Army Says Diversity Training Sent Wrong Signal

Tom Vanden Brook, USA Today, April 3, 2015

Army officials are investigating a diversity training briefing at Fort Gordon, Ga., in which a slide about “white privilege” was inappropriately shown to soldiers, according to an Army spokeswoman

The Equal Opportunity briefing took place Thursday for about 400 soldiers of the 67th Signal Battalion, Capt. Lindsay Roman, an Army spokeswoman, said Friday. The slide titled “The Luxury of Obliviousness” has bullet-point items about “white privilege.”

One item reads, “Race privilege gives whites little reason to pay a lot of attention to African Americans or to how white privilege affects them. ‘To be white in America means not having to think about it.’ ”


The presentation was not authorized, nor was it part of the standard slides shown to soldiers, Roman said.

“The unit (Equal Opportunity) instructor deviated from the authorized topic and content which was provided,” Roman said. “To prevent further instances, all unit instructors will receive additional training on the importance of following Army EO training requirements.”

The slide appears to have been adapted from work by Allan Johnson, a sociologist and author, according to Wayne Hall, an Army spokesman. Johnson, in an email, said the concept is consistent with his work. Although he noted that part of the quote should be attributed to author James Baldwin.


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