Large companies had “awakened” training exhibited in 2021

Big companies found themselves in hot water in 2021 as whistleblowers revealed what they claimed were employee training sessions steeped in critical race theory.

Disney, Coca-Cola, American Express, Bank of America, Lowe’s and Pfizer have been accused of training employees in certain “awakened” ideas, such as putting “marginalized” personnel above “privileged” personnel, learning to “decolonize” their minds ”and combat aspects of a so-called“ white supremacist culture ”such as perfectionism, individualism and objectivity.

These ideas date back to critical race theory (CRT) – a framework that involves deconstructing aspects of society to uncover systemic racism beneath the surface. Current and former American Express employees told Fox News the change began after George Floyd was murdered by police in May 2020, but the “awakened” formations were revealed in 2021.

Teleprinter Security Last Change Change %
KO THE COCA-COLA CO. 58.22 +0.04 + 0.07%
MEUGLER LOWE’S COS. INC. 250.09 +0.39 + 0.16%
AXP AMERICAN EXPRESS CO. 164.19 +1.72 +1.06%
PFE PFIZER INC. 58.71 -0.84 -1.41%


In February, a Coca-Cola whistleblower claimed the company had forced employees to attend a seminar teaching them to “be less white.” The whistleblower posted photos from a seminar giving advice on “being less white” including “being less arrogant, being less sure, being less defensive, being more humble, listening, believing, breaking with apathy “and” to break with white solidarity “. The documents claimed that whites in the United States and other Western countries are “socialized to feel inherently superior because they are white.”

Bottles of Coca-Cola can be seen in this illustrative photo taken in Krakow, Poland on October 8, 2020. (Jakub Porzycki / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Still, Coca-Cola told Fox Business that the slides “are not part of the company’s learning agenda.”

Coca-Cola president Alfredo Rivera apologized for the situation in March.

“Recently, we learned that the content accessible through our corporate training platform does not equate to ‘being’ respectful for all, ‘he said.

Although this material is not part of the training program, Rivera said, “We apologize to those who have been offended by this content. We will never encourage anyone to be less themselves. “

In March, Chris Rufo, a senior researcher at the Manhattan Institute, revealed documents denouncing the Walt Disney Company’s diversity and inclusion program “Reimagine Tomorrow”. The program includes several training modules on “anti-racism”.

Modules tell employees that they need to ‘own education [themselves] on structural anti-black racism. The Modules claim that the United States has a “long history of systemic racism and transphobia” and that white employees must “work through feelings of guilt, shame and defense to understand what lies beneath it.” ‘them and what they need. to be cured. Another module encourages employees to reject “equality” by focusing on “equal treatment and access to opportunities” and instead strive for “fairness”, focusing on “equality results “.


Disney did not deny the training but insisted that whistleblowers take it out of context.

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SAY THE WALT DISNEY CO. 153.63 +1.75 + 1.15%

“These internal documents are deliberately distorted to reflect company policy, when in fact their purpose was to allow for diversity of thought and discussion on the incredibly complex and difficult issues of race and discrimination that we face. are facing as a company and businesses nationwide, ”the company said in a statement.

FILE – A screen shows the logo and stock symbol of The Walt Disney Company on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, December 14, 2017. (REUTERS / Brendan McDermid) (Reuters photos)

In August, Rufo released internal documents showing that American Express subjected its employees to a series of critical racial theory training sessions that encouraged staff to fall into a hierarchy of “privilege” and apply that hierarchy in the workplace, most “privileged” employees ” empowering staff with ‘marginalized groups’.

In the trainings, outside consulting firm Paradigm urged Amex employees to build their own intersectional identities, mapping their “race, sexual orientation, body type, religion, disability status, age, gender identity. [and] citizenship “on an official company worksheet. Employees could then determine if they have a” privilege “or if they are members of a” marginalized group. “

The training sessions also warned white employees to avoid certain phrases, such as “I can’t see any color”, “We are all human beings” and “Anyone can be successful in this company if they work hard enough. hard “, like” micro-aggressions “.

