A former university professor and administrator recently warned about the lucrative “racism racket.”
Joanna Williams said “the anti-racism training industry does little to improve outcomes for [black, Asian and other minorities] and, worse, breathes new life back into racial thinking.”
“[M]ounting evidence points to workplace diversity training actually having unintended negative consequences,” the former lecturer and director of the University of Kent’s Centre for the Study of Higher Education said in her essay in Spiked. Williams is an editor for the publication and works at Civitas, a think tank that recently released a report on anti-bias and racism training.
This has not stopped the “racket,” Williams said.
The diversity industry has become a global phenomenon, extending its reach to many millions of citizens, with online courses targeting many more. In many schools, universities and workplaces, attendance at anti-racism workshops is mandatory – or effectively mandatory when non-attendance makes your position untenable.
“Diversity training is a massive industry,” Williams said. “But not only does it make little difference to either social equality or workplace relations — it may actually make things worse.”
Successful entrepreneurs like Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X Kendi in the US, and Reni Eddo-Lodge and Afua Hirsch in the UK, earn vast sums of money through books and workshops. One investigation claims that DiAngelo ‘has likely made over $2 million from her book’, but that ‘the speaking circuit is where she is cleaning up… [A] 60-90 minute keynote would run to $30,000, a two-hour workshop $35,000, and a half-day event $40,000.’ It goes on to note: ‘Ibram X Kendi, whose book has jockeyed with DiAngelo’s on the bestseller list, charges $150 for tickets to public events and $25,000 for a one-hour presentation… Former Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has charged between $30,000 and $40,000 for public lectures.’
“Sitting below these elite hustlers come myriad academics, experts and workplace trainers who make money from race,” Williams said.
IMAGE: Paolo Schorli / Shutterstock.com
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