The New Racism Rampaging Through Top Corporations

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Posted: Sep 02, 2021 1:40 PM
The New Racism Rampaging Through Top Corporations

Source: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File

A rash of reports this week has revealed that some of the country’s biggest oligopolist companies have plunged headlong into critical race theory (“CRT”)-based employee training programs. In the name of “racial justice,” the programs facially discriminate against white employees, but also demean and infantilize the black and other “people of color” employees they are ostensibly designed to support. 

This creates massive legal risks, of course, and also reputational ones, given that the more American investors, consumers and employees learn about “racial equity” under CRT, the less they like it. This reputational risk is multiplied because the executives who approve the programs and “encourage” general employee participation in them very much fail to apply the vile teachings to their own personal and professional lives.

Whenever news of corporate-executive mendacity and malignancy arises, odds are good that Bank of America and its CEO Brian Moynihan will play a role. And there they are. As Chris Rufo reported last week, Bank of America – along with a host of other malefactor companies – has sponsored a “diversity and inclusion” program created by the United Way that instructs white employees that they are both personally and collectively responsible for any disparities in outcomes between whites and members of other ethnic groups, while the latter bear no responsibility for their own circumstances. Whites are instructed to “decolonize [their] mind[s]” and “cede power to people of color.” 

This insistence that white employees sit quietly back – at the back of the office, perhaps – while people of color take charge and tell them of their racial guilt, and their duty to subordinate themselves to make amends, so obviously creates a hostile work environment that I’m surprised the lawsuits haven’t started already. (The next round of layoffs should be interesting.) 

The whole theory also demeans the “diverse” people it claims to help. There are two categories of people who are absolved from any personal responsibility for their actions and their fate: children and the mentally incompetent. Under the critical-race view of the world, white people – all white people, even toddlers – are superheroes of colossal and earth-shattering power who must meekly abjure their powers for the good of all. Non-white people are mewling and helpless in the face of wicked white domination, not personally responsible for their circumstances and only able to succeed if whites step aside.

That’s some red-hot racism Bank of America has sponsored – and then “encouraged” its employees to subject themselves to. We might assume that “encouraged” equates to “your participation will be noted and filed in your record.” If not, how? And did Bank of America also sponsor less wildly racist “voluntary” employee-training programs, maybe some with anti-CRT viewpoints? Or does inclusion and diversity not include including diverse viewpoints?

Rufo found similar CRT-based racism at Verizon. There the program leader (who has since moved to Pfizer) read white employees’ minds for them, telling them that they “view[ed blacks] as inferior,” and black “live[s as] not as valuable as anyone else[‘s].” It does not appear that time – and “safe space” – for rebuttal or diverse opinion was provided. 

As an instructor who was last seen contaminating American Express declaimed to Verizon’s “encouraged” employees while conflating capitalism and liberty with slavery: “This isn’t just Marxist talking points. It’s just the facts.”

Good heavens – that first “just” tells quite a tale, no? This Verizon program isn’t just Marxism. It’s also the same straightforward racism as at Bank of America, under which one race must subordinate itself to all others because of skin color alone. And the powerful duo of racism and Marxism have led Verizon to endorse defunding the police – despite the fact that black people themselves oppose such measures, they being the primary targets of black crime in black neighborhoods.

This week’s trio is rounded out by CVS, which sponsored its own training aimed at “addressing racial inequality,” and the “development and advancement of diverse employees.” (What about the “non-diverse,” second-class white ones? No development and advancement?) CVS’ “stated goal” for the program “is 100 percent employee participation,” with participation to include “holding yourself and your colleagues accountable to consistently embrace diversity of all kinds, and take swift action against non-inclusive behaviors.”

That last part is pretty strange, given that “diversity of all kinds” would include diversity of viewpoint and thought, and so embracing diversity of all kinds would mean “inclusion” of the majority of Americans who reject the tenets of CRT. But then CVS would have to take swift action against itself for its non-diverse assertions of deeply racist “anti-racism” theories. And note that even as CVS has embraced these theories, it has been forced to close stores and fire employees thanks to CRT-favored police-defunding and theft-decriminalizing programs in San Francisco and elsewhere. So, CVS, you support programs that result in your having to close stores in minority neighborhoods, reducing your service to those neighborhoods and your employment of minority employees. And you label this whole package anti-racism?

Then there’s the hypocrisy. BoA CEO Brian Moynihan – white guy. Verizon CEO Hans Vestburg – white guy. CVS CEO Karen Lynch – white lady. All incredibly rich and powerful. All therefore human vectors of systemic white supremacy and vast perpetrators of “racial inequity,” according to the doctrines these companies are “encouraging” down their less-well-heeled employees’ throats. 

The best thing that these companies could do for “anti-racism,” under the theories they’ve adopted for their companies, is to fire and replace these CEOs. Now. And the best things that the CEOs themselves could do is to give away their riches to those of other skin colors, and consign their descendants to third-rate jobs and constrained and diminished lives. 

The failure of these companies and these powerful, rich white people to do exactly that reveals the final evil of corporate wokeness: All of these lies and this racism are being foisted on us as a corrupt bargain to let them continue on as masters of the universe, whatever damage this bargain causes to everyone and everything else.

How long can the shareholder owners of these companies allow this obscenity to continue? 

Scott Shepard is a fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research and Director of its Free Enterprise Project.