State employee gives shocking first-hand account of diversity, equity and inclusion training

By Ben Morley

I have been employed by the State of Vermont for seven years. Throughout my career working for the state, I have received consistently outstanding evaluations and high praise from my supervisors. I even was awarded employee of the year in 2015.

Now, however, my job is in jeopardy. I have been threatened with termination twice in the last two months. Why?

Because I have questioned the training that I and all the other employees in my division have been subjected to while working remotely for the state in 2021. In a staff meeting, I was excited to find out that a large sum of funding had been set aside for career-focused training and development in our department.

Ben Morley

However, the state instead instituted mandatory “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” training in the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, where I work as an adult vocational rehabilitation counselor. The mandatory trainings total 15 hours. The trainings felt like “struggle sessions” in which we were intimidated and humiliated in order to be indoctrinated into a new orthodoxy which is racist, sexist, and anti-American, but are presented by the facilitators as unquestioned truth.

Other employees and I were repeatedly required to express our innermost emotions and personal information. The speaker, Mirna Valerio, told us at the beginning of the sessions that we must practice “critical humility” and “vulnerability” in order to do “the work.” Ms. Valerio defined “the work” as “dismantling all kinds of isms, including white supremacy from which all kinds of isms are derived,” and dismantling “advantage and disadvantage based solely on skin color.”

The first thing we were required to do at the sessions was to tell Ms. Valerio how we were feeling “emotionally and physically.” This requirement was repeated multiple times during the trainings.

However, Ms. Valerio told us, “I do not take questions. It serves to derail the work. … Questions are very self-serving, and sometimes people ask questions to stop the progress of the group.” Ms. Valerio required us to share our feelings about whiteness, white supremacy and white privilege. People responded with feelings of guilt and shame. Ms. Valerio encouraged those feelings. She told us to “sit with the discomfort.” Ms. Valerio told us the United States is a country of “systemic and structural racism.” She lectured us on “microagressions” and “cultural appropriation.” She made it clear several times that “color blindness” is racist. Everything in our society, according to Ms. Valerio, must be seen through the prism of race.

She told us that the “nuclear family” was something that was “pushed on us” by the white power structure, and even BMI (body mass index) used by the medical profession is racist, because “corpulence” is associated with “African savages.” The most distressing part of her training was her degrading of black Americans. The only black Americans she mentioned during the entire trainings were those who were involved in police shootings. She never spoke of outstanding black Americans — except for one: Candace Owens. She said that Ms. Owens was guilty of “internalized racism” because she doesn’t agree with Ms. Valerio’s ideology.

Ms. Valerio did not stop there. She said that the work “comes under the umbrella of social justice.” She defined “social justice” as follows: “Meets all of their needs as human beings in which resources are equitably distributed and ecologically sustainable.”

I read the Merriam Webster dictionary definition of communism as: “A system in which goods …are available to all as needed. … A final stage of society … in which economic goods are distributed equitably.” Ms. Valerio made it clear that white Americans, especially white American males, are white supremacists, unless they become “antiracists.” How does that occur? Ms. Valerio gave us marching orders: She said we must talk about racism and race repeatedly. We must analyze our circle of friends and talk with our families at the dinner table. We must give money and time to the cause, and be active at a political level in local and state politics. We must constantly check our own behavior.

This is not the end. We have been told the next step is an “equity audit.” An equity audit, according to the Racial Equity Group, includes an “institution-wide assessment that scores level of commitment to racial equity.” It calculates an “inclusion score that measures employee level of belonging in the work environment.” The score is based on a continuum where “color blind” is lowest, and “committed” to promoting racial equity is highest. The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that our Constitution is “color blind.” Under this logic, dismantling white supremacy includes dismantling our color blind constitution.

Vermont state employees are going to be subjected to evaluations based on their commitment to this destructive ideology. It is my belief that this cannot continue to be tolerated in our democratic society. Ask yourself, what kind of public servant would I be if I did not share this information with you? I care too much about my country and people in my community to be silent any longer.

Ben Morley is an adult vocational rehabilitation counselor with the State Vocational Rehabilitation Division in Vermont. He holds a master’s degree in public administration management from Norwich. He lives in Orleans, Vermont.

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63 thoughts on “State employee gives shocking first-hand account of diversity, equity and inclusion training

  1. In reading all the comments that have been posted in the last several days one does not see ONE comment from state administration on the hows and whys of this program. Come on man! Let’s hear from them!

