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Tom Cotton Presses Lockheed Martin on Diversity Training, Says It Violated Civil Rights Law

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Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee nomination hearing in Washington, D.C., May 5, 2020. (Andrew Harnik/Reuters)

Republican Senator Tom Cotton sent a letter Thursday to Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet, demanding details about Lockheed’s diversity and inclusion training and claiming that the programs violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

In the document, Cotton slams the company’s three-day seminar, coined “White Men’s Caucus,” which perpetuated stereotypes about white, male, and heterosexual societal advantages, City Journal’s Christopher Rufo reported. The senator called out the  “white privilege” section, which said that white people culturally profit from supremacist norms and “minimize the perspectives and powers of people of other races.” He also demanded to know whether taxpayer dollars were spent on the trainings.

Lockheed Martin is the nation’s largest defense contractor, which manufactures aircraft and weapons systems for the U.S. military.

Thirteen Lockheed executives and senior leaders, including a retired three-star general and a vice president of its F-35 fighter jet program, were then asked to generate their own stereotypes about certain identity groups, specifically the connotations for “white men.” For the whites category, the trainers came up with “racist,” “privileged,” “set in their ways,” “KKK,” “anti-woman,” “old,” “angry,” and others. The participants said that it was these negative associations that lead many people to believe that white men “don’t care about diversity,” documents obtained by Rufo showed.

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