Op-Ed: Salvation Army's Iconic Red Buckets Prove Race-Blind Generosity, But Now the Charity Is Embracing Divisive 'Training'


If there is any organization that should be able to testify to the race-blind generosity of Americans, it is the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army has helped lift millions of all races to live prosperous lives in America. The organization is proof positive that the American dream of equal opportunity for all is alive.

Despite that, the Salvation Army has joined in the herd mentality of corporations and universities by imposing counterproductive diversity, equity, and inclusion training on its employees and volunteers.

The Army has embraced DEI despite the philosophy’s underlying premises that counter the Army’s uplifting message of hope.

DEI claims America is racist. The philosophy advocates for the destruction of the nuclear family and even new forms of segregation. Nothing in DEI training can be used to provide the much-needed hope that is foundational to enabling those in poverty.

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Documents from a Salvation Army diversity training last year revealed that the organization had encouraged white members to “repent” of the church’s racism. The training was loaded with divisive rhetoric about America and “white privilege.”

Donors, volunteers and staff at the Salvation Army were rightfully outraged. Every year, millions joyfully put money into the Salvation Army’s red buckets without having a clue of the recipient’s race. This is true because America is not a racist country.

My organization, Color Us United, respects the Salvation Army and its longstanding record of service. That is why we were shocked to learn about the divisive DEI training in the Army. We urged commissioner Kenneth Hodder to stop the discordant training and admit that DEI policies do not help people in poverty.

But he wouldn’t say it. Instead, he told us, “That’s not gonna happen.”

Should the Salvation Army impose DEI training on its employees and volunteers?

The Salvation Army’s embrace of DEI caused local branches to lose substantial support. San Antonio missed its fundraising estimates by $100,000. Sacramento missed by even more. Throughout the country, Americans chose to send their money elsewhere rather than donate to an organization that thinks they are racist.

The Salvation Army leadership claimed the pandemic was to blame for the diminished donations. Yet charitable giving in the U.S. increased by 4 percent from 2020 to 2021.

One would think following those losses, the Salvation Army would abandon any divisive diversity projects. Instead, it’s doubled down.

Our organization has received calls from staff and volunteers at the Salvation Army who are being bullied into attending demeaning “unconscious bias” training led by expensive diversity and inclusion consultants. In one recent training, the Salvation Army hosted Dominique Gillard to give a speech on the “foundations of biblical justice.”

Gillard believes America has failed to uproot “white supremacy” and “systemic racism.” He has called for “holy anger” towards “white supremacy and police brutality.”

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Why are honorable Salvation Army volunteers and staff being treated as though they are in need of racist rehabilitation? Why is it choosing to promote a distinctly anti-American message when Americans have been so good to the Army?

The Salvation Army needs to refocus on its mission of “doing the most good” and abandon its foolish obsession with diversity, equity and inclusion.

If the Salvation Army is ready to get back on the right path before the holidays, it can start by admitting that DEI does nothing to help people in poverty. DEI only divides.

By choosing instead to praise the generous spirit that unites all colorblind Americans, the Salvation Army would do much more to help those in need. That is a true message of hope.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Christian Watson is a spokesman for Color Us United and the host of "Pensive Politics." Follow him on Twitter @officialcwatson.