Seattle, WA – The City of Seattle held segregated diversity training for city employees in June during which they attempted to teach white staff how to “undo their whiteness” and admit their “complicity in racism.”
The training was performed by the city’s Office of Civil Rights on June 12 and was titled “Interrupting Internalized Racial Superiority and Whiteness,” the Daily Mail reported.
The class was part of the city’s “Race and Social Justice Initiative” which was created 10 years ago, KOMO reported.
Initially, participation in the class was optional, but it was unclear if that was still the case in 2020.
The handouts used for the training of white employees contained a number of controversial instructions.
For example, one said white staffers had to give up “the land” and their “guaranteed physical safety” for the purposes of racial justice, the Daily Mail reported.
The civil rights division emailed an invitation to white staff members only which invited “city employees who identify as white to join this training to learn, reflect, challenge ourselves, and build skills and relationships that help us show up more fully as allies and accomplices for racial justice.”
Christopher Rufo, an editor at the City Journal, did a public records request for documents surrounding the so-called “diversity training.”
The City of Seattle held a training session for white employees called “Interrupting Internalized Racial Superiority and Whiteness.”
So I did a public records request to find out exactly what this means. Let's go through it together in this thread. 👇
— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 6, 2020
“The City of Seattle diversity trainers encourage white employees to ‘practice self-talk that affirms [their] complicity in racism’ and work on ‘undoing your own whiteness,’” according to Rufo.
It also encouraged them to join “networks with other white people who are practicing antiracist accomplicehood so you can talk through your struggles in the work of undoing your own whiteness.”
The trainers also told white employees they had to give up “niceties from neighbors and colleagues,” “the certainty of your job,” and “accepting jobs and promotions when we are not qualified, including racial equity jobs,” Rufo reported.
Participants were given a flowchart that outlined the cycle of racism perpetuated by “superior” justification, “self-righteousness,” “fear, shame and guilt” because of “harmful actions” toward “people of color,” and the “smallness and inauthenticity” caused by their whiteness, according to the Daily Mail.
And just in case any of the white employees were unclear about their ethnicity, the trainers distributed an informational page entitled “Assimilation to Whiteness.”
It said that Arabs, Jews, Fins, Germans, Armenians, and Irish people identify as white, the Daily Mail reported.
Rufo said it appeared the whole purpose of the training was to educate white employees on how they have been “complicit in the system of white supremacy” and how they must be held accountable to African Americans, indigenous people, and others who identify as people of color.
The City of Seattle also held a similar, segregated training for “city employees who identify as a person of color,” KOMO reported.
Those training materials explained how “American conditioning, socialization and history leads People of Color to internalize radicalized beliefs, ideas and behaviors about themselves, under girding the power of White Supremacy.”
The city defended the segregated training and described it as “race-based caucusing” that trainers have put in practice for years, KOMO reported.
“These have been a part of the City of Seattle’s workplace culture for a long time,” according to Kelsey Nyland, a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office.