  2. If questions are not taken because they are “self serving” then what does that say about this individual?
    Or, let’s not bother with an open discussion just follow these party line. Who hired this person and who do they report to!

  3. Atheism is a vacuum that the Devil will quickly fill, one way or another. Case in point: Karl Marx, poet (apparently, he was not the atheist he pretended to be):

    In the chapter entitled “My Soul is Chosen for Hell,” Kengor provides excerpts from the demonic poetry and prose of Marx—written several years before his Communist Manifesto (1848)—in which he waxed poetic about “the hellish vapors that rise and fill the brain, Till I go mad and my heart is utterly changed. See this sword? The Prince of Darkness sold to me. For me he beats the time and gives the signs. Ever more boldly I play the dance of death.” Remarking on that poem, entitled “The Player,” Kengor notes, “The blood violinist is not destroying the world because he hates it, but is doing so in order to spite God, out of derision and mockery against the Creator. He is a rebel, like Satan, the ultimate rebel against God and Heaven.” Marxism does the same by destroying the world as it exists, creating a new world in which God is destroyed and man is elevated.

  4. For shame, all of you: FOR SHAME. You have a totally wrong impression of Mirna. Live large, people, and BE IN CHARGE OF YOUR OWN HAPPINESS!

    “What started as a blog, Fat Girl Running, has gained serious momentum as a movement inspiring people everywhere to be whoever they want and to do whatever makes them happy. A former teacher, Mirna is now the author of a best-selling book and a sought after speaker who has focused her life on spreading health awareness, promoting diversity and inspiring and uplifting others to LIVE LARGE and be in charge of their own happiness!”

  5. Everything Ben relates is perfectly consistent with this absurd, hateful ideology. This hypothesis they call a theory is against the law, against the American creed, and dehumanizes people. What if attendees had “feelings” that they were being treated horribly? — verboten to express. This toxic hate WILL fail — but it is already in Vermont schools, and it would be wise to trace back and see how that happened and who was in charge.

    I heard one first-hand story of an employee training in which new white employees were forced to apologize to colored employees for being white (i wonder how that made them “feel”). This is not about helping people of color, but creating division and power, and attacking white people who won’t knuckle under. That is, attack them SOLELY based on skin color. The new racism is here in Vermont, exploiting past exploitations, to exploit us anew.

    CRT is DOA. Thank God for MLK!

    • Hey John,
      Great work all around. True Patriot and I hope the triumphs ahead yield us some great results. While on the subject of State malificence, please also highlight the overwhelming harassment and badgering from Beth Fastgi’s HR Department in regard to Covid19 vaccinations. We the people deserve to make our choices free and clear of badgering harassment from our employer. As in Ben’s case…. Those of us that speak against the beast have to face consequence one way or the other. The State unfairly is not holding true to a reasonable work environment.

    • It would be a cold day in hell before I apologized for be a proud white woman. I wouldn’t work for an employer that would attempt to degrade me in that manner.

  6. n Witness, Whittaker Chambers writes:

    [Communism] is, in fact, man’s second oldest faith. Its promise was whispered in the first days of Creation under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: ‘Ye shall be as gods.’” Chambers called communism “the great alternative faith of mankind…the vision of Man without God.”

    Hence in today’s world – this ‘progressive’ world – men can be women and women… men. And abortions – the taking of human life – can Constitutionally occur in the ninth month of pregnancy.

    But Christianity and progressivism are incompatible, in fact, they are irreconcilable, as the first chapter of Genesis details:

    “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”.

    How many progressives consider themselves subscribers of Christianity while simultaneously subscribers of gender ideology and abortion?

    In Matthew 6:24, Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both…”

    Karl Marx was enthralled with the writings of his contemporary, Ludwig Feuerbach, who wrote:

    “The turning point in history will be the moment man becomes aware that the only God of man is man himself.”

    When Marx was asked what his objective in life was, he said, “To dethrone God and destroy capitalism.”

    Does all of this sound eerily familiar?

