City of Seattle Gave Training to White Staff to 'Undo Their Whiteness'
Liberal city segregated staff for training sessions based on race
The City of Seattle gave segregated training sessions to staff, seeking to train white employees on how to "undo their whiteness."
Seattle's white staffers were given the training last month which instructed workers on how to affirm their "complicity in racism," reports suggest.
The training session was reportedly held by the Office of Civil Rights and titled: "Interrupting Internalized Racial Superiority and Whiteness."
The session was held on June 12, the same day protesters took part in the Black Lives Matter "CHOP" zone demonstrations in Seattle's Capitol Hill district.
The city's Democrat Mayor Jenny Durkan initially cheered on the BLM protests in a downtown neighborhood of Seattle but changed her tune when protesters set up outside her own mansion.
Christopher F. Rufo, an editor for City Journal and director of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth and Poverty, discovered the session’s existence by filing a Freedom of Information request last week, which was approved on Monday.
One handout distributed in the two-and-a-half-hour session reportedly read that "racism is not our fault but we are responsible."
Another said white staffers must give up "the land" and their "guaranteed physical safety" in order to be an "accomplice" for racial justice.
In an email inviting employees to the event, the office asked "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."
"We’ll examine our complicity in the system of white supremacy – how we internalize and reinforce it – and begin to cultivate practices that enable us to interrupt racism in ways to be accountable to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) folks within our community," the email continued.
The name of the email's author was redacted, Rufo said, as the City of Seattle "refused to provide the names of the diversity trainers, the budget for the program, or the video of the session."
In a thread posted to his Twitter account, Rufo outlined the various stages of the training session.
He said that first of all "diversity trainers informed white participants that 'objectivity,' 'individualism,' 'intellectualization,' and 'comfort' are all vestiges of internalized racial oppression."
The City of Seattle held a training session for white employees called “Interrupting Internalized Racial Superiority and Whiteness.”— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 6, 2020
So I did a public records request to find out exactly what this means. Let's go through it together in this thread. 👇
First, diversity trainers informed white participants that "objectivity," "individualism," "intellectualization," and "comfort" are all vestiges of internalized racial oppression. pic.twitter.com/qrZwHZgx1H— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 6, 2020
Sometimes both sides of the coin are "oppression."— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 6, 2020
Are white employees speaking too much? That's probably the internalized racial superiority of "imposition" or "paternalism."
Are white employees speaking too little? That's oppression, too, because "silence" is "violence."
What's next?— 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." pic.twitter.com/CJxNEcIeh2
What happens after the thought exercises? It's time to DO THE WORK.— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 6, 2020
The trainers ask white employees to "let go" of "comfort," "guaranteed physical safety," "control over the land," "social status," and "relationships with some other white people." pic.twitter.com/sRZf8gA6Go
Then they go through a flow chart that outlines how white people "cause harm to POC," "show up small and inauthentic," and are unable to access their "humanity." pic.twitter.com/jcJppWXe0k— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 6, 2020
In case some people are wondering if they're "really white," they pass out a datasheet called "Assimilation into Whiteness."— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 6, 2020
Are you of Arab, Jewish, Finnish, German, Italian, Armenian or Irish descent? You're definitely white. No getting out of this. pic.twitter.com/mqsCUB9Ijr
As @DrKarlynB first reported, the invitation for this training was strictly segregated to "white City employees."— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 6, 2020
The goal is to teach them how they have "complicity in the system of white supremacy" and must be held "accountable to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color." pic.twitter.com/kPbppFYDtM
How do you know when you've successfully "interrupted your whiteness"?— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 6, 2020
–When you "implicate yourself" in racism.
–When "other white people may be angry."
–When you have stopped your "white normative behavior." pic.twitter.com/7Pv5FvRxm1
As @ConceptualJames and others have shown, the new cultural revolution is being fought via corporate HR, city diversity training, and public school curriculums.— Christopher F. Rufo (@realchrisrufo) July 6, 2020
When you find something like this in your community, expose it, criticize it, mock it, and reject it. /End
Diversity trainers also encouraged staffers to cultivate "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."
In such networks, the trainers urged participants to practice "self-talk that affirms our complicity in racism."
They were also instructed 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."
White employees were also issued a flowchart outlining the cycle of racism that whites perpetuate through "superior" justification, "self-righteousness," "fear, shame and guilt" over "harmful actions" toward "people of color," and "smallness and inauthenticity."
White people are unable to "imagine a way forward" that stems from a "place of humanity and empowerment."
Thus, the "status quo is reinforced," the chart concluded.
For any employees questioning their ethnicity, the instructors handed out an information sheet titled "Assimilation to Whiteness," which noted those of Arab, Jewish, Finnish, German, Italian, Armenian, or Irish descent identify as white.
Employees were also taught how to "interrupt" their whiteness by being "honest and implicate yourself either in the moment or in past experiences in which you acted or thought similarly."
"Don’t blame others. Don’t distance. Don’t make yourself seem 'better.' None of us is," a handout said.
"You are also white and what someone else did today you may do tomorrow."
According to Rufo, the goal of the session was to teach white workers how they have been "complicit in the system of white supremacy" and must be held "accountable to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color."
Seattle's Office of Civil Rights has yet to comment on the alleged training program.
It’s unclear if the training was mandatory or optional.