Diversity

National Nuclear Lab's Employees Sent to Seminar That Claimed 'Rugged Individualism' and 'Hard Work' Are 'White Male Culture'

The seminar for Sandia Labs executives also involved writing apology letters to marginalized people.

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The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. found itself in a small scandal last month after visitors to its website discovered an infographic that listed "hard work" and "rational thought" as traits of white culture. The crude stereotypes drew well-deserved derision.

It's not just the museum. Last year, Sandia National Laboratories, a federal contractor responsible for building the U.S.'s nuclear weapons, sent its executives to mandatory diversity training with the White Men's Caucus on Eliminating Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in Organizations. This group's educational materials—which were obtained by Christopher Rufo, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation—include many of the same racial stereotypes. As Rufo writes, participants were told that the "roots of white male culture"

consists of "rugged individualism," "a can-do attitude," "hard work," and "striving towards success"—which sound good, but are in fact "devastating" to women and POCs.

In fact, the trainers claim that "white male culture" leads to "lowered quality of life at work and home, reduced life expectancy, unproductive relationships, and high stress." It also forces this "white male standard" on women and minorities.

The seminar also asked white males to recite a series of "white privilege statements" and "male privilege statements." It concluded with its white male participants writing letters of apology to marginalized people whom they may have harmed, according to Rufo, who made the documents available on his website.

A spokesperson for Sandia Labs tells Reason that inclusion and diversity are "defining elements" of its culture, which "welcomes multiple perspectives, promotes different working styles and leads to the innovation in science, engineering and technology for which we are known." Sandia would not specifically confirm that the seminar took place, though Rufo's documents include a list of participants and discussion leaders (with their actual identities redacted).

Rufo wants to "we must pass legislation to 'abolish critical race theory' in the federal government." (Strictly speaking, Sandia Labs is not a branch of the federal government—though it does have a .gov website, and draws most of its funding from government grants.) Personally, I'm not keen to involve the White House or to launch a congressional investigation into such a trivial matter. (Sorry, Sen. Hawley!) That said, these sorts of training sessions are indeed a waste of time and money: Modules designed to identify and reduce bias are frequently shown to be flawed, resting on poorly tested and unscientific ideas and research.

It would be encouraging if all the negative attention currently being paid to these trainings resulted in less work for diversity consultants. In any case, let's hope the people responsible for the nuclear arsenal were not persuaded that hard work and rational thought are bad things.

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  1. Maoist struggle sessions.

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  2. i got some white male privileged statements for them.

    1. Me too (no hashtag)
      Most of them could be described as “two word phrases” – – – – – – – –

      1. “Make Sandwich”?

        1. Bring beer.

          1. Smoke weed.

            1. Party on!

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    2. “it is my honor and privilege as an American, to tell you worthless little guilt-peddling commie pricks to so suck Karl Marx’s dead cock. I have a clear conscience.”

      -jcr

      1. mostly this.

  3. You acknowledge the training is stupid, pointless and a waste of time and money. Congressional or executive action is the only thing that will get the Federal government to stop wasting tax money on it. Why aren’t you keen on that happening?

    1. The government isn’t wasting money on it. At least, not in this particular article. It’s a private company wasting the money. Public ridicule should be enough to get private companies to stop.

      Even better, though, would be better publication of the study that showed rather conclusively that these kinds of “diversity” trainings backfire, creating greater intolerance and less diversity in the affected workforce.

      1. It’s a private company wasting the money.

        That’s not true since the government if funding it with grants. Prohibiting spending federal grant money on such lunacy seems fine.

        1. Hey who pays the piper calls the tune.

          Whether Executive or Legislative, someone at the Federal level needs to make it clear that this is not to paid for out of taxpayer money.

        2. I think you’re misreading the situation. While Sandia Labs gets some of its funding from federal grants, the grants are for actual research based on specific grant proposals. There are no grants (federal or otherwise) received for the purpose of “diversity” training. This is entirely a self-inflicted wound by management.

          1. I have it on the authority of Chocolate Jesus himself that the FedGov can change policy simply by penning a ‘Dear Colleagues’ letter.

          2. Sandia is a “national” lab. I don’t see how you can say that “no grants” are used for “diversity” training.

            At best, that’s iffy.

