JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle training tells minority staff their internal racism pushes white supremacy

Aug 31, 2021, 2:51 PM | Updated: Sep 1, 2021, 8:07 am
A screenshot of Seattle city government training, offered by the Office of Civil Rights....
A screenshot of Seattle city government training, offered by the Office of Civil Rights.

Some staffers with the City of Seattle are outraged and disgusted by racist training offered by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

City employees received an invitation to OCR training called “Internalized Racial Inferiority” as part of the department’s radical Racial and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI).

The three-hour-long anti-racist training claims racial minorities hold internalized racism, which contributes to white supremacy. But staff, particularly Black police officers, said the training is racist and demeaning.

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Internalized racism and white supremacy in Seattle

A screenshot of Seattle city government training.

OCR emailed city staff an event invite for an online, afternoon session to discuss “ways to identify and counter internalized racial oppression.”

According to a screenshot of the event invite acquired by the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, the training says employees will explore “the process which American conditioning, socialization and history leads People of Color to internalize racialized beliefs, ideas and behaviors about themselves, undergirding the power of White Supremacy.”

Who should attend this training on Sept. 8? OCR says it’s for people of color.

Understanding the fringe training

The RSJI’s goal is to “end institutionalized racism and race-based disparities” within Seattle city government. It tries to accomplish this through left-wing training sessions based on critical race theory.

According to the RSJI, there are 10 “truths” that must be accepted.

The department argues that colonialism is at the root of white supremacy and that “government is established through colonialism and has created and continues to maintain racism.”

It says that government has the “responsibility” to adopt left-wing anti-racist views. RSJI believes city employees should “understand, challenge and work to dismantle racism and replace it with an anti-racist reality in which we all can thrive.”

The document also states that internalized racism, the subject of the training, impacts everyone. It says,  “how we internalize other forms of oppression – colonialism, sexism, classism, Christian dominance, heterosexism, ableism, nationalism, elitism and more – affects our internalization of racism and how we move through the world.”

Internalized inferiority is a way to change staffers’ worldview

RSJI says internalized racism is one of four types of racist beliefs. A sub-concept with this type is “internal racial inferiority.”

The agency defines it as an “acceptance and acting out of an inferior definition of self, rooted in the historical designation of oneʼs race.” It argues that a person of color suffering from this racist belief system engages in “self-defeating behaviors” like “ethno-centrism, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity.”

But this really is about changing a person of color’s worldview. Anything that a minority staffer might think must be formed around anti-racism. If it’s not, then you’re considered self-hating. The only way out of that cycle of self-hate is to adopt left-wing policies, which you’ll learn at this training.

Update: OCR responds (09-01-21 at 8:07am)

OCR responded Tuesday afternoon with a statement.

Notifications for Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) trainings are sent out by email through City listservs. Trainings by RSJI are open to all City staff and are readily available in the City’s training and learning center, Cornerstone. No one is required to attend the trainings offered by RSJI; they are completely voluntary. The goal of the Internalized Racial Inferiority and Internalized Racial Superiority trainings are to provide a carefully designed educational space for City employees with varying and diverse racial identities to deepen their understanding of systemic racism and learn about the roles they can play in advancing racial equity. The trainings are led and guided by RSJI staff.

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Rantz: Seattle training tells minority staff their internal racism pushes white supremacy