Fourth-grade slavery and anti-anti-discrimination training
To the editor:
Please do not judge too harshly the teacher in Watertown who had white students bid to buy black students as slaves. The exercise reminds me of an affirmative action activity in my workplace many years ago.
To illustrate prejudice, we blue-eyed people were to be mistreated by everyone else. This exercise completely disrupted the workplace. No work was being accomplished. The woman who conducted the exercise was a nationally known affirmative action trainer who was known for using this lesson. It did not work with our close-knit group of engineers with graduate degrees. We “picked-on people” could not understand why the others went along with the rules of the stupid “game.” Why would the company support such a game? Work production came to a stop. There were hard feelings among formerly friendly co-workers.
After several days, management realized they had to do something to mend the rift. So, we had anti-anti-discrimination training to heal the hard feelings. Gradually the things went back to normal.