Coca-Cola employees were urged to be “less white” as part of the company’s alleged diversity training — but the material was yanked offline following a viral whistleblower post.
The “Confronting Racism” course in question was offered by LinkedIn Education and allegedly utilized by the soft-drink titan.
“In the U.S. and other Western nations, white people are socialized to feel that they are inherently superior because they are white,” reads one of the slides, allegedly sent from an “internal whistleblower” and posted on Twitter by YouTube commentator Karlyn Borysenko.
Another slide suggests “try to be less white” with tips including “be less oppressive,” “listen,” “believe” and “break with white solidarity.”
Borysenko, who describes herself as a supporter of banning critical race theory, said the screenshots were sent to her from an “internal whistleblower” from Coca-Cola, who told her the course was “required.”
Her tweet from Friday has garnered 18,000 retweets and more than 34,000 likes.
On Monday, LinkedIn said it had pulled the controversial course — featuring interviews with sociologist Robin DiAngelo, the author of “White Fragility.”
“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,” Nicole Leverich, vice president of corporate communications, told Newsweek in an email.
Leverich continued, “We provide a wide variety of learning content, including more than 270 courses on the topics of diversity, inclusion and belonging. 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.”
DiAngelo, meanwhile, insists she was unaware she was featured in the course.
“The slides included were not created by Dr. DiAngelo,” said her rep, Caitlin Meyer.
“She was unaware that the videos had been re-edited in this way, or that they were being marketed as a course/training on anti-racism, since the way the content was put together did not accurately represent the way she would facilitate that type of work.”
Coca-Cola denied that the training was mandatory for employees, Newsweek reported. But Borysenko told the outlet that multiple workers said it was, in fact, required.
The drink giant told the publication that while its “Better Together” initiative included access to the LinkedIn diversity training, the course “was not part of the company’s curriculum.”