Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton joined Bill O’Reilly on the O’Reilly Factor regarding the controversial sensitivity training sessions that the government is funding with taxpayer dollars on Feb. 21, 2012.
Fitton voiced his concerns that the mandatory classes which focus on reducing racism among the US government employees are being considered a form of brainwashing and expensive.
Sensitivity training sessions started shortly after the firing of Shirley Sherrod, former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture.
Sherrod became the subject of a controversy for making racial comments at the National Association for the Advancement of colored people on March 27, 2010.
The meetings held on government premises were a result of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack who advised employees of a new era of civil rights and his hopes to achieve a a better effort towards cultural transformation as well as to address concerns of racism.
The controversial classes covered topics which included but were not limited to, “Cultural Sensitivity Training” a program where trainer Samuel Betances tells USDA employees to repeat, “If we work for a federal agency, we’ve discriminated in the past," as well as him asking the employees to repeat "The Pilgrims were illegal aliens."
Betances also suggested that the United States “took over what used to be Mexico” and stated that schools are only interested in educating middle class children.
The investigation has unveiled that staff members were told to bang on tables while repeating that the first people to arrive in America other than the native American Indians were illegal immigrants.
Betances a Harvard graduate describes himself as a "biracial, bicultural and bilingual citizen of the world." He considers himself a "great motivator who rose out of the bowels of inner city poverty, stigma of minority group status, violence, welfare and illiteracy in two languages.
Concerns deepened after information surfaced showing the USDA paid nearly $200,000 of taxpayer dollars in the last two years funds to the firm, to help government employees transition through the "cultural transformation."
Fitton confirmed the committee requested records from Souder, Betances & associates dating as far back as January 2010, for review.
The committee also confirmed it filed a Freedom of Information Act on May 18, requesting copies of records from the Chicago based consulting firm, which advocates issues relating to cultural sensitivity.
On Sept. 28, the Judicial Watch received 46 pages of documents from the Food & Nutrition Services, a division of USDA, which included information regarding a video of a training session that was never meant to be discovered.
Copies of emails corresponding from Betances and his colleague can be viewed at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/107192917/Loran-Blessing-Betances as well as http://www.scribd.com/doc/107192901/Agency-Hiding-Video
American taxpayers have paid dearly for Sherrod’s firing. In 2011 and 2012, the USDA paid Betances and his firm nearly $200,000 for their part in the “cultural transformation” program.
Reports surfaced that the classes are a reflection of the government's attempt to brainwash employees. Also reported was the fact that American taxpayer dollars should not be spent on programs that are considered offensive and condition an audience to think a certain way.
The real question everyone is asking is "How do these classes help USDA employees better serve the taxpayer?"
Some people say they don't and some people say they do, regardless this situation is raising questions from all parties wondering why, in a time where so many government programs are being cut, would the government pay for these classes?
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