The trainers then ask “white managers” to create “safe spaces,” where black employees can explain “what it means to be black” and to be “seen in their pain.” White staffers are instructed to keep silent and to “sit in the discomfort” of their racism. If any conflicts arise, the trainers insist that whites “don’t get to decide when someone is being too emotional, too rash [or] too mean.” Whites are told they can’t protest if a person of color “responds to their oppression in a way [they] don’t like.”
Howard Ross, the consultant who created the training, has been a fixture in what might be called the diversity-industrial complex. Since 2006, he has billed the feds more than $5 million for trainings.
In 2011, he billed the General Services Administration $3 million for “consulting services.” NASA coughed up $500,000 for “power and privilege sexual-orientation workshops.”
It is somewhat distasteful but crucially important to note that Ross is a white man. He has a bachelor’s degree in history but pitches himself as an expert in “neuro-cognitive and social-science research” and has spent the past three decades selling the unscientific snake oil of “unconscious bias.”