A story that got a lot of play in non-establishment American media this week was big enough that the establishment media had to willfully ignore it. It therefore hasn’t yet appeared in the Danish media.
Danish media are still dedicating most of their American coverage to Trump and Trump-related issues these days anyway, so there’s only so much else they can cover stateside. There’s apparently a moratorium on stories about the Biden administration unless they can be framed around Trump. For example, this Berlingske article from today about Biden policies facing the hurdle of federal judges appointed by Trump: for Biden that’s a hurdle, you see, it’s an obstacle, and it’s all that wicked Trump’s fault, but when the ninth circuit was swatting down Trump policies left and right, judicial review was a vital and necessary defense against tyranny.
The Danish media should be covering the story their American peers aren’t, however, because it’s exactly the kind of thing we’re going to see in Denmark unless we take swift defensive measures.
I’ll lay out the facts as we now know them.
As part of their “Better Together” training program (an ongoing effort to train their workforce on diversity and inclusivity) Coca Cola included access to an online diversity program on LinkedIn.
Coke claims the coursework was voluntary, several employees have claimed it was mandatory.
One of the courses comprising the LinkedIn coursework was called “Confront Racism, with Robin Diangelo.” It was subtitled, “Understanding what it means to be white, challenging what it means to be racist.”
The presentation was not prepared by White Fragility author Robin Diangelo, but by a third-party company with the rights to her work that put it together for LinkedIn.
Several slides from the presentation were sent to Twitter user @DrKarlynB, who is apparently an active critic of Critical Race Theory. (Her Twitter profile describes her thus: “Org psychologist. Coach. Compulsive knitter. Former Democrat. Unwoke activist. Accidental commentator.”)
Karlyn pushed the screenshots out to the world:
They went as viral as anything damaging to the core liberal pieties can. (Which is why most people haven’t heard anything about it.)
In short order, Coca-Cola distanced themselves by stating that their “Better Together” program is voluntary, not mandatory, and that they give employees access to the LinkedIn training program but don’t produce the content themselves. LinkedIn stated that the presentation was just one of 270 course offerings in their library, provided by a third-party vendor from whom they license such content. That vendor requested LinkedIn take the presentation down; it was taken down. And Robin DiAngelo went public to explain that although the presentation was based on her work, and included content from her own presentations, she herself wouldn’t have put her work together that way anyway.
Not a single one of those parties—not Coke, not LinkedIn, not the third-party vendor, not Robin DiAngelo—not one of them has said the one obvious thing a rational person ought to have said: we do not condone judging people by the color of their skin.
You know why none of them said that. Notice I ended that sentence with a period, not a question mark. I’m not asking whether you know: I’m saying you know. I know. Everyone knows.
You cannot judge people by the color of their skin—unless that color is white, in which case you must judge them by the color of their skin and it’s actually racist not to. Robin Diangelo explains it all in her book. Which is (alas) a bestseller.
Danes reading this may be chuckling: De er skøre, de amerikanere!
I wouldn’t laugh too hard.
This American virus could shut down western civilization.
That’s not overstatement. Our civilization is built on only a very few pillars, and one of those, arguably the most important, is the idea of individual sovereignty. That’s where the idea of “inalienable rights” came from.
That’s why “social justice” is an oxymoron: there’s no such thing in the western tradition as group justice: every individual is recognized as the author of his or her own actions, and is to be held accountable only for his or her own behavior. It’s one thing to say that individuals who meet a specific set of individual criteria are eligible for a particular public or private good, or that individuals who have performed a particular act should be held to account for it. It’s another thing altogether to say all people of one skin color, or any other intrinsic characteristic, ought to be lumped together and treated the same regardless of their individual characteristics.
“All men are mortal. Socrates was a man. Socrates was mortal.”
That’s the famous syllogism everyone gets taught when being introduced to logic. It appears a little sexist by today’s standards, sure: today we’d probably say “all humans are mortal” and “Socrates was human,” but the point is the same.
It’s also true that “all Greek philosophers were mortal, and Socrates was a Greek philosopher, therefore Socrates was mortal.”
But that’s stupid, because being mortal has nothing to do with being Greek or being a philosopher: it has everything to do with being human.
How about these syllogisms:
“A redhead murdered someone. John is a redhead. Therefore, John is a murderer.”
“A blonde solved a previously insoluble problem in physics. Sue is blonde. Therefore, Sue is a brilliant physicist.”
Is anyone actually stupid enough to believe those propositions? I know, I know, I’ll rephrase: are enough people actually stupid enough to believe those propositions that they’re going to become conventional wisdom?
“Social justice” is inherently unjust. It goes against the tradition of jurisprudence and political philosophy that has made the west as free and prosperous as it is.
There are racists out there, yes, and that’s bad, but you don’t fight racism with racism. You fight racism by (wait for it)… fighting racism.
And it needs to be fought. This woke stuff is so dangerous even the French are appropriately terrified:
Emmanuel Macron and the Woke, Wall St. Journal, February 17
Prominent French Intellectuals Getting Woke to American Wokeism, IWF.org, February 9
French Say Imported Wokeness from U.S. is Undermining Society, Brittany Raymer, The Daily Citizen, February 10
The virus has already made its presence known in Denmark: from artists tossing statuary into a canal, to Danish employees of multinationals being forced to attend “diversity and inclusion” trainings, to Copenhagen Business School’s formal apology to a professor offended by the inclusion of the beloved Danish folk song “The Danish song is a young blonde girl” in a meeting.
These are small things, individually. Innocuous and almost meaningless. But as we’ve seen in America, they add up quickly, and before you know it you’ve got massive corporations pushing the racist insanity of an idiotic racialist down your throat.
From the Post article:
The drink giant (Coke) told the publication (Newsweek) that while its “Better Together” initiative included access to the LinkedIn diversity training, the course “was not part of the company’s curriculum.”
“We will continue to listen to our employees and refine our learning programs as appropriate,” the company said.
America: “You guys asked or told employees to take a course that instructed them to be less white!”
Coke: “We’ve refined our learning program, so please continue drinking delicious and refreshing Coca-Cola.”
No apology, no “we regret the error,” nothing at all like that. Just a generic corporate-speak statement that, you know, stuff happens, we’re on it, carry on.
And although right-leaning media and the right side of blogosphere reacted to the story, the establishment media ignored it completely, as if it were a simple slip up, a mere oversight, easily corrected and forgotten.
Someone put that presentation together, leaning heavily on the “work” of Robin Diangelo. Someone at some company said, “good job, let’s license it to LinkedIn.” Someone at LinkedIn said, “That’s a great presentation, we’ll add it to our diversity training catalog.” Someone at Coca-Cola reviewed the presentation and thought it was acceptable for their employees. And god knows how many employees sat through it in numbed stupefaction before someone finally looked and said, “Wait, what?!“
Layers and layers of people had a chance to “refine the learning program” long before it ever reached a single Coca-Cola employee’s eyeballs. And none of them found it objectionable.
That’s the problem.
Imagine, as the Hodge twins have (with humor and mockery instead of anger and contempt), what would have happened if there had been a slide recommending employees “Be less black…”
We don’t need white people to be less white, or black people to be less black. We don’t need anyone of any color to be any less of that color than they are. It’s not even a conversation anyone should be having. Characterizing people by the color of their skin, assigning characteristics to people based on the color of their skin, is stone cold racism: to encourage that kind of thing in the name of anti-racism is sheer idiocy.
We need all people to be less bigoted and less self-righteous.
And less stupid.