    • Are we surprised that Vermont , ranking amongst the least religious state in the nation ,is a fertile ground for socialism and that CRT , socialism’s twenty first century modus operandi ,is working at purging the system of its declared “white supremacy” , the last obstacle against a global revolution ?
      No, we should not .Normal evolution of dialectical materialism.
      “Marx was an atheist from his childhood and remained such for the whole of the rest of his life.
      Already in his thesis for the doctorate Marx proclaims in no uncertain terms that “in the country of reason” the existence of God cannot have any meaning. “Take paper money to a country in which this use of paper money is not known, and everyone will laugh at your subjective representation. Go with your gods to a country in which other gods are worshipped, and you will be shown that you are the victim of fancies and abstractions. And rightly. Anyone who had brought a migrant god to the ancient Greeks, would have found the proof of the non-existence of this god, because it did not exist for the Greeks. What is the case in a certain country for certain foreign gods, takes place for god in general in the country of reason: it is an area in which his existence ceases” (K. Marx, Frammento dell’appendice della dissertazione dottorale,in A. Sabetti, Sulla fondazione del materialismo storico, Florence 1962, p. 415).”

  7. This is horrifying, yet not surprising, the way things are going these days.
    It’s cult brainwashing, like com younism, or sciont-ology (don’t want to get sued for trademark infringement).
    It’s shocking how brain-dead our gubmint officials seem to be. Are they blackmailed, or simply total idiots? Both maybe?
    Thank you Ben for your courage to speak out. This is intolerable, and the people behind this need to be run out of town on a rail, with tar and feathers, and a sign saying “I am an idiot”. Sick.

  8. TNR readers: Please be respectful of others and stay on topic using brief comments. Some of you are getting off topic and attacking each other. Please use the comments section to post on-topic comments, and please consider using your email for personal disputes. Thanks.

  9. Ben, thanks for telling us your story and informing the Citizens ” Tax Payers ” of this
    discerning situation

    If your supervisors are promoting your situation then they need to be removed from that
    position, and if they are being told to push this agenda from the powers under the ” Golden
    Doom ” yes doom, then we need to vote these fools out and see who’s funding this agenda.

    Ben, maybe you need a career in politics, so you can help stop the ” Cancer ” we have in
    Montpelier…………….. Good Luck and stay vigilant !!

  10. The important part of CRT is that it’s being presented as a doctrine that can’t be questioned and that people are being judged by their willingness to adhere to the entire, unquestioned doctrine, even if they might disagree with parts of this. That this is happening in state government shows how far-off from the ideals of tolerance and respect for other opinions the state has come. I was going to say “nuances of opinion” but CRT simply doesn’t care for other opinions, period.

    Everyone knows we should treat all people with respect and courtesy. Those who don’t are the ones who need to be “corrected,” and it sounds like Ms. Valerio falls into that category.

    Is it really the state’s business how anyone is “feeling” about anything on any particular day? How about people just do their jobs and the state minds its own business about other people’s feelings?

    If those promoting this theory in state government can’t see the fallacy of CRT, then they should take some courses in critical thinking until they understand that the theory is highly irrational, and deliberately so. Is supporting such a theory really how we want to move forward?

    It’s not about racism, which yes, does exist (but let’s look at how far we’ve come through the efforts of many people of all colors, too.) It’s about indoctrination.

    Thank you, Ben, for speaking up.

  11. I have an idea for an employee training. Here it is in full:

    “Treat your colleagues the way you want to be treated.”

    Now back to work!

    • Jeff,
      Those ten words you posted (“Treat your colleagues the way you want to be treated.”) say more than any of the other posts in this thread! It’s a very simple solution to the whole issue.

  12. I wonder how long Ben Morely will be an adult vocational rehabilitation counselor in Vermont?

    Very brave to publish this piece but it sounds like the tyrants are firmly in control in Vermont.

  13. This is aggressive oppression of a neighbor right before our eyes. I fear we are at the point where our option in the schools & the workplace is reduced to resist & refuse. Am I right thinking Morley’s only defences are going to be union rules and lawsuits? If it comes to lawsuits lets hope we will step up as a community and contribute to his support?

  14. Look up James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose authors of Cynical Theories. Morley is absolutely right.

  15. If this a accounting by Mr. Morley is even half true this needs to be looked at and understood.
    Why would such a course be forced upon anyone? Vermonters cannot look away in fear of
    anyone or anything when the agenda is destructive to all peoples as this appears to be.
    I think this course should be open to the public for auditing and commenting. The public is
    not held hostage in an employee/employer setting. I would like to experience this course myself.
    Where and when can I attend?

    • Of course it’s true, what are you guys going to do?

      Cleaning house of bums who support this garbage might be something.

