Police Union Criticizes Home Depot for White Privilege 'Practices' Document

The National Fraternal Order of Police on Tuesday spoke out against a Home Depot document meant to educate employees on white privilege that came from a store in Calgary, Canada.

Photos of the document, which is entitled "Leading Practices: Unpacking Privilege," began circulating on social media in recent days. Along with a definition for "societal privilege," there is one for "white privilege." The latter is defined as "[s]ocietal privileges that benefit white people beyond what is commonly experienced by people of colour under the same social, political, and economic circumstances."

A spokesperson for the Home Depot in the U.S. told Newsweek the material in question came from the company's Canadian division and "wasn't created or approved by our corporate diversity, equity and inclusion department." The representative added the document was not part of any required training program for the company.

The National Fraternal Order of Police, which calls itself the largest police union in the country and claims to have more than 364,000 members, took exception with a particular section on the document. The comment the union found offensive states, "If you are confident that the police exist to protect you, you have white privilege."

"There are millions of people, in communities across the country, who know that law enforcement exists to protect ALL of us," the union wrote on its official Twitter account. "We'd be happy to have a conversation w/@HomeDepot executives & educate them on what officers do everyday in communities made up of people of all colors."

The document has upset many conservative users of Twitter, including political commentator and radio host Todd Starnes. On Wednesday, he tweeted: "Fortunately, all of you white, heterosexual, able-bodied, Christian fixer-uppers have the privilege of buying your power tools someplace else."

Dr. Jordan Peterson, a popular YouTube personality, clinical psychologist and author, tweeted: "Welcome to the commissariat at Home Depot. How can our capitalist corporations be so blind to their own interests?"

Another person said suggested alerting HomeDepot founder Bernie Marcus about the document. Along with co-founding the Home Depot, Marcus was the company's first CEO. Marcus is known for donating to conservative causes and candidates, including former President Donald Trump. Home Depot has noted that Marcus retired twenty years ago and that the company itself does not endorse any political candidates.

Other statements made in the document from the Canadian Home Depot store, as seen from screenshot shared on social media, included:

"If while growing up, college was an expectation of you, not a dream, you have class privilege."

"If you can expect time off from work to celebrate your religious holidays, you have Christian privilege."

"If you can use public bathrooms without stares, fear or anxiety, you have cisgender privilege."

"If you don't have to explain that your spouse is of the same gender, you have heterosexual privilege."

Many Twitter users condemned the document from the Calgary store as another example of a corporation being "woke," but some people thought the police union should at least give some thought to the statement regarding white privilege.

"Seems to me if you're a fair officer, you wouldn't have a problem with this," one person wrote in the comments of the National Fraternal Order of Police's post about the document. "Besides, it's not a secret that many communities feel this way. A good cop knows this and tries to bring communities together. Which are you."

Newsweek contacted the National Fraternal Order of Police and Home Depot Canada for comment but did not hear back from either in time for publication.

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A police union is upset over a Home Depot document from a Canadian location that makes commentary on police and white privilege. In this undated stock photo, a police officer's badge is seen with the police lights on the car flashing in the background. Getty