The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted a mandatory ‘sensitivity training’ in the summer of 2011 for its employees. OK, no harm, no foul so far. We do need to be sensitive to one another, and if you’re going to work for the government, and therefore represent the government, there should be some training involved for sensitive issues.
However, this training session had nothing to do with sensitivity, unless by sensitivity, you mean insulting the pilgrims. Video was finally released this week of the so-called “Cultural Sensitivity Training” program, and the footage is ... well, let’s just say it’s disconcerting at best.
The head of the USDA, Tom Vilsack, sent a memo to all department employees describing the training as part of a “new era of civil rights.” It was led by self-proclaimed “citizen of the world” Samuel Betances on USDA premises. In 2011 and 2012, the federal government paid Betances and his firm nearly $200,000 for taking part in the “cultural transformation” program.
So what was this great cultural training for sensitivity all about and what does it have to do with the pilgrims? Betances asked the participants (remember attendance was mandatory for all USDA employees) to chant, “The pilgrims were illegal aliens.”
So that happened. Our government spent $200,000 of taxpayer money to compare people that break the law by entering our country illegally to the brave pioneers that risked everything to come to a new world for religious freedom, democracy, and prosperity.
Look, we can have a real discussion about the big old mess that is our current system of immigration. Fact of the matter is that we do need reform -- big time. But spewing nonsense about how the pilgrims were illegal aliens because they “never gave their passports to the Indians” is ridiculous.
In fact, you could even argue that that phrase itself was culturally insensitive. They were Native Americans, not Indians. Indians come from India. Get your cultures right, USDA.
Do you think this cultural sensitivity training was insensitive?
Image via JudicialWatch/YouTube