“Be less White!” That was the message LinkedIn and MegaCorp CokeCola were preaching recently. The controversy started when the LinkedIn course; “Confronting Racism, with Robin DiAngelo,” was presented to CokeCola members of staff and then leaked to the press.
LinkedIn vice president of corporate communications Nicole Leverich told Newsweek:
“The Confronting Racism course featuring Robin DiAngelo is no longer available in our course library, at the request of the 3rd party content provider we licensed this content from.”
“We provide a wide variety of learning content, including more than 270 courses on the topics of diversity, inclusion, and belonging,” the statement continued. “We will continue to add new courses to help people learn the skills they need to be more successful in their career, including the foundational skills we all need to be effective allies and help build a more equitable future.”
Coca-Cola said in a statement that the training was not mandatory for staff, however, YouTuber Karlyn Borysenko said that a leaked email revealed the training was required.
“The video in question was accessible on a third-party platform and was not part of the company’s curriculum, so it was not required,” the statement said. “Our overall diversity, equity, and inclusion training is required and received input from employees reflecting a wide range of backgrounds, views, and expertise,” Coke said.
Borysenko said in a statement:
“The real story is that Coca-Cola is one of probably thousands of companies that are having their employees do these courses,” Borysenko told Newsweek on Tuesday. “Why did LinkedIn produce content asking people to be less white? Why are they still hosting this? Coca-Cola is a drop in the bucket.”
Newsweek said that despite Coca-Cola’s claim that the training wasn’t mandatory, “Borysenko said multiple employees at the company say that it indeed had been—at least until Friday, and at least one employee provided her an email she says backs up the assertion.” The Daily Wire reported last week.
“I can understand sometimes there’s miscommunication between management and employees,” Borysenko said, “but the messaging I’ve seen does use the word ‘required.’ Everything I’ve seen says it was part of the coursework, but then it was removed over the weekend once the news broke.”
The course by DiAngelo encouraged whites to be; “be a little less white” by being “less oppressive,” “less arrogant,” “less certain,” “more humble,” among other things.
In 2018 he published a book called: “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.”