    • Deb, I would be very interested to have you do this, not so much to report on the content, but to observe audience reaction among anyone forced to take this ‘training.’ For example, if you see anyone crying, shaking, or having to run out of the room. The reason I bring this up is because such ‘training,’ as described, reproduces a child-abuse scenario, in which a dependent person (for career, benefits, family income, etc.), who cannot opt out or question, is forced into a closed space to listen to insults and lies. Oftentimes, in such a duplicative setting, a victim will flash back and see the perpetrator in the room. I think the state of Vermont needs to learn the definition of “trigger warning.” Also, I’m glad to see that we have some attorneys on board.

    • It’s information warfare, Dennis. It ain’t the old style with guns; get violent and they’ll have their reason to lock all us up.

      This will end when enough people see what’s really happening and stand up and say “no.”

      People like Ben.

  16. This is indeed a shocking description of the diversity, equity and inclusion training and how our tax dollars are being spent.

    Is the Morley report accurate? If true, is instructor Valerio following a State approved curriculum and lesson plans or putting forth her own personal and unapproved point of view? Finally, is this same material and approach being used in all departments across state government?

    Gov. Scott needs to publicly address this matter and tell us what he knows about the specific Morley charges and the overall content of the diversity, equity and inclusion training that the State employees are mandated to take. He must also demand that State Auditor Doug Hoffer immediately audit the training to ascertain exactly what the course curriculum calls for, how it’s being taught and how was it approved for State use.

    This sort of training doesn’t do any to advance diversity, equity or inclusion…….It’s apparently aliening people. This matter cannot be ignored.

    • Excellent reply, Peter Y.

      I too, wondered if the Governor is aware of what’s happening here.

      Mr. Morley needs the Governor’s protection for his public service and doing what others will want him fired for.

      • “I wonder if the governor knows about this”

        Didn’t he improve writing Black lives matter in front of the capital? Come on man.

        • I called to request an appointment so the farmers in my area could meet with the governor to discuss a problem and they said he is too busy. Two times they passed my request off to another dept. and I have never heard from anyone. It is appalling to pay taxes and receive such disrespect from my gov’t.

        • Yes he did, as well as a day set aside almost to the tune of a national holiday.
          Don’t expect to much from this governor, as he’s like a turtle on a fence post and he’s not true to the party he represents. Putting that aside, I liked to compliment each of your responses as they are thoughtful, and supported of this young brave man to enlighten us as where some of our tax $$ are going and how of track this woman is regarding diversity and should be removed immediately as there is no place for intimidation in the work place, or the forcing of her views and feelings upon others. We the people have the power to stop this now by calling her out and the administration. Stay strong Ben.

    • The Machiavellian goal is to turn the people you intend to dominate against one another so they will not unite against you. The Democrats (now Progressives) have been working diligently on this at least since Reconstruction.

  17. Their population size has nothing to do with treating everyone fair and equitably.

    This should not be a political issue — keep politics out of it and you may have more success squashing it.

    Personally, while I support the argument against CRT, I can’t get on boards with the nonsense that is posted here.

    • Marianne, Perhaps you should get on the comments board over at VTgravedigger. Oh I forgot, people aren’t allowed an opinion there or on any liberal inclusive website. If you are triggered by the comments here, go o your safe space and don’t read them.

      • Dano, you seem unable to hold more than one opinion.

        I believe all political parties have something to offer to the conversation and food for thought.

        If you prefer single-minded ignorance I couldn’t care less. Your loss.

        I know Dems, liberals, Libertarians…. who oppose CRT but, good luck getting them on board opposing CRT because they don’t want to be connected to your nasty kind of ignorance.

        • I proved my point. Nothing is more powerful than a liberal calling someone ignorant and nasty too! LOL! Take a look in the mirror, it is your clan that has brought all this onto the people and the children for the indoctrination of your ideology. Sticks and stones, Marianne! The people will defeat this nonsense with or without you. Thanks for your understanding and inclusiveness. Liberals are so tolerant but the collective is not for rational individuals who cherish freedom from oppression!!!

        • Comments serve as proof that the leftists and those opposing constitutional conservatives do not mix any better than adding oil to water and where all the problems on TNR originate. You may hold multiple views but conservative ain’t one of them – are you aware that VPR and VTGraveDigger allow posts to Facebook pages – no need to be stuck here with we nasty conservatives lol 😀

        • VT Digger, VPR, SevenDaysVT all have comment sections to stories posted on Facebook page. The DemocratMarxist Party of VT, those who hate conservatives and our message, TNR writers or TNR commenters have other options no need to come here to bitch us out & call us names under pretext of joining conversation, the TDS-infected leftists who arrive here come to vent their unhinged rage as evidenced by their behavior.