During a high-profile “anti-racist” event, Amex executives invited Khalil Muhammad, great-grandson of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad, to speak on “race in American business”. He argued that capitalism was founded on racism and that “racist logics and forms of domination” have shaped Western society since at least the Industrial Revolution. He even argued that the credit card company should lower standards for black customers and sacrifice profits for the sake of race-based remedies.

“If American Express cares about racial justice around the world, it can’t just say that the market is going to define how we price certain customers, who come from low-income communities,” he said. “If you want to do good, then you are going to have to put in place products and [product] lines that don’t maximize profit. “


In September, five current and former AmEx employees – speaking on condition of anonymity – told FOX Business the company was selecting blacks for promotion in a practice that former employees described as reverse discrimination. against whites. Employees did not present internal documents to demonstrate official policy, but said they had witnessed a worrying trend that raised questions about racial discrimination in the promotion. A former employee said he quit because critical trainings on race theory and the apparent promotion of employees because of skin color sent the message that white employees couldn’t even expect to be considered for. a promotion.

American Express denied the accusation in a statement.

“We have a high performing culture and are proud of our dedicated and very engaged colleagues,” an American Express spokesperson told FOX Business. “Advancement within our company is based solely on individual company performance and leadership. Any characterization of our company and our culture to the contrary is simply wrong. “

The statement also affirmed that the company’s “diversity, equity and inclusion programs” focus on maintaining a commitment to “a diverse and inclusive culture where all colleagues feel welcome and heard. and have equal opportunities to thrive regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation and nationality. The programs “are not based on any specific theory, nor are they aimed at a specific group of employees.”

In August, Rufo revealed documents showing that Bank of America, Lowe’s and Truist Financial Corporation sponsored a United Way’s Critical Race Theory “Racial Equity 21-Day Challenge” claiming that America is systemically and institutionally racist, encouraging participants to “decolonize” their minds and “wake up at work “and urging whites to” cede power to people of color.

The 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge included a document containing responses to potential objections. If participants ask questions about reverse discrimination, the guide asserts that such a thing does not exist. The document also asserts that people of color cannot be racist: “Racism is used to justify the position of the dominant group, whites in this case, and to defend the supremacy and superiority of whites. intolerant behavior towards other perspectives. But racism is by definition a form of oppression exercised by the dominant racial group (whites).


Bank of America spokesman Bill Haldin told FOX Business his company does not approve of these ideas and does not organize its own training for its employees in this regard.

“It was not our program or our training material,” he said. “The United Way has managed this program independently from Bank of America, and it is not part of our training material. “

Lowe’s and Truist Financial did not respond to FOX Business’s request for comment.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has set a goal of filling a percentage of leadership positions with black and Hispanic candidates by 2025, in the name of fighting “systemic racism.” In September, FOX Business published an environmental, social and governance (ESG) report Report 2020, released in March 2021, in which Pfizer set “opportunity parity goals” for 2025. These goals include “increasing our minority representation from 19% to 32% and doubling the under-represented population of African Americans / Blacks and Hispanics / Latinos ”.

The report includes a letter from Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, in which Bourla says he is “proud” to have “set concrete goals to address systemic challenges to racism and gender equality by examining and increasing our plans to increase diversity and parity of opportunity in 2025, with particular emphasis on increasing the representation of American women and minorities at leadership levels. “

“We now have quotas, basically, in hiring and promotions,” said a current Pfizer employee, who spoke to FOX Business on condition of anonymity. The employee said the company had organized events with Ibram X. Kendi and encouraged employees to read books written by Robin DiAngelo, two prominent CRT supporters.


“We don’t have quotas as part of our hiring process,” a Pfizer spokesperson told FOX Business. “We support our efforts in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion with respect to our human capital. We strive to make Pfizer as diverse as the patients and communities we serve. “

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