The Walt Disney Company is embroiled in a controversy where it is accused of racial segregation while claiming to combat “systematic racism.” Christopher F. Rufo, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth and Poverty and also a contributor to City Journal, revealed exclusively that the well-known multinational entertainment and media company, Disney, is pursuing an “anti-racist” program that demeans its white employees.
“In the past year, Disney executives have elevated the ideology of critical race theory into a new corporate dogma, bombarded employees with trainings on ‘systemic racism,’ ‘white privilege,’ ‘white fragility,’ and ‘white saviors,’ and launched racially segregated ‘affinity groups’ at the company’s headquarters,” Rufo explains in his article.
The exclusive report comes from Disney employees who, on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, handed over a PDF document of the “Reimagine tomorrow” program. An “anti-racist” initiative that seeks, among other things, to educate white Disney employees about institutional racism, racist micro-aggressions and also to engage its white staff to be allies against racism in order to bring about systemic change within the company in favor of racial justice.
“Deepening your insight and knowledge is a critical first step to understanding the magnitude and complexity of the current state and building empathy to authentically connect with your colleagues. Take ownership of educating yourself about structural anti-Black racism in the current and historical context. Opt for sources from Black authors, journalists and organizations,” reads part of the program Disney launched in the “Ideas for Allies” section.
In the “anti-racist” program Disney tells its white employees that, if they are confused because they recently understand the problem of “systemic racism,” they should recognize “that this is probably not new to their Black/African American colleagues.” They should, then, avoid “messages like, ‘I can’t believe this is happening.’ The murders of Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Rayshard Brooks, Adame Traore and countless others are part of a long history of systemic racism and transphobia [in the U.S.].”
Disney asks its white employee “allies” to explain their knowledge to their friends, co-workers, family members, including children and teenagers in order to encourage them to become anti-racist activists.
Elsewhere, the company encourages its white employees to challenge “colorblind ideologies and rhetoric” such as “All Lives Matter” or “I don’t see color.”
In some recommendations the document asks its employees to repent for their white privilege.
Under “Alliances for Racial Awareness,” for example, white employees are urged to “work through feelings of guilt, shame and defensiveness to understand what lies beneath them and what needs to be healed.”
Continuing with the recommendations, Disney emphasizes that black people’s complaints should not be questioned and that neither should black people’s experiences be compared to those of another community. This would be hurtful on the part of white staff and would deny historical racism against blacks.
“Do not question or debate Black colleagues’ lived experience. For example, ‘Are you sure they meant it that way?’ ‘It’s not a race thing,’ or ‘I’m playing devil’s advocate…’ Instead, reserve judgement and offer statements of validation if someone shares their experience.Acknowledge and listen with empathy when Black colleagues share their lived experiences. Avoid saying, ‘I feel you,’ ‘I have been there,’ and instead say ‘I hear you,’ ‘Tell me more about what that felt like.'”This quote belongs to part of the document shared by Disney employees, which is now accused of creating a hostile political environment against whites, as well as segregationist.
Employees denounce racial segregation inside Disney
The rhetoric used in Disney’s anti-racist document is similar to the narrative of radical Marxist groups such as Black Lives Matter. There are employees within the company who feel discriminated against by the company due to the extremism of their inclusive policies and recommendations that end up causing segregation among the staff.
In his article “The Wokest Place on Earth”, Christopher F. Rufo reveals that Disney, in addition to the “Reimagine tomorrow” program, also sponsored the creation of the “21 Day Challenge for Racial Equity and Social Justice” together with the YWCA USA.
The 21-day challenge explains to participants what systemic racism is and urges them to accept that “all have been raised in a society that elevates white culture over others.” Among other things, the challenge also exposes what white privilege is and shows them examples of what “their privilege” is:
“I am white,” “I am heterosexual,” “I am a man,” “I still identify as the gender I was born in,” “I have never been raped,” “I don’t rely on public transportation,” and “I have never been called a terrorist.”
This program appears in a resource guide provided by Disney within the “anti-racist” document. In the material you can read controversial articles, podcasts and books that have been criticized for their radical, segregationist narrative against whites.
The company is also creating “affinity groups” that segregate whites from racial minorities, though not expressly.
Rufo explains that “in the original pitch, the Latino affinity group was called ‘Hola,’ the Asian group ‘Compass’ and the black group ‘Wakanda'” and that these groups are intended, according to Disney, to generate “culturally authentic insights.”
“The racial affinity groups, also called Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs), are technically open to all employees but in practice have become almost entirely segregated by race, with the occasional exception for white “executive champions” who attend on behalf of corporate leadership” the story reads.
“The thing that this company does very well is they know politics, so they leave many things unspoken,” a racial minority Disney employee explained to Rufo. “I don’t think anyone has necessarily even tried to attend something that they would discover that they’re not welcome at.”
One company employee accused Disney of creating a politically hostile environment in recent months by implementing “almost daily memos, suggested readings, panels and seminars that [are] all centered around anti-racism.”
Another employee commented that Disney is “completely ideologically one-sided” and, as the article explains, “actively discourages conservative and Christian employees from expressing their views.”