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You call this 'diversity training'?

A U.S. Department of Agriculture official has confirmed some of the government’s “diversity training” – including participants banging on tables and chanting, “Our forefathers were illegal immigrants!” – was “not in line” with USDA guidelines.

Breitbart reported last year the USDA paid a Chicago-based diversity training and consulting firm $200,000 to hold a series of “Diversity Training Workshops” around the country.

According to a press statement issued by the Department of Agriculture, the workshops were designed to “foster overall diversity awareness.”

Documents obtained by the watchdog groupJudicial Watch, however, revealed the seminars required participants to chant, “Our forefathers were illegal immigrants!” and encouraged the attendees to bang on the tables while chanting the phrase.

Souder, Betances and Associates was given the USDA contract to conduct the training seminars.

USDA Diversity Director Monshi Ramdass, however, told WND in an interview that he is unable to verify the consulting firm’s seminar curriculum. He adds that the program is outside USDA diversity training criteria.

“If they’re doing that in the seminars, I can say that’s (referring to the chant) not in line with the guidance our department established,” Ramdass said.

WND attempted to contact Souder, Betances and Associates, but no one at the firm was available for comment on this story. The firm has also not returned phone message requests for an interview.

Ramdass also says he can’t explain the reason for that particular feature of the training.

“I don’t see what the purpose of that would be,” Ramdass said. “We train people of all backgrounds. Our secretary, Tom Vilsack wants us to work in a culture of transforming diversity.

“He says he wants each person in the department to appreciate the value of each other and to improve our work climate so we can provide the best service for our customers,” Ramdass said.

Ramdass was the fourth person with whom WND spoke at the USDA. After the initial contact, WND was referred to the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s diversity office. That office declined to comment on the issue, but referred WND to Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager Muhammad Ali, who also declined to comment on the program. Ali referred WND to Ramdass.

Judicial Watch reports that it sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Agriculture, asking for records on the diversity program.

The documents and other reports verify that participants did in fact bang on tables and chant that their “forefathers were illegal immigrants,” and that the USDA has actually paid Souder, Betances and Associates over $200,000 for the training seminars.