    • Were it not for the politics of CRT, it would not exist. It is a religion, similar to “Climate Change” and there is a minority that worships such beliefs. That the State of Vermont requires it’s employees to be indoctrinated in CRT is wrong, legally and morally.
      To be able to comment on articles here and Vermont Daily is exceptional- it is not allowed on most other Vermont news sites. If there’s a post that seems nonsensical, deal with it. You can’t voice your concerns at VT Digger, their staff doesn’t want to hear it.

      • When the state leadership wants us to go full Marxist, full commie, it’s a tried and true path……they’ve done it many times. This crap has been working in our schools for YEARS!!!

        They just have to accelerate things really quickly now because the jig is up.

    • Marianne, what do you mean? Since the author is a State employee, it must be a political issue.

        • That is not up to anyone to decide for others – it is as it presents – defense of this despicable practice attempts to obfuscate and blurr the reality of what is taking place in real time in multiple locations. this story and related isssues need to be frontpaged everywhere.

      • Stardust: I am not a CRT supporter but, neither can I support your kind of stupid statements.

        • Nor can I support the crass and invective-laden venemous vitriole which are emblematic of the left – your commentary here serve as perfect example 😀

      • Vermont is infested with them! They think they can win a debate by calling people derogatory names. Case in point, Marianne!

        • You cannot accuse ‘them’ with name-calling. Posts here are full of name-calling and labels — Marxists, communists, – and pure and simple extreme nastiness.

          Comments of this site are few. Evidence that few want to be tarnished by this kind ignorant meanness.

          One fewer after this. I won’t be reading anymore comments.

          • Hold on there girl. First you said it’s the nonsense posted here, then you called out my nasty ignorance and my single minded ignorance, then you told Stardust her assumptions were for idiots, then neither can you support her stupid statements. Then you moved onto pure and simple extreme nastiness, followed up by ignorant meanness. The name calling you claim (Marxists, communists) are actual titles of people who follow the dogma of both. Labels fit like RINO or Dem/Prog and are used to describe political beliefs. You are a classic liberal as seen in your words and angry attitude. I’m glad that you’ve decided to not read the comments here, yeah right! You will have to have the last word.

          • Many and few are relative – and there is no proof for your claim – it is just your opinion. But there’s a hell of a lot more than comment platforms of VTGraveDigger, VPR, Seven Days, Green Mountain Daily – including the comments they allow on their FaceBook pages which would appear to disprove your position. VT Daily appears to have similar amount of comments but who cares. It means nothing really lol 😀

  18. Many thanks Mr. Morley for coming forth to expose the level of Marxism which has been streamed into VT. Union members as well as all in state government including the executive – are fully aware of this. Stalinesque struggle-sessions – if we are that far down this road not difficult to see the evil of Communism which is currently carpetbombing VT. You are no less than a a hero Ben – Godspeed sir 😀

  19. “I do not take questions. It serves to derail the work. … Questions are very self-serving, and sometimes people ask questions to stop the progress of the group.”

    Wow, that just proves my point that I’d made earlier on another article: Only those who hate the truth will call the truth hate. When you’re speaking the truth, you welcome debate, for you know that truth is on your side. When you’re lying, you’ll do everything in your power to stifle debate so that you’re not exposed.

    She doesn’t take questions because she knows that applying even the most modest amount of critical/analytical thinking skills to her material will expose it for what it is, Marxism. That and communism are the only two “isms” that these people want to rule us by.

  20. Sounds like a very human accounting of the communist manifesto in situ in Chinarmont… welcome to the new world order…kowtow to authority or else you don’t get to eat.

  21. I’m so sorry for you, and anyone else, that is being subjected to this degrading and dangerous propaganda. This is a travesty that is being imposed by the state.

  22. I don’t get it. Vermont’s total Black population is about 1.5% (or less), but a massive amount of Vermont’s resources, energy, meetings, memos., personnel time & money, laws, regulations… are spent hammering down that we are all – racists, and you better bend to any & all we say…. when that just is not so, VT is racist.

    Always FOLLOW the money and funded of “middle class white liberal progressive guilt”….they seek comforting absolution. My advice? Just get out. Enjoy life, and be rid of them. I did 🙂

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