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Tags: diversity | workforce | affirmative action | Supreme Court | civil rights law

Directors Need to Account for Reverse Discrimination

Directors Need to Account for Reverse Discrimination

By    |   Thursday, 21 September 2023 11:46 AM EDT

Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of “When Race Trumps Merit,” recently published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that has implications for corporate directors.

The piece, titled “How to Serve White Victims,” pulls back the curtain on Alameda County, California, District Attorney Pamela Price’s regime. Specifically, MacDonald describes how Victim Services training and prosecutorial discretion under Price are rooted in racial discrimination.

First, white victims appear to be singled out as posing unique problems for responders. “Antiracist” consultant Karen Fleshman’s recent training to Victim Services included

admonitions such as: “White people are not entitled to harm you”; “When interacting with white victims, speak up for yourself or for your coworkers”; and “If a white victim continues to harm you, ask that they be transferred.”

Second, the training describes “White Supremacy Culture” as being fixated on “Perfectionism,” “Objectivity,” “Sense of Urgency” and “Individualism.”

Finally, Mac Donald describes Price’s prosecutorial discretion as follows: “If a white person uses a gun during a crime, or if a white gang member commits a robbery, he might face an enhanced sentence …. If the defendant is Black, however, he will be charged at the lowest possible level to avoid ‘disparate racial impact.’”

What does this have to do with corporate directors? A lot, given that the same racist logic undergirds many of the corporate initiatives currently in vogue under the banner of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT). A list of relevant examples is set forth by Christopher Rufo in a post on his Substack titled “Critical Race Theory Briefing Book” under the sub-heading “Critical race theory in corporations.”

More specifically, when Proctor & Gamble proudly proclaims that it has “spent almost $3 billion with … diverse suppliers in fiscal year 2020-2021,” it is basically announcing that P&G’s $3 billion supplier spend came with a “no straight white males allowed” sign (unless they were veterans or disabled). The website notes: “P&G's Supplier Diversity program in the U.S. aims to spend with businesses owned by minorities, women, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and U.S. veterans.”

Both DA Price and P&G are effectively implementing the same directive: (1) All racial inequities that harm Blacks are due to systemic racism, and (2) The only acceptable response to systemic racism