Should America “be less white” Is Coca-Cola’s Training Right?

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I can understand how being told to be less white hits you in your identity, because I was told be less Black.“I understand people’s anger at being told to be less white,” said internationally recognized cross-cultural trainer Kathleen Dameron. “Be less white. What are the qualities?

“I have a lot of empathy for people being told to be less white,” she said. “I know it hurts. As a Black child and as a grown-up, I have been told to be less Black, straighten your hair, dress to look like a nice corporate person. I can understand how being told to be less white hits you in your identity, because I was told be less Black.”

 

(Paris, France)   Americans should not get upset over reports saying Coca-Cola was asking its employees to “be less white” as part of its mandatory diversity training.

“I understand people’s anger at being told to be less white,” said internationally recognized cross-cultural trainer Kathleen Dameron. “Be less white. What are the qualities?

“Be less oppressive. Where’s the problem? Listen more. What’s the problem? Be less defensive. where’s the problem?” she asked. “But people get upset the minute they hear, ‘Be less white,’ because it hits them in their identity. It hurts and they reject it.”

Dameron said it might be more effective to say, “We’re asking you to create a JEDI society, to create Justice, Equality, Dignity and Inclusion.”

The training course at the center of the Coca-Cola backlash was titled “Confronting Racism.” It advised whites to listen more and be less oppressive, less arrogant, less certain, less defensive and less ignorant,” according to the New York Post.

Coca-Cola denies that it was part of their required training.

“That’s not the point,” said Dameron, who has more than 30 years’ experience training American, European and Asian executives worldwide but is not involved in the disputed training.

“Coca-Cola should have said, ‘We are committed to a fair, equal workplace environment,’” she explained. “It’s not corporate training that makes workplaces fair. It’s offering equal pay and equal opportunities for hiring and advancement regardless of race or gender. That’s how you change.”

Dameron understands why the issue triggered some people’s emotions.

The Dameron family 1965 in E. St. Louis, IL. Barbara, Carl T., Crystal (baby), Denise, Carl and Kathleen. “We we integrators”

“I have a lot of empathy for people being told to be less white,” she said. “I know it hurts. As a Black child and as a grown-up, I have been told to be less Black, straighten your hair, dress to look like a nice corporate person. I can understand how being told to be less white hits you in your identity, because I was told be less Black.”

Dameron is currently leading a series of seminars on “Healing the Collective Trauma of Racism.” In her sessions, she helps participants recognize the difference between interpersonal and institutional racism and build a feeling of community and energy.

To introduce people to her sessions, she is offering a free, self-paced, one-hour course. You can learn more by going to www.KathleenDameron.com

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