‘Be Less White’: Coca-Cola Faces Backlash for Giving Wypipo Wonderful Advice in Diversity Training Program

Illustration for article titled ‘Be Less White’: Coca-Cola Faces Backlash for Giving Wypipo Wonderful Advice in Diversity Training Program
Photo: John Bazemore (AP)

“Be less white.”

If it were up to me, this would be America’s motto. Instead of the Pledge of Allegiance, children in school should stand up before class, put their hands over their hearts and shout “BE LESS WHITE” at the flag for five minutes before beginning the day’s lessons. (I’m old AF and I have no idea if students even have to say the pledge before school anymore, but still.) “Be less white” should be printed on t-shirts, bumper stickers, white people’s birth certificates, white people’s tombstones and it should replace “In God We Trust” on the back of U.S. currency.


“Be less white” is the ultimate anti-MAGA slogan and maybe that’s why conservatives across the country got their tighty-whities all in a bunch after learning that soft drink giant Coca-Cola had included in its workplace anti-racism training tips to help white employees to be “less white, less arrogant, less certain, less defensive, less ignorant and more humble”—in other words, they wanted Hell to just go ahead and freeze over.

Newsweek reports that the conservative meltdown over the three words that the vast majority of people of color want to be stenciled on their beer mugs started with some right-wing YouTube-ologist named Karen Boy-sitcho-ass-down—sorry, I read that wrong—Karlyn Borysenko. Borysenko—who is an advocate for banning critical race theory from, well, existence, I’m guessing—tweeted on Friday images screenshot by someone she called an “internal whistleblower.” (Apparently, conservatives think this is some “Deep Throat” Watergate shit, and not just a bunch of whiney-ass white people getting all butthurt over the truth about themselves being included in a corporation’s diversity training program.)

“In the U.S. and other Western nations, white people are socialized to feel that they are inherently superior because they are white,” one screenshot read. “Research shows that by age 3 to 4, children understand that it is better to be white.”

I’m not even sure what research is being cited here—because I don’t think the encyclopedia of shit Black people have been saying for 400 years exists—but it’s correct, and white people would agree if they were, well, less white.

“Be less white”—besides being a sentence I imagine is written several times on Rachel Dolezal’s vision board—is simply a call for white people to understand that in America and in the Western world, whiteness represents the default for social and cultural normalcy. America’s love for its traditional image (whiteness) is the reason Black people are disproportionately vulnerable to racial profiling, police brutality, housing discrimination, hiring discrimination, redlining, mass incarceration, lack of educational resources and, of course, workplace racism—a thing white employees tend to be oblivious of, indifferent to and/or complicit in.


Anyway, according to the New York Post, the “Confronting Racism” course Coca-Cola used was provided by LinkedIn Education, but because the whole thing turned into whiney-wypipo-gate, LinkedIn announced Monday that it removed the course from its platform. I just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out that the decision was made amid backlash and boycott calls coming from people who pretend “cancel culture” is real and a thing that is exclusive to the “snowflake” left.

Side note: I also wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention that Candace Owens—the poster child for Black people who could stand to “be less white”—also complained like the Karen-noir negro she is.


A spokesperson for Coca-Cola explained to Newsweek that the course is “part of a learning plan to help build an inclusive workplace,” and that “the video circulating on social media is from a publicly available LinkedIn Learning series and is not a focus of our company’s curriculum.”


“Our Better Together global learning curriculum is part of a learning plan to help build an inclusive workplace,” the spokesperson continued. “It is comprised of a number of short vignettes, each a few minutes long. The training includes access to LinkedIn Learning on a variety of topics, including on diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Coca-Cola also told Newsweek that the training wasn’t a requirement for employees, although Borysenko—the Niagara Falls of white tears—claims she’s heard from multiple employees who said it was mandatory.


So, to summarize: White people responded to the words “be less white” by being the whitest, most whitey-fied advocates for Caucasian-ary and honky-cidal nonsense they could possibly be.

If you ever find yourself thinking, “Well, at least they couldn’t possibly be any more white,” be prepared for white people to respond, “hold my beer.”


But they won’t have the right beer mugs.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons



Seems like a fitting place to drop this: