Lockheed Martin, the aerospace and defense giant known for developing F-35 fighter jets, recently admitted that it has put more than a thousand top employees through training sessions to learn about privileges they supposedly have as white straight males.
Such training sessions, including a three-day “White Men’s Caucus” last June attended by 13 executive-level employees, are mandatory and intended for “Caucasian male executive leaders based on level and position,” according to Jim Taiclet, the company’s CEO.
In a June 4 letter sent to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who expressed concerns about Lockheed Martin’s race-centered training program and requested additional information, Taiclet said that 1,024 employees have attended this type of training since 2007.
Taiclet added that the training course for white male employees is one of the three of a larger program called “Effective Leadership of Inclusive Teams,” and that participants in the other two courses include women and “people of color.”
“Lockheed Martin diversity training fully complies with federal law including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or sex,” the letter reads. “Lockheed Martin based no employment action on the training; no participation in the training was promoted, demoted or terminated based on the training.”
Last week, Cotton sent a letter to Lockheed Martin, demanding information on the company’s white male training. According to documents obtained by City Journal’s Christopher Rufo, participants of the “White Men’s Caucus” engaged in activities over Zoom that included a “free association” exercise in which the term “white men” was associated with “old,” “racist,” “privileged,” “anti-women,” “angry,” “guilty,” “Aryan Nation,” and “KKK.”
The training was led by a Portland, Oregon-based consulting firm White Men As Full Diversity Partners (WMFDP), which describes itself as specialized in helping white male business leaders “challenge their mindsets” and “build culturally competent leadership teams.” Some high-profile clients of the WMFDP include AT&T, Coca-Cola, Dell, ExxonMobil, and NASA, according to the organization’s website.
“This training, if it occurred, appears to violate the principle of equal treatment that is the bedrock of American law, including civil-rights law,” Cotton wrote. “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in particular forbids employers from discriminating on the basis of race and engaging in any activities that ‘limit, segregate, or classify employees.'”
The controversy around race-centered training gained national attention in October 2020, when then-President Donald Trump banned the use of training materials promoting “divisive and harmful sex and race-based ideologies” in federal agencies and federal contractors like Lockheed Martin. President Joe Biden removed the ban upon his inauguration, instead issuing an order stating that his administration would pursue “a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all.”
The Epoch Times has contacted Lockheed Martin for comment.