Did Coca-Cola Ask Its Employees to be 'Less White' During Racism Training?

Social media users started circulating screenshots of a diversity training program that asked its employees to act "less white."

Social media users are circulating a claim that Coca-Cola told its employees to "try to be less white" during an employees' diversity training course.

Last week, Karlyn Borysentko shared a post on Twitter captioned, "BREAKING: Coca-Cola is forcing employees to complete online training telling them to 'try to be less white.'" The tweet included screenshots of a video presentation, including slides with the words "Try to be less white" written across it and another with a list of "white" traits, explaining that "to be less white" means being "less oppressive," "less arrogant," "less defensive" and so on.

Borysenko, a prominent online opponent of critical race theory and many aspects of corporate diversity training, said she obtained the images from an "internal whistleblower." As proof, she cited the Coca-Cola logo visible in the top right-hand corner of the screen and that the course was publicly available on LinkedIn (the course has since been deleted).


Coca Cola
Coca Cola Pixabay

Although the presentation is real and the "try to be less white" slides were authentic, there is no evidence to prove the claim that Coca-Cola had included the course as part of its diversity training program for employees.

The slides shown in the social media post were derived from a presentation titled "Confronting Racism," which was produced by Robin DiAngelo, a writer and consultant who has been hired to conduct diversity and anti-racism training for several American conglomerates.

LinkedIn Learning is a service provided to LinkedIn users who have subscribed to the networking platform's "Premium" subscription. The exclusive membership gives users access to additional content, including videos, courses and "learning paths" on a variety of workplace training topics by experts.

The soft-drink company also released a statement on Feb. 20 explicitly denying the claim. The company's spokesperson said that the course "circulating on social media is from a publicly available LinkedIn Learning series and is not a focus of our company's curriculum."

This means it was not something Coca-Cola instructed its employees to view. Rather, the company said, its training involved the use of LinkedIn Learning to build skills, and DiAngelo's course happened to be available on the platform.