An internal program at Verizon teaches that the United States is fundamentally racist and pushes employees to support far-left movements, including “defunding the police,” a new report revealed on Wednesday.
According to documents obtained by journalist Christopher F. Rufo from a whistleblower at the company, Verizon launched its “Race & Social Justice” initiative in 2020, which adopts several lessons based in critical race theory, including “system racism,” “white fragility,” and “intersectionality.”
The “antiracism” program includes an interview between Verizon vice president David Hubbard and Khalil Muhammad, a professor of race at Harvard. Muhammad argued that the United States is fundamentally racist and is in need of a “new origin story” that ditches the idea of “American exceptionalism.” He asserted that the Founding Fathers built a slave economy which led to “economic incentives” that exploit “poor people in low-income communities” that still thrive to this day.
“This isn’t just Marxist talking points,” Muhammad said. “It’s just the fact.”
According to Muhammad, American law enforcement is used to uphold a “two-tier society,” enforce geographic segregation and maintain the “wealth gap” between black and white Americans. He said policing is used to “criminalize poverty,” which he called “the bread and butter of systemic racism.”
Verizon also hosted Adrian Burrell, an activist who advocated for “defunding the police.” Burrell told Verizon employees, “I feel like over-policing doesn’t work. And I feel like those same resources that are aimed towards hiring [police officers] with racist biases . . . need to be aimed at bringing more resources to the community at a root level, and then you just won’t need so many police.”
“If you want to call that ‘abolishing the police,’ or if you want to call that ‘defunding the police,’ so be it,” he added.
The leading training module, titled “Conscious Inclusion & Anti-Racism, asks Verizon employees to break down their racial and sexual identities, at which point they find out where they fall on the “privilege” hierarchy. The employees are told to engage in a lifelong “anti-racism journey” and are asked to officially list for the company their “race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, religion, education, profession, and sexual orientation” before determining if they are an “oppressor” or “oppressed.”
In one video presentation called “Let’s talk about privilege,” former Global Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer Ramcess Jean-Louis claims, “As a black man in [America], we are viewed as less than. We are viewed as inferior. We are viewed that our life is not as valuable as anyone else.”
The video accuses “weaponized White privilege” of causes that gave “danger” for black Americans before Jean-Louis adds, “If we are not being viewed as humans, if we’re not being viewed as whole people with souls, these things happen and they will continue to happen.”
The training also involves instructions on engaging in “conversation about race” and explains that employees should not “microaggressions” or “microinequities,” which are outlined as “indirect expressions of racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, or another form of prejudice” that are “seemingly innocuous” and “unconscious or subtle,” but make those of certain racial and sexual groups “feel different, violated, or unsafe.”
The Verizon program asserts that “privileged” employees must engage in a “lifelong process” of being accountable to “marginalized individuals.”