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A Home Depot in Canada has come under fire and sparked calls for a boycott after it displayed a notice for staffers explaining the concept of ‘white privilege’ that included a privilege checklist for employees who are white, male, Christian, cisgender, able-bodied, and heterosexual.
The controversial leaflet is titled ‘Leading Practices: Unpacking privilege’ and includes Home Depot’s logo.
The printout was posted at an employee lunchroom at a Home Depot located in Calgary, Alberta, where it was photographed and shared widely on Twitter on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the Atlanta-based Home Depot told DailyMail.com on Tuesday that the notice was a ‘resource’ in the company’s Canadian division ‘and not part of any required programming.’
A Home Depot in Calgary, Alberta, has come under fire for displaying in the employees’ lunchroom this information packet about ‘white privilege’
The printout encourages people to talk about ‘white privilege’ and offers tips for starting conversations with the ‘uninformed’
The progressive information packet opens with a general definition of the word ‘privilege’ and then goes on to explain the terms ‘Social Privilege’ and ‘White Privilege.’ The latter is defined as ‘societal privilege that benefits white people beyond what is commonly experienced by people of colour under the same social, political and economic circumstances.’
The next section of the packet is titled ‘What privilege looks like’ and includes examples of privileged behavior.
‘If you’re confident that the police exist to protect you, you have white privilege,’ one blurb reads.
Another declares: ‘If while growing up, college was an expectation of you, not a dream, you have class privilege.’
A third states: ‘If you can expect time off from work to celebrate your religious holidays, you have Christina privilege.’
The reading material also includes a separate section addressing racism, racial prejudice and power, followed by a comic book-style depiction of a conversation between two people about white privilege, and how uncomfortable it is to talk about it.
‘Do you share the benefits of your privilege?’ one cartoon character asks in a speech bubble.
A Home Depot spokesperson said the packet was a resource of the Canadian division, was not approved by HQ and is not part of any ‘required programming.’ Pictured: a Home Depot in Edmonton, Alberta
‘I never thought about it,’ the other replies.
Another section of the packet encourages people to start a conversation about privilege and offers tips for addressing this ‘uncomfortable’ subject matter with those who are ‘uninformed’ or ‘defensive.’
Critics instantly lashed out at Home Depot for imposing ‘woke’ values on their employees, and many threatened to stop shopping at the home improvement giant, which has 2,300 stores across North America.
‘Welcome to the commissariat at Home Depot,’ Dr Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist and author tweeted. ‘How can our capitalist corporations be so blind to their own interests?’
Others, however, applauded Home Depot for addressing the topic of ‘white privilege’ in the workplace.
‘I really appreciate @HomeDepot is having this conversation with their staff,’ one user tweeted. ‘Or at least, they are inspiring thought on the privilege millions experience but aren’t often even aware of,” tweeted one user.’
Another chimed in: ‘wow, strange how this information takes you right out of your comfort zone. I found it interesting to read and thought-provoking. It’s sad the thought of learning something contrary to your own thoughts can trigger such negative emotion and comments,’
The Home Depot spokesperson sought to distance the company from the information packet.
‘While we fully support diversity across our company, this material was not created or approved by our corporate diversity, equity and inclusion department,’ she stated.