Culture

Seattle Creates Anti-Bias Training for Whites Only

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Seattle’s Office for Civil Rights created a whites-only racial-bias training program for city employees earlier this summer, according to newly revealed documents.

White employees were invited via email to attend the "Internalized Racial Superiority for white people" seminar, and the city offers a separate training session for people of color on how "American conditioning, socialization, and history leads People of Color to internalize radicalized beliefs, ideas and behaviors about themselves, undergirding the power of White Supremacy."

The program for white employees involve the creation of a "white people space" for "processing white feelings," "retraining," and "taking action to redistribute resources, change who’s in power, and alter institutions." White participants were asked to examine the way their "white fragility" affects their work and how their families benefit economically from white supremacy "as it directly and violently harms Black people and non-Black people of color and Indigenous people."

According to the training, whites internalize white supremacy through perfectionism, comfort, individualism, and objectivity.

Seattle began offering the segregated training programs in June under its Race and Social Justice Initiative, which was launched 10 years ago.

Racial-justice and anti-police protests erupted across the country earlier this summer after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. As a result, many institutions have instituted anti-racism training for their members: In June, Duke University said it would implement "anti-racism training" in its curriculum and require anti-bias training for its faculty and students. And Google said it would launch a series of anti-racism training seminars for its employees by next year.