Target's racial sensitivity training is incredibly racist.

Target's racial sensitivity training is incredibly racist.


As unbelievable as this sounds, that man may not be pointing at a burrito.

Target wants to make sure that their managers know that not all Hispanic people eat tacos and wear sombreros. These are just some of the helpful hints Target provides to all their distribution center managers in a memo brilliantly titled "Organization Effectiveness, Employee and Labor Relations Multi-Cultural Tips." This was supposed to help managers, largely white, tell the difference between the various forms of mysterious Hispanics and deal with them accordingly. Not surprisingly, there's a lawsuit about it, which alleges that the memo states as follows: 

"a. Food: not everyone eats tacos and burritos;

b. Music: not everyone dances to salsa;

c. Dress: not everyone wears a sombrero;

d. Mexicans (lower education level, some may be undocumented);

e. Cubans (political refugees, legal status, higher education level); and

f. They may say 'OK, OK' and pretend to understand, when they do not, just to save face."

This memo, sadly, did not even work. The employees' lawsuit is actually mostly concerned with the fact that the distribution center managers were big fans of phrases like "only a 'wetback' can work this hard" and "what the hell, I'm already sweating like a Mexican." Apparently, they have no phrases about being as educated as a Cuban. Frankly, to me, the scariest part of this is nobody believing you no matter how many times you say "OK! OK! GOD DAMMIT, I SAID OK!"


The story then takes a turn for the depressingly predictable as the employees claim that after they reported this behavior to HR, they were instead reprimanded and subjected to more focused harassment and humiliation (throwing things on the ground and making them pick them up) by their manager. The manager, it should be noted, is not a defendant. Target is, for harassment, failure to prevent harassment, age and race discrimination, and retaliation.

The trial is taking place in the tragically-named Yolo County Court. 

(by Johnny McNulty)