The city of Seattle invited employees to explore their own internalized racism in a training session that excluded whites. For white staff, they were taught that they are responsible for racism.
Employees “who identify as people of color” were invited to the three-hour “Racial Internalization” training on September 3. It was carried out by the city’s Racial and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI). Staff members were given tools to break free from white supremacist influence. Ultimately, they are supposed to dismantle systems of oppression.
The additional training, “Internalized Racial Superiority”, offers insight into how “whiteness” bothers people of color. He tells white staff that he is “responsible” for racism and endorses the concept of “whitewashing”. They should give up “guaranteed physical security” in order to be “accomplices” in the creation of an anti-racist society. Only then can they “eliminate racism and create racial equity, justice and liberation.”
The aim of the training is to create an army of “anti-racist” personnel. But it also aims to transform what should be apolitical government agencies into ideological agents of social change.
Seattle targets racial minorities they say hate each other
At the end of August, an invitation to the training on racial inferiority was given to city employees. It was optional.
The event’s training page said employees would explore “the process by which American conditioning, socialization and history lead people of color to internalize racialized beliefs, ideas and behaviors about them, reinforcing the power of white supremacy ”.
By the time the invitation to the training was distributed by the city, many black employees – especially within the Seattle Police Department – were outraged. Now, thanks to a public release request from the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, we’ve got a better look at the training material.
Non-white staff have learned that there are four types of racism: interpersonal, institutional, structural, and internalized. The training focused on the form of self-hate racism, which the training blames on whites.
Internal racial inferiority develops when personnel of color accept and act from a “inferior definition of self” which is “given by the oppressor”.
The training says this “is rooted in the historical designation of his breed.”
The training claims that those who suffer from racial inferiority engage in “self-destructive behavior”. They understand assimilation into white culture. This prompts them to engage in colorism, discriminating against people with darker skin than them.
Often they feel shame, doubt, self-hatred and rage. They are even in denial if they don’t realize that they live in a culture centered on whiteness.
Blame the whites for … everything
If you are suffering from internalized racial inferiority, it is not your fault. The training in town says, “White people make the system work.”
In “Internalized Racial Superiority”, whites learn that ego and state of mind justify their belief that they “have been wronged by POC [people of color]. By upholding and embracing ‘individualism’, ‘perfectionism’ and ‘intellectualization’, whites are sending the message that they are superior.
White staff learn that their “anger, self-righteousness, and defensiveness masks fear, shame, and guilt for the harm done by our actions.”
Therefore, they are “unable to see opportunities to contribute as allies / accomplices” for people of color.
Whites are “responsible” for racism
White staff are encouraged to interrupt their whiteness with several action steps to help people of color.
They are told to “[be] clear about who we are in the world ”and embrace their“ purpose as advocates and organizers of racial justice ”. But that can only begin by “practicing an internal discourse which affirms our complicity with racism: racism is not our fault but we are responsible”.
The training recommends creating an echo chamber for “networks of other whites who practice anti-racist complicity”. They must be prepared to “[let] going about things that we have to give up in order to be accomplices, like… sometimes physical security guaranteed.
They should also be prepared to call out to people who disagree with your anti-racism work. Depending on the training:
Practice naming the things that are harmful without blaming the person. If the person still doesn’t want to hear it, say this, “I feel like I have shared my experience of you / my observations of the situation a few times now and you are not open to hearing it. I hope that at some point in the future we can have this conversation and that you are open to understanding some of the ways you have perpetuated evil.
The training is designed to be an intense and eye-opening experience. Staff are told that “this is a space where we can shed our ‘white tears’.”
Education says Jews take advantage of whiteness
Much of the training relies on the trainer’s belief that historically marginalized groups have been assimilated in the United States. The section on Jews is revealing and, ironically, leans towards anti-Semitic tropes.
Staff learn that the United States has rejected “ship charges [sic] mainly Ashkenazi Jewish children seeking refuge in concentration camps, sending them back to death. But after World War II, Jews were able to gain the benefits of whites.
“Ashkenazi Jews and light-skinned Sephardic Jews were slowly able to assimilate to whiteness, gain recognition as ‘white’ people and enjoy the same benefits as other white ethnic groups,” according to the training.
In other words, the Jews did not gain any “benefits” but received them due to their assimilation to whiteness. And if you think Jews are minorities (which we are), you agree with a fanatic.
“The racial status of Jews has continued to generate debate, with some commentators and far-right leaders such as David Duke asserting that all Jews are people of color,” the panel said.
Training is part of a larger goal
The training, which is under constant development and adjustments since July 2018, aims to be continuous. The goal of RSJI is to dismantle oppressive systems and rebuild them with a view to social justice. Its stated goal is to be uniquely “accountable to communities of color”.
To meet his 2021 objectives, the RSJI aims to create an “anti-racist network within the municipal government”. It starts with this training. White staff must accept responsibility for racism. Next, they must help colleagues of color escape the “culture of white supremacy”.
After the training, the RSJI promises to “transform the internal government culture of the city into one rooted in racial justice”. But for the city to be free from “norms and models of white supremacist culture”, it “requires taking into account the impacts of internalized racism and implicit prejudices.”
Create an army of social justice warriors
According to the RSJI, there is 10 “truths” that must be accepted.
The ministry maintains that colonialism is at the root of white supremacy. He believes that “the government is established by colonialism and created and continues to maintain racism”.
He says the government has a “responsibility” to adopt anti-racist leftist views. RSJI believes that city workers should “understand, challenge and work to dismantle racism and replace it with an anti-racist reality in which we can all thrive”.
Training is not about creating better employees; it is about creating an army of progressive social justice activists. And the locals pay for it.
Did you like this opinion piece? Then listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. To follow @JasonRantz to Twitter, Instagram, and Speaking, and like me on Facebook.