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Confidential USDA Videos Reveal “Cultural Sensitivity Training” Program

RightMarch February 20, 2013

Judicial Watch reports:

Judicial Watch today released previously unseen USDA videos revealing a compulsory “Cultural Sensitivity Training” program. A whistleblower reported to Judicial Watch that employees were required to bang on tables, chanting in unison “The pilgrims were illegal aliens” while being instructed to no longer use the word “minorities,” but to replace it with “emerging majorities.” Judicial Watch received the videos pursuant to a May 18, 2012, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The sensitivity training sessions, described as “a huge expense” by diversity awareness trainer and self-described “citizen of the world” Samuel Betances, were held on USDA premises. The diversity event is apparently part of what USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack described in a memo sent to all agency employees as a “new era of Civil Rights” and “a broader effort towards cultural transformation at USDA.”  In 2011 and 2012, the USDA paid Betances and his firm nearly $200,000 for their part in the “cultural transformation” program.

USDA Training Administrator, Vincent Loran, in an October 10, 2011, email previously revealed by Judicial Watch, asked Betances for a copy of a training video vowing to keep it secret. “It will not be used for or show [sic] in any way shape or form,” Loran promised.  Nevertheless, Judicial Watch was able to obtain the video.  Highlights from the video of the taxpayer-financed diversity training include:

      • USDA Sensitivity Training Video Excerpt 1“If you take a look at all of you here and you think about your salaries and your benefits and what you have left undone – plus my fee – plus the expense of the team that putting the video together, this is a huge expense.”
      • USDA Sensitivity Training Video Excerpt 2 – “I want you to say that American was founded by outsiders – say that – who are today’s insiders, who are very nervous about today’s outsiders. I want you to say, ‘The pilgrims were illegal aliens.’ Say, ‘The pilgrims never gave their passports to the Indians.’” Betances also asked the audience, “Give me a bam,” after these statements, to which the audience replied in unison.
      • USDA Sensitivity Training Video Excerpt 3By the way, I don’t like the word ‘minorities.’ How about ‘emerging majorities?’”

The complete video is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-CDZGqqYAo

“This USDA diversity training video depicts out-of-control political correctness,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. “Can someone please explain how any of this helps USDA employees to better serve the American taxpayer? This video further confirms that politically-correct diversity training programs are both offensive and a waste of taxpayer money.  No wonder it took over half a year to obtain this video from the Obama administration.”

As reported by Fox News in October, 2012, Judicial Watch first broke the news of the USDA compulsory sensitivity training program based upon information it obtained in response to a FOIA request. That request was prompted by a tip provided to the organization by a USDA whistleblower.

Judicial Watch also previously uncovered information revealing that in April 2011, the USDA had treated 300 of its employees to a taxpayer-funded ‘tasty celebration’ of dishes from around the world, salsa dancing lessons from Vincent Loran, and a rap performance by a USDA employee who shared his feelings on human differences.

To see all documents regarding this investigation please click here.

To see this in our Investigative Bulletin please click here.

 

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