      2. Private company can not selectively treat white employees different than their other employees. this is racism to white people and needs to be stopped. I hope someone sues their ass off for this bullshit.

        1. It seems to me that it’s also quite racist against everyone else to suggest that ‘hard work’ and ‘rational thought’ are not in their range of natural abilities. Not to mention sexist.

          Were non-whites and non-males forced to attend these struggle sessions, or just the cis white oppressor class?

          1. Well, duh! Haha.

            Guilt pimps have a targeted audience. As do grievance pimps.

  4. So every company should be striving to hire more white men, that is what I am taking from the message. Or do you want lazy quitters who stop whatever they are doing as soon as the clock hits 5?

    1. No, if you parse the maze of stupidity, you can see the logic:

      * White men are smart and work hard
      * This is white privilege
      * This is oppression against women and minorities
      * Women and minorities must therefore be stupid and lazy
      * This explanation is stupid, irrational, and lazy
      * Therefore we are not white males
      * Therefore we are woke

    2. That’s what I don’t get. So many of these people seem to be white supremacists. They decry every positive attribute and declare it “white culture”. I genuinely have heard less extreme views from avowed racists. At least they acknowledge that other cultures exist and work hard.

      1. Saw this posted here the other week. Seems appropriate:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev373c7wSRg

    3. the funny thing is they keep telling us we need more brown people because white people are to lazy to do the jobs. these two truths can not simultainiously exist

      1. We do need more brown people. To pick crops. And be victims. Not to work in nuclear labs.

        The dem plantation does have rules, after all.

        Haha.

  5. So employees are left with a choice. Take the training and laugh about it later or do not take the training and get fired.

    Anyway the point is not to teach anything of value. That would be simple if you just showed examples of various forms of racial discrimination and asked your employees not to do that.

    No this is to destroy a culture and utterly beat it down so it won’t fight back. Those soon to be in power don’t want to give it up any longer. They want you docile.

  6. Let’s be clear: those methods are lifted DIRECTLY from the brainwashing methods of, captives in Korea and Vietnam. They get you to say a “Truth” over and over again. They get you to write messages to yourself or your country over and over again. They do this because when you yourself give action to these thoughts, it is very difficult for you to later say it wasn’t you writing those words. You don’t remember so much of the duress you were under, but rather remember yourself writing the words.

    1. A lot of scientific fields have a predominantly male but not all white staff. There are probably quite a few Asian guys and Asian American guys who either have personal experience with communism or their families did/do. I wonder what they think when they see this go down.

      1. They know it’s bullshit. They want to get along well at work, so they keep their mouths shut until they get home at night. Then, they laugh hysterically with their spouses, as they recall the nonsense that corporate America sometimes engages in. Then, later on, after they’ve had dinner and watched the news with their significant other, the put on their headphones, turn the volume way, way high, and listen to Tom Petty’s Don’t Have to LIve Like a “Refugee.”

        1. Tom petty?

          Dude. No.

  7. persuausion.community has a great podcast where Yascha Mounck interviews a guy who did research on the effectiveness of diversity training.
    Apparently what works is to make a workplace team of managers, hand them their demographic statistics and see what they think. Most of them, when they see disparities, can then come up with solutions which are tailored to their organization.

    What doesn’t work is what they put Sandia through. Apparently when they feel or are punished, businesses and organizations are no more diverse a few years later. When they are presented with something to solve, the team format takes responsibility for their data and usually works to improve outcomes – recruit more people of color, set up internship programs, look at who gets promoted, etc. Then measurable change occurs toward equitable balance.

    1. Considering the gravity of their work, why should nuclear weapons scientists spend ANY time ‘addressing racial disparities?’

      We can call it ‘diversity training’ or ‘team feeling and racial harmony exercises’ or ‘struggle sessions,’ but it all sounds like Affirmative Action, or racist promotion and hiring practices.

      What, exactly, is ‘racially equitable’ in a for-profit business? Why should businesses feel it necessary to act against their own best interests and be ‘more diverse’ and/or recruit more ‘people of color’ if they’re simply not qualified? Merely because somewhere in their past, the terminally aggrieved potential new-hires encountered racism…like we all have? Why take two less-accomplished scientists of a given race and promote them over a more qualified scientist of another race? Seems much simpler and cost-effective to hire good leaders and ultimately trust them to select the best person for the job. Set standards and hire or promote those who meet them.

