Corporate wake-up call hurts groups it claims to help – InsideSources
Every day, corporate America has launched a new initiative that could reasonably be called “woke”. At first glance, this alarm clock doesn’t seem so bad. Doesn’t America have a history of racism, discrimination and injustice? Do these not persist? Shouldn’t we try to fix it?
Yes of course.
Awakening, however, especially among corporations, is not the answer. It is fundamentally illiberal, undermining age-old principles such as the rule of law, equality before the law, freedom of speech and due process of law. It harms the very communities it claims to help.
Take the example of Bank of America, which has just announced its Community Affordable Loan Solution. This new program offers loans to select first-time home buyers without requiring a down payment, mortgage closing costs, minimum credit score or mortgage insurance in areas with large African American and Hispanic populations.
We have already seen a version of it. Remember the role of the Community Reinvestment Act in the immediate cause of the 2008 global financial crisis? We learned from this experience that relaxed lending standards, which qualified for homeownership people who otherwise would not have qualified, victimized ethnic minority communities and low-income people. Individuals and families were not helped when they bought homes they could not afford, and their financial hardship, aggregated across society, contributed to economic collapse.
Have ethnic minorities and the marginalized benefited from a massive economic downturn? Of course not. They suffered more than anyone else.
Who stands to gain from the affordable community loan solution if not the groups it supposedly helps? Well, Bank of America, which will have used minority communities for branding and marketing – for its own benefit, in other words – while making it worse.
Also consider the environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria that financial companies are imposing on companies at the expense of ordinary, hard-working Americans. These are unethical. Why? Because they mismanage other people’s money.
Asset managers who invest, for example, government employee pension money often screen companies on the basis of ESG compliance and divert investments to underperforming, ESG-friendly funds instead. than towards funds which bring the most to the shareholders or the beneficiaries of the pensions. . These recipients may not know that their money supports political positions with which they do not agree.
The corporate “wake-up” trend must be reversed.
Florida’s “Stop Woke Act” is an example of how not to counter wokeism. Designed to counteract woke indoctrination, this legislation dulls the spoken word by banning mandatory workplace training regarding gender or race that could cause “angst” or “guilt”.
It is one thing for the government to limit its own expression – for example, by removing critical race theory from public school curricula or restricting implicit instruction on bias from state agencies – but the Stop Woke Act binds private employers and associations of voluntary members. The illiberalism and censorship codified by the Stop Woke Act mirrors the illiberalism and censorship championed by woke ideologues.
One way to thwart the corporate awakening is for state legislators to require managers of public funds to act solely in the interests of shareholders. States should refuse to work with asset management companies that favor ideological investments in, for example, ESG over sound investments that maximize financial returns.
There are also moral reasons to oppose wokeism, which institutionalizes racism in the name of anti-racism.
Wokeism teaches minorities that they are agentless victims of white hegemonic oppression rather than creative sources of innovation, entrepreneurship, freedom and inspiration. A different and more positive message would empower minorities to realize their full potential, to understand that race is only part of their identity and not the sum of their humanity, and that hard work and sound business lead to fulfillment, happiness and fulfillment.
The United States is polarized and fractured. To treat people as mere avatars of their race, of those superficial qualities and characteristics with which they entered the world and which they never chose, will only harm and offend. If it is true that corporate America remains complicit in systematically racist structures that disadvantage ethnic minorities, then the awakening is partly to blame. It enriches those who are already wealthy and inadvertently overwhelms those who struggle the most. It’s bad. And things won’t get better until people are “aware” of its harmful consequences.