Walgreens stocks up on unconscious bias training for its retail war against racism

Special to WorldTribune.com, March 7, 2021

Corporate WATCH

Commentary by Joe Schaeffer

As major brand-name corporations seek to outdo each other in pursuing the Shining Path of Wokeness these days, working conditions are becoming truly Maoist.

A leading acolyte of the “movement” (their word) is Walgreens, the pharmacy chain that has some 9,000 outlets throughout the U.S.

Please consider avoiding doing business with them after reading this pathetic account.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is the full parent name of what is very much a multi-national corporate entity. This came about after the December 2014 merger between Walgreens and European pharmacy chain Alliance Boots. Whether the Cultural Marxist rot infesting the company today owes a debt to its Euro roots or was an inevitable result of the disturbing trends in America’s corporate culture, the fact is Walgreens has become one of the most leftist retail goliaths in existence in 2021.

In September, the company issued what amounts to a Corporate Manifesto Against Racism in Retail. From the introduction by Retail Week, a UK-based retail trade magazine:

In RWRC Be Inspired’s first column, Walgreens Boots Alliance senior director of diversity and inclusion Fiona Ibáñez-Major reflects on what the racial pandemic has taught the business, steps being taken to drive real change and how others in the industry must follow suit.

Yes, this Walgreens exec specifically refers to a “racial pandemic” affecting the West (bold added throughout this column):

In light of the racial pandemic, over the past few months we’ve seen an increased focus on the racial equity movement at all levels, and retail has not been immune to a hard look in the mirror.

We are intent on seizing this seminal moment to create lasting and meaningful change across the business, and we have strong foundations from which to build. At WBA we’ve been taking this time not only to listen and learn, but to act.

Ominous-sounding “Listening Sessions” are a part of Walgreens’ approach:

Listening sessions throughout the summer with colleagues across the business have helped shape a better collective understanding and, in August, our Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Business Resource Group hosted a “Race at Work” event where key concepts like privilege and systemic racism were discussed.

Ibáñez-Major states that the goal is “to create a truly anti-racist culture.”

She makes it clear that this is truly an ideological struggle that Walgreens is pursuing:

From a people perspective, personal accountability for continuous education is key. We have rolled out further unconscious bias e-learning and inclusive leadership training to assist in the recognition and management of internalised prejudice and embed change from within.

While unconscious bias training has a place – we know it’s not enough. We’ve been working with our learning and development teams to craft comprehensive learning that goes deeper into building allyship and mitigating the risk of systemic inequalities.

In an official corporate posting, Walgreens makes clear that it sees itself as an active part of a “movement”:

Following the racial equality movement that’s helping to eradicate racism around the world, we are continuing to listen to the experiences, views and feelings of our Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues and customers. As a force for good, we are using these insights to develop an action plan that will help us enforce permanent changes within our organisation.

Walgreens’ 2018-19 Diversity and Inclusion Report highlights the company’s Orwellian commitment to “Unconscious Bias Training” as a valuable tool in the fight “for good.” The bluntness of the desire to control the minds of employees is astonishing:

Unconscious Bias Training

WBA has begun a companywide training program for team members to understand unconscious biases that underlie beliefs and attitudes that may need changing. Our policies strictly prohibit any form of discrimination or racial profiling and the program reinforces the commitment to provide extraordinary care to our customers…. Walgreens launched the Strengthening Care in our Communities initiative that comprises a three-hour training session for store management teams to ensure team members gain a common understanding and language to talk about unconscious bias and a platform to do so. At the end of fiscal 2019, over 57,000 Walgreens store employees had completed the training.

It would follow, then, that Walgreens would support brainwashing young kids with Cultural Marxism as well. A post on the corporate website touts its WE Teachers initiative:

WE Teachers, a program made possible by Walgreens and WE, has new resources available to boost inclusion efforts in the classroom and help marginalized students feel more understood. This module was created in conjunction with Mental Health America.

“Modules” and “curricula” are developed accordingly:

Last year, through WE Teachers, we partnered with Mental Health America to create modules and curricula to help teachers address critical social issues with their students….

We spoke with Jessica Kennedy, chief of staff for Mental Health America, about a new WE Teachers module coming this fall for schools that use the program. This one focuses on diversity and inclusion training and is designed to help teachers understand all the potential environmental factors that might be affecting their students in and out of the classroom.

Racism is defined as a “mental health issue” affecting young children:

[Walgreens]: What did you see in the current classroom landscape that made you take this approach?

Kennedy: “Discrimination, racism and prejudice are fundamentally all mental health issues. Dealing with discrimination, unsupportive peers, bullying, unsupportive parents, microaggressions – it’s deeply impactful on a student.

The warping of young minds with the transgender agenda is naturally a feature:

“When you’re looking at transgender students, for instance, the rates of suicide attempts and deaths by suicide are through the roof. It’s so hard for those students. They don’t feel safe. They report that they’re bullied frequently but that people don’t understand them. We hear all the time from young transgender people about how, often, when they try to share what they’re feeling, they’re told it’s just a phase, or people don’t understand. Even something as simple as pronoun usage, when some people just don’t want to use a transgender student’s preferred pronouns – that’s traumatizing every time it happens.

Even illegal aliens must be protected in the name of supporting the mental health of American schoolchildren:

[Walgreens]: What are some specific issues in the classroom this module can help teachers with?

[Kennedy]: “Immigration status – that’s a big one. The module talks about what a teacher might do to support students through various immigration statuses and what to do for students being bullied about something like that.

“And finally, we do spend a fair amount of time talking about allyship and privilege, and understanding it and recognizing yourself.”

Walgreens is, in fact, aggressively pro-transgender, and resorts to sickening child imagery as a way to promote this aberrant agenda. Trans activist Dani Marie Wagner, a biological male, is an official Walgreens “Beauty Consultant.” From a feature article on the Walgreens corporate site labeled “Walking in my truth”:

“I was 5 years old when ‘The Little Mermaid’ was released, and I probably annoyed my parents because I would just constantly watch it,” she says. “A lot of people who are in my situation, early on in life, we know who we are. And a lot of young trans girls identify with mermaids because they can understand being half one thing and half another.

“Plus, I had really intense red hair, so I would often get compared to Ariel.”

Three decades later, mermaids are still part of Wagner’s life. As a makeup-obsessed transgender woman, activist, painter and Walgreens beauty consultant in Minneapolis, she chronicles her beauty hauls and expertise, along with her transition, on YouTube. Thousands subscribe to her channel, “Scars 2 Stars Beauty,” and she has affectionately nicknamed her community of followers the “Mermaid Squad.”

This is Walgreens:

As we’ve said so often before in this column, a system is definitely at work here. And, once again, it appears to have high-placed connections. Last June, we documented the numerous cases of former Obama administration officials playing key roles in prominent corporations now publicly supporting the progressive radical agenda. Count Walgreens as another spoke in the Obama wheel. Intimate Obama associate Valerie Jarrett is on the company’s Board of Directors. In December, Jarrett was named acting president of the Obama Foundation.

Demonizing white people would seem to be a key facet for those who want to “fundamentally transform” America. Last July during the Summer of George Floyd, Walgreens published an inflammatory article on its website on the alleged health threat posed by “systemic racism.” “The first step is identifying racism [as] a health crisis. Then comes a plan of action for addressing it,” the article asserted. Readers were urged to discuss “actions of racism with friends, coworkers and family,” in order to make it possible to “more likely to affect change in your communities.”

“Address racist attitudes/ statements when you hear them,” the article stressed.

A “Get uncomfortable” article on the company’s website further casts the big R as an original sin on the souls of all white people:

One thing people, by and large, still do not understand is how deeply ingrained in mass culture unconscious racism is among non-black people.

The company appears determined to travel this divisive road. Roz Brewer is the new CEO of Walgreens, just appointed in January. She is a black female who was hired away from Starbucks, where a crucial part of her executive function included shutting down all Starbucks locations in 2018 for mandatory “antibias training” after an incident involving two black men who were loitering at a Philadelphia store. A laudatory Business Insider article marking her hiring by Walgreens quotes a “leadership consultant” who flat-out described Brewer as a committed racial activist:

“As an anti-racist advocate and leader, she is communicating her stance with humility, empathy and compassion, which are also the characteristics of an inclusive leader fostering an inclusive environment.”

At a December TED Talk, Brewer made it clear that one of her chief aims as a corporate executive is to change the behavior of white people:

I’m hopeful. I feel good about the conversations that are happening. I’m seeing change in people thinking more about themselves when my white counterparts are questioning some of their actions. And so I feel like we can’t let this moment leave us, and what we’re learning about it. I think what I’m really optimistic about is that now I think more people will understand that the less diverse and less inclusive we are, it’s more than a business imperative.

“Trusted Since 1901” is the official Walgreens corporate slogan. It intentionally attempts to link the company with an American heritage that by all indications it despises. Please keep this in mind the next time you need to stop off at a pharmacy.

Joe Schaeffer is the former Managing Editor of The Washington Times National Weekly Edition. His columns appear at WorldTribune.com and FreePressInternational.org.

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