      Instead of skin color, in a for-profit business I’d be far more concerned with hiring and promoting people who understand the following:
      1. What do we sell?
      2. How do we sell more of it?

      Instead of skin color, in the nuclear weapons business I’d be far more concerned with:
      1. In the extremely unfortunate event we actually feel compelled to use them, will these weapons work?
      2. How do we make them safe (as possible) from accidental detonation?

    2. Most of them, when they see disparities, can then come up with solutions which are tailored to their organization.

      Yascha Mounck solved racial disparities on his podcast and nobody noticed? Seems unlikely.

      1. Seems plausible once you consider that his solution does nothing to enrich the grievance mongers. Anything that works, but does not serve their interests, would either be studiously ignored or openly denigrated.

    3. What works and what doesn’t work is entirely up to the goals of the task.
      If you think the goals are racisl harmony or tolerance, you’re wrong

  8. Rufo wants to “we must pass legislation to ‘abolish critical race theory’ in the federal government.”?

    1. Yeah, that needs clarification. I agree that critical theory needs to be abolished as it is complete Marxist horse shit, but that incoherent sentence looks like a copy/pasta mistake.

      1. My pasta mistakes usually involve boiling too long. It’s almost impossible to boil too short if you test it right before pouring through the colander.

  9. the “roots of white male culture” consists of “rugged individualism,” “a can-do attitude,” “hard work,” and “striving towards success”

    All of which results in the “privileges” that everyone else keeps bitching about.

    1. Teddy Roosevelt is Satan?

  10. Experts in the nuclear industry, like Homer Simpson, have long claimed that rugged individualism and hard work are oppressive. I’m glad the industry is finally listening to the experts on this.

    From now on, I bet these nuclear laboratories get only glowing reports.

    1. this movement toward inclusiveness could mushroom

      1. Maybe we should call you two Fat Man and Little Boy.

        1. Enola Gay,
          Bombs Away,

          1. All we need is a critical mass of wokeness.

  11. Last year, Sandia National Laboratories, a federal contractor responsible for building the U.S.’s nuclear weapons, sent its executives to mandatory diversity training

    Do they get any training in handling nuclear material?

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  13. It may be a bad thing to encourage less rationality in a company of nuclear scientists and engineers.

    1. Certainly makes They claim that white men benefit from positive stereotypes that “far outweigh the Tim McVeighs and Ted Kaczynskis of white maleness.” seem pretty ridiculous, if not dangerously, tone deaf.

      1. Racial Sensitivity Training Teaches Nuclear Scientists “Edison’s Contributions To Modern Society Shouldn’t Outweigh Tim McVeigh’s”

        1. You are so incredibly woke!

      2. It does take hard work to properly mix a truckload of ANFO.

  14. “It concluded with its white male participants writing letters of apology to marginalized people whom they may have harmed, according to Rufo, who made the documents available on his website.”

    Dear Marginalized Peoples,

    Fuck off and drink bleach.

    Cordially,

    An American White Man.

    1. Bleach? That makes things white! Do you even woke?

    2. I don’t want marginalized people to fuck off, just the White Men’s Caucus on Eliminating Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in Organizations and everyone like them.

      My apology letter would look like this:

      Dear Marginalized People,

      I’m sorry the White Men’s Caucus on Eliminating Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in Organizations thinks you’re too lazy and stupid to achieve anything on your own.

      I’m sorry that the White Men’s Caucus on Eliminating Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in Organizations is so racist and sexist that it believes white males are the cause of all your problems.

      I’m sorry that Sandia is so stupid that it thought hiring the White Men’s Caucus on Eliminating Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in Organizations would help them with their primary mission of building the U.S.’s nuclear weapons in a safe and responsible manner.

      I’m sorry that the White Men’s Caucus on Eliminating Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in Organizations thinks values such as “rugged individualism,” “a can-do attitude,” “hard work,” and “striving towards success” are unacceptable for a company that builds nuclear weapons.

      I’m sorry that I was made to attend this bullshit seminar.

      Sincerely,

      A white male that the White Men’s Caucus on Eliminating Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in Organizations thinks is superior to you in every way.

  15. It would be really funny if some of the people made to go to this sued the company for racial and sex discrimination due to its apparent racist and sexist content.

