Big Business Caters to a New Generation of Racist Customers
There shouldn't be any confusion about what big businesses everywhere mean when they tout "diversity and inclusion." But to clear up any potential misunderstanding that may exist, consider the following incident, recounted by Stephen R. Soukup in his new book, The Dictatorship of Woke Capital.
In 2019, as Rupert Darwell writes at The Epoch Times, the general counsel for the National Center for Public Policy Research, Justin Danhof, "tabled a shareholder proposal at Amazon's annual meeting." It read, "Diversity in board composition is best achieved through highly qualified candidates with a wide range of skills, experience, beliefs, and board independence from management." For his trouble, he was "booed and heckled throughout his presentation" and later accused by a representative for Arjuna Capital of "trying to protect white males."
That's what "diversity and inclusion" really means in the business world today. The phrase is little more than a euphemism to justify the exclusion of white men.
I don't know how we reached a point where this must be explained, but white men aren't a homogeneous category of inherently similar human beings with a racially determined set of traits, experiences, skills, beliefs, or financial status. The suggestion that they are is a blatantly racist proposition.
But somehow, we've also reached a point where it is thought to be morally righteous to take the openly racist position that making one's corporate board less composed of white guys is to fundamentally make it better. After all, as many employees of Coca-Cola learned recently, to be less white is to be less oppressive, arrogant, and ignorant while also being humbler and better listeners.
None of that's true. It's subjective and unequivocally racist nonsense. What this is truly about is empowering non-white people by denigrating white men in order to deprive them of opportunities they might have otherwise enjoyed, and this is being done as some sort of societal recompense for crimes that these particular white men never committed.
Businesses don't say it quite like that, but what they are saying isn't much better. One of the most common of the corporate marketing veils meant to hide this sort of racism is the suggestion that a "company's diversity should mirror both population and customer base," as Recruiter.com advises. In other words, ownership and employees of a business should be demographically shaped to "look like its customers," a peculiarly comfortable expression of racism in hiring being spoken with alarming regularity in the business world.
It's a seemingly innocuous assertion, meant to preclude any nuanced consideration. But the simplest of questions should follow: why should employees look like customers?
You won't get a good answer to that question, because there isn't a convincing one that manages to hide the racism involved. Presuming that most companies are looking to grow their market share (and businesses that don't aren't often in business for long), one can conclude that the belief driving these efforts is that customers would be more likely to buy from a company if its owners, management, and workers had a more familiar, and therefore agreeable, composition of skin colors and sexes.
To point out how utterly insane this is, consider this example. Nearly every time I visit New Orleans, I visit Willie Mae's Scotch House, which is one of my favorite restaurants in the country. And somehow, in spite of my being a white fellow, I've never been uncomfortable in that not once has there been a white employee serving my food, and I have never even considered the current owner's skin color or the skin color of those working in the kitchen as part of my calculation to eat there. The broken logic buttressing the "a business has to look like its customers" nonsense suggests, however, that I would be more likely to patronize the eatery down the street if the restaurant had more white employees or if I knew that it had a white owner.
Like most people, I presume, I don't choose to patronize eateries based upon the skin color of the owners, managers, and employees, because I'm not a racist. But countless people do, apparently, and have no shame about it. How else can we explain Yelp and Door Dash proudly offering handy search functions on their apps that will direct racist Americans to eateries owned by people who happen to have a skin color they prefer?
Advertising that directs Americans to "find and support white-owned businesses" is something that sounds like a relic of Jim Crow that might have been used to attract racist Southerners seventy years ago. Reversing the discrimination by promoting minority-owned businesses is, presumably, attractive to racist Americans today.
We are meant to believe that most Americans have just accepted that such discrimination against white men is okay because minorities and women need a systemically enforced advantage. The notion that the shadowy powers behind the "white patriarchy" need to design unnatural advantages for minorities and women in the marketplace is, in itself, a pretty racist and sexist proposition. This subjective application of racial preference becomes especially apparent when one considers that not all minorities are treated to the same set of advantages. Jews and Asians are undoubtedly the victims of historical racism in America, yet neither group enjoys the same advantages that some other minorities enjoy when applying for college admission, for example.
So what we have here is an obvious effort to implement a political system that categorizes people by race and applies advantages and disadvantages to each of them, by varying degrees, to replicate a sort of caste system. And, we are told, Americans agree with that idea so much that they'll scour the landscape for a minority-owned business, because buying from such businesses carries a sort of social credit that's not provided by buying from white people.
Is there convincing evidence that Americans actually agree with that idea? I'm skeptical. Most data-driven arguments showing that the marketplace agrees with this neo-Marxist, racist ideology tend to rely heavily on social media sourcing. I know lots of people with money who aren't on social media and some multiple of that number who are on social media but do not comment or engage at all. To say the voices on Twitter, for example, are an amplified minority is a monumental understatement. Pew Research studies have shown that roughly one in five Americans uses Twitter, and only 10 percent of users provide 80 percent of the engagement.
Put another way, a mere two percent of Americans are driving the vast majority of the harvested information collected on Twitter. That doesn't seem enough to warrant a conclusion that America's wokeness can be measured by the wokeness found in Americans' tweets.
But let's assume, as corporate researchers must, that the customers patronizing American businesses really are so racist that they're calling to diminish white men in the business world and actively seeking to avoid businesses and stores owned or operated by them. Relative to that age-old maxim that we've all come to know, can such a customer actually always be right? Perhaps more importantly, is indulging such customers' racist impulses the right thing for a company to do?
Perhaps, among its fits of woke puritanism, that's a good question to ask the Disney corporation, which scrubbed minority actors out of its Star Wars marketing to appease the racist Chinese marketplace while thanking the communist government for allowing it to film in a province that is actively enslaving an ethnic minority and utilizing forced sterilization in what is openly understood to be an attempted genocide. Perhaps politicians and corporate leviathans would be wise to remain silent about what Americans should and shouldn't have a moral responsibility to do in their own commercial activity, given that many of them are in the business of profiting handsomely on those engaged in the evil human rights abuses that Joe Biden casually calls China's "different norms."