Home Depot said that a controversial worksheet about white privilege posted to social media was unauthorized by the company after it was hammered by critics.
A copy of the worksheet on social media described the concept of white privilege and was posted to the Twitter account "Libs of Tik Tok" where it quickly went viral. The account has 570k followers.
The worksheet first defined the concept of social privilege:
Special, unearned advantage or entitlement, used to one's own benefit or to the detriment of others. These groups can be advantaged based on social class, age, disability, ethnic or racial category, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and religion.
Then it defined white privilege:
Societal privileges that benefit white people beyond what is commonly experienced by people of colour under the same social, political and economic circumstances.
The worksheet went on to describe some expectations from those who assume their privilege.
“If while growing up, college was an expectation of you, not a dream, you have class privilege," it claimed. "If you don't have to worry about how to get into a store, you have able-bodied privilege."
It also defined racial prejudice as a "set of discriminatory or derogatory attitudes based on assumptions coming from perceptions about race/skin colour."
Some of the portions of the worksheet appeared to be copied from a social media campaign against privilege in 2014 at the University of San Francisco.
Many responded to the worksheet by tweeting that they would no longer shop at Home Depot.
"I think maybe having an account there is privilege. Cancel your Home Depot card," said one account that called for a boycott of the company.
"This kind of divisive crap has to go! Boycott Home Depot," read another tweet.
"Well my privilege is I can BOYCOTT home depot & spread this all over..." responded another user.
Home Depot responds
On Wednesday, the company responded to the furor and said that the worksheet came from its Canadian division and that it had been unauthorized.
“While we fully support diversity across our company, this material was not created or approved by our corporate diversity, equity and inclusion department. This was a resource in our Canadian division and not part of any required programming," read the statement from Home Depot.