Culture

Federally Funded Nuclear Weapons Lab Made White Male Employees Participate in Racial Reeducation Training

Screenshot from Twitter

Sandia National Laboratories, a government-contracted nuclear weapons laboratory, required its white male employees to participate in a racial reeducation seminar, leaked documents reveal.

At the three-day training session, called, "White Men’s Caucus on Eliminating Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in Organizations," participants were encouraged to examine their privilege as white, heterosexual men. Christopher Rufo, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and contributing editor at City Journal, leaked documents from the seminar, which took place in September 2019, in a tweet on Wednesday.

Trainers asked participants to think of words associated with white male culture, and created a list which included "KKK," "privileged," and "MAGA hat." An example of systemic privilege, according to one document, is having role models in the public eye that "outweigh" the "Ted Kaczynskis of white maleness."

"I routinely witness and benefit from the many positive white male role models displayed in the media, politics, and entertainment that far outweigh the Tim McVeighs and Ted Kaczynskis of white maleness," the document reads.

One document said, "rugged individualism," a "can-do attitude," and "operating from principles and conscience" are vestigial attitudes that once helped white men survive. Another listed statements of privilege, which included assertions like, "White privilege is being the first in line: first to be served; first to be noticed; first to be listened to, etcetera" and "Men can ogle women and get a pass from their colleagues."

Participants wrote apology messages to white women, people of color, and other groups as a reflection at the end of the seminar.

The United States Department of Energy contracts Sandia National Laboratories to design non-nuclear components of nuclear weaponry. The federally funded laboratory is one of three National Nuclear Security Administration laboratories.