July 8, 2020
Will American Companies Grow a Spine?
By Buck Sexton
Political correctness is being weaponized to silence free thought today… and your job may be at risk.
Friends in the corporate world tell me how much they fear being fired for saying the wrong thing.
Don’t agree with a statue being toppled? You’re at risk. Not interested in dynamiting Mount Rushmore? This mass-hysteria movement might call you a genocidal colonist. Even wishing a colleague “Happy Independence Day” can get you a warning from Human Resources.
You likely have your own stories about this phenomenon – either from personal experience or from the hushed tones of friends or family who want someone to know what is happening in our most exalted conference rooms across the country.
It’s a purge of free thinking, good-faith disagreement, and common decency. There is only one side of every issue that is allowed in the workplace – and any deviation may mean you face termination.
It’s not just conduct at the office that is subject to this new “woke” authoritarianism. There is no longer any space for individuals to hold thoughts at odds with corporate political groupthink.
Proclaim that “Black Lives Matter” on your personal Facebook page, and no one will bat an eye. Post that “All Lives Matter” on your own time, on your own dime – and HR might send you packing. Someone was “triggered,” you see… creating a “hostile work environment”… and that makes some colleagues feel “unsafe.”
Even for those who do their best to keep up with the currently fashionable politically correct orthodoxy, normal office conversations are a minefield. Office “diversity and inclusion” workshops are mandatory. And don’t sit near the fool who raises his or her hand when asked the perfunctory, “Do you have any questions?”
No, you don’t have questions. This isn’t a conversation. You’re there to hear a high-priced diversity consultant lecture you about “unconscious bias” and “systemic racism.” Nod your head in approval, or risk a pink slip. Those are the unspoken rules. Everyone knows them now.
Corporate America has gone fully woke. So many Fortune 500 companies have put out memos in support of protestors and rioters alike, it’s now nearly expected for the website where you bought socks five years ago to send you a mass email detailing their “stand in support of justice.”
Nike, Walmart, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Home Depot – the list goes on. Name a massive American company that sells consumer goods, and chances are they openly support the Black Lives Matter movement. Many of them send checks. None trouble themselves with the fact that BLM was founded by self-described Marxists and has as one of its stated goals the destruction of the nuclear family. It’s not a secret. It’s right in its manifesto.
There is a whole range of reasons why companies do this.
First, the left wing of American politics deploys boycotts regularly as a weapon against alternative points of view or beliefs. For some businesses, a serious “cancellation campaign” could put them out of business, so going woke is a survival tactic.
Additionally, younger Millennials and Generation Z cohorts have taken up positions in the most powerful institutions and corporations across the country. They have graduated from the socialist indoctrination factories known as American colleges, and they are more hardcore in their censorship demands and self-righteousness than any generation in recent memory.
Perhaps the biggest problem of all, however, is corporate cowardice. Companies simply do not want to be pressured financially or socially. The Boomers who still generally run the C-suite of most Fortune 500 companies want to be well thought of by their peers. The last thing they need is a nasty article in the New York Times written on their tenure as CEO. They want their liberal friends to smile at them at the country club as a fellow advocate for “social justice.”
In the meantime, these corporate leaders are allowing something important to die off in our society. A country that has no room for private political beliefs of employees is one where free speech is a fiction. This is not to say companies should be avowedly conservative. But they can choose not to be part of the Jacobin rage sweeping across the country.
Better to focus on business… to create a product or provide a service and abstain from overt politics. It’s not complicated: Treat workers well, give consumers great value, and afford employees the right to hold their own beliefs. But it would mean a willingness to stand up to the occasional liberal mob, online or even in person.
The alternative is the continued embrace of a totalitarian mindset that makes America a miserable place to live and work. Eventually, it could even create a world of fractured industries along political lines. If our CEO and corporate boards were staffed with people who cared more about America and freedom, it would be a huge step out of this constant culture war.
Everyone would benefit – and in the long run, maybe even their share price would, too.
Now here are some of the stories we’re reading…
Oh, Really? There’s No Cancel Culture? Come On.
If this new “accountability” isn’t about cancellation, how do we explain the fact that many people who were merely expressing opinions or doing their jobs have nevertheless still been deemed to have done “terrible things” that warrant their firing or public shaming?
Herd Immunity May Be Closer Than You Think
Antibody tests may significantly underestimate the number of people who have already been infected with Covid-19, especially if they had a milder strain. If so, it’s possible that some early hot spots, like New York City and northern Italy, already have a degree of herd immunity. The same may be true of other places soon.
Inside the luxury nuclear bunker protecting the mega-rich from the apocalypse
A volcanic-ash scrubber, a decontamination room, a waterslide – when it comes to surviving a nuclear apocalypse, the Survival Condo has everything you could need, at a price.
And let us know what you’re reading at [email protected].
Executive Editor, American Consequences
With P.J. O’Rourke and the Editorial Staff
July 8, 2020