott.
"This seems like blatant racial discrimination to this employment lawyer," one self-identified employment lawyer tweeted.
The company wrote a statement to The Sun, explaining that the training was aimed at promoting a more inclusive workplace for its employees.
"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," it read.
"The training includes access to the LinkedIn Learning platform on a variety of topics, including on diversity, equity and inclusion,” the statement continued. "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."
Sources: The Sun