    I still have to laugh that this supposedly anti discrimination group are actually promoting that women and minorities cannot he expected to have rational thou ghb ts to thg he same extent as white men. Progressive thinking has come full circle.

  16. It’s bizarre the voices I hear more and more often speaking against individualism.

    If you want to sign up for the hive mind, go ahead. Leave me out of it.

    1. Unfortunately, that is not a concept acceptable to give minds.

    2. It’s intentional and part of the Bolshevism playbook.

  17. Leftists want to redefine everything, so just break their definitions. If thinking Aunt Jemima pancakes are tasty and liking her portrait makes me a racist, then I am a racist. Start calling yourself what they claim you are and don’t treat it with the meaning they intended for it. You have nothing to worry about except being ostracized by these people and that’s already happening to you, so stop wasting your time caring and fuck with these people as much as possible.

  18. “rugged individualism,” “a can-do attitude,” “hard work,” and “striving towards success”—which sound good, but are in fact “devastating” to women and POCs.

    Good god this is insulting to so many good people. My sincere hope is that women and non-white people in general realize that he woke left considers them somehow genetically incapable of having ambition, talent and dedication. Maybe then theses idiots will start getting called out for their bigotry.

    1. “Good god this is insulting to so many good people. My sincere hope is that women and non-white people in general realize that he woke left considers them somehow genetically incapable of having ambition, talent and dedication. Maybe then theses idiots will start getting called out for their bigotry.”

      But if YOU are getting a free ride out of it, where’s the incentive to do otherwise.
      That fact that sloth is promoted in a major government installation should be a cause for an audit and sacking of those who proposed such bullshit.

      1. Sevo, you of all people should be aware (based on the tone of your usual comments) that all major government installations promote sloth and that such an attitude is usually cause for a promotion rather than an audit and being sacked.

  19. It seems sort of racist and sexist. My understanding is that they are asserting that it is unreasonable to expect people who are not White males to be punctual, precise, or to work without close supervision.

    I notice that they do not seem to be saying that the design and manufacture of nuclear bomb components can be satisfactorily accomplished by a workforce held to lower standards of precision or performance.

  20. If you believe “hard work” is white male culture wouldn’t you want all your employees to be white males?

    1. A long time ago I was looking for a job in Maryland and all or most of the organizations had at the end of their job ad, “Women and minorities encouraged to apply.” I wanted to work for a successful organization so I didn’t apply.

  21. The only way everyone will ever be equal is if we can all be coerced to perform at the level of the lowest common denominator.

    That’s not progress.

    1. Rob Misek
      August.13.2020 at 7:32 pm
      “The only way everyone will ever be equal is if we can all be coerced to perform at the level of the lowest common denominator.
      That’s not progress.”

      Agreed.
      So you propose to kill the Jews, asshole?

      1. the definition of “troll”.

        “ In Internet slang, a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses[2] and normalizing tangential discussion,[3] whether for the troll’s amusement or a specific gain.”

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

        1. ^ The definition of a bigoted ignoramus.

  22. explains why everyone else is poor

  23. “Personally, I’m not keen to involve the White House or to launch a congressional investigation into such a trivial matter.”

    This doesn’t seem trivial at all.

    1. A group walked in to a government funded nuclear research facility and told trained the engineers and employees there that “Tim McVeigh and Ted Kaczynski’s contributions to modern society should be equal to Einstein and Edison’s.”

      At the very least it seems like the FBI should check to be sure they aren’t working through their own manifesto or something.

  24. Heaven help us when the next war comes if we don’t have ” “rugged individualism,” “a can-do attitude,” “hard work,” and “striving towards success””. Rolling over and letting the Chineese take over is not how I plan to spend my final years.

    1. The “next”war?

      Have you admitted defeat in the cancel culture war?

      Heaven isn’t helping.

  25. What makes one think Sandia Labs did this on it’s own and not at the behest of some government bureau? They’re reliant on tax dollars and some idiot at EEOC says “Jump”, they jump. I disagree this should be ignored by Congress. You want hate crimes? These are hate crimes.

  26. To be fair, if I could spew bullshit and insults to a bunch of high-powered executives, and persuade them to pay me big bucks for it, I, too, might come to doubt the value of hard work.

    1. ^^PERFECTLY STATED..

  27. Meh you know why the folks in ties and suites do this. Nothing to do with reality or getting the job done.

    F*ing lawyers.

  28. So they imply that white male culture us superior?

  29. I would to see the name of the person who developed this course. Not to dox them but to again see if cultural marxist stereotypes are true…ha ha

    When I checked the women who developed this type of theory for the AA Museum I was…not surprised. Cultural marxists have been at war with Americans of European stock for decades…they pushed this crap in the universities and media and govt…

  30. At least one good thing, these diversity trainers probably did a shitty job of it. I mean, we know they weren’t working hard or striving for success, right? Start the meeting late, screw around a bit, knock off for a long lunch break, half-ass it for the rest of the afternoon, knock off early, call it a success. Unless they’re fucking hypocrites, in which case you can ignore everything they said because they were lying about it.

  31. tell me why stone age cultures are praised and modernity is condemned.

    1. It seems to start with Rousseau’s writings.

  32. Is anyone increasing their contributions as a result of the new WHAT THE HELL IS THAT TAG LINE MEAN?
    Welsh, you are a fucking pathetic manager. Yes, I got the request from Brit regarding your efforts; I avoided it until now.
    Fuck you, Welsh! Take a job flipping burgers; it’s the limit of your abilities.

  33. I am a attending a new employee orientation today. This makes me wonder if I should bring my own self-flagellation scourges, or will they be provided?

    By the end of the day, don’t be surprised if I have reported all of you to the Ministry of Re-education.

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    1. “…these sorts of training sessions are indeed a waste of time and money.”

      Umm, these types of training seminars pose more trouble for our country than wasted time and money.

      1. A waste of taxpayers money to be exact.

  35. When dealing with these people you just need to know the magic phrase.

    “How dare you use your privilege to assume I am white. I have done the work; what about you?”

    Their brains will short out faster than a rouge AI in Star Trek.

    1. Rogue AI*

  36. People who enroll in grievance studies tend to be stupid, lazy, and completely unequipped to compete with actually talented people of any race or gender. These “training” sessions are designed to make the world friendly to their kind and hostile to everyone else by redefining stupidity, laziness, and groupthink as virtues. No intelligent person with self-respect can willingly agree to this rubbish. Submitting to this is humiliating to anyone with a working brain. That’s the point. These people can’t compete otherwise. If intelligence, hard work, and skill are the desired attributes, these people will always be picked last.

  37. 2+2=5 is not rocket science, is not nuclear physics, nor is it brain surgery.

    1. Nope, it’s progress!

  38. I look forward to traveling over bridges designed and constructed using non-rigorous engineering techniques. Not to mention the joy of air travel……..

  39. If a person held a seminar for their POC employees and told them they were lazy and shouldn’t work hard etc… what do you think the out cry would be. this is no different then what they are trying to do to white people and its racist and should not be tolerated in public or private corporations. it is literally reverse racism which is illegal as regular racism

  40. More evidence that white males are superior to other people. Thanks for doing the research, Lefties!

  41. Guess the demographic of people that come to a website arguing for Reason.

  42. At this point in my life (when I can afford it), if I was asked to go through such a “Maoist struggle session” (Credit to RA’s Al Gore) were they humiliate and torture you (as Wikipedia states), I’d be sure throw a lot of cold water on the leader of the session such as:

    Isn’t there a hierarchy of races and their privilege, and can you explain it? Followed by:
    Aren’t you being racist claiming some races are privileged and others aren’t?
    Can’t you get some black people to write to me about their black privilege as well? Followed by:
    No? Are you saying they are incapable of writing? Or are you saying Oprah and with her billions, she’s not privileged?
    My dad was a janitor, and my mom was a cleaning lady, and you’re calling me privileged is harassment and bullying. I’m going to HR to report you. Everyone else here will back me up, because they saw what you said.
    You’re calling poor white people privileged is cruel, mean, and nasty and you’re harming me as a result of your words, so I’m justified in using violence to stop you. If you continue, I’m going to sue you and whomever hired you.

  43. The “bullshit culture” persists. And don’t complain or you wil be cancelled.

  44. A compulsory sexist and racist indoctrination seminar at a nuclear lab is not a “trivial matter.”

  45. If you’re a white male and subject to his, why not just identify as a POC?

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