Verizon promotes defunding the police and idea America is fundamentally racist: report

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A New York Post report found that American Express urged staff to adopt a hierarchy putting ‘marginalized’ individuals above ‘privileged’ ones.

Telecommunications giant Verizon rolled out a diversity training that advocated for defunding the police and controversial ideas associated with critical race theory (CRT), according to a new report.

Researcher Chris Rufo has obtained documents that purportedly show Verizon employees being instructed to reflect on various aspects of their identity.  

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According to Rufo, who released the information on Wednesday, Verizon hosted an activist who seemed to favor abolishing the police. 

"I feel like over-policing doesn't work," said activist Adrian Burrell. "And I feel like those same resources that are aimed towards hiring policing, and having people come in contact with, you know, people with racist biases, and all these different things, it needs to be aimed at just bringing more resources to the community at a root level, and then you just won't need so many police. And if you want to call that 'abolishing the police,' or if you want to call that 'defunding the police,' so be it."

Verizon Vice President David Hubbard also interviewed Khalil Muhammad, who reportedly criticized police as well.

Muhammad, who is the great-grandson of former Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad, said: "So we have a two-tier system in public education. Just like we have a two-tier society in so many other dimensions. This is really the bread and butter of systemic racism, police officers come on the back end, because they basically reinforce these inequalities."

"They make sure that kids are locked up, if they misbehave in school, they make sure that people stay in their communities, they make sure that they're criminalizing poverty, because wealth is really the greatest protection in America, against exploitation."

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Verizon did not respond to FOX Business' request for comment.

This isn't the first time a major U.S. corporation's racial content has received attention. Rufo has reported on a number of fortune 500 companies including Bank of America and American Express. Earlier this week, FOX Business reported on CVS' intention for its employees to hold each other "accountable" for non-inclusive behavior.

Muhammad and Burrell didn't immediately respond to FOX Business' requests for comment.

On its website, Verizon touts its efforts to create an "inclusive" workplace. "Verizon is committed to fostering an inclusive environment. We care about diversity in both our employees and our suppliers." 

"Diversity and inclusion is how we achieve success. By celebrating diversity across all spectrums, including but not limited to race, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran/military status, and age, we are a stronger company and culture."

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Defenders of CRT-type training argue it helps enhance dominant groups' understanding and empathy of what the oppressed experience on a regular basis. These types of trainings have also been promoted as ways to "dismantle" or weaken alleged structures imposing burdens through bias and discrimination.

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, an expert on critical race theory at Boston University School of Law, told the Boston Globe that critical race theory helped people understand the complexity of race — beyond "simple" narratives that they may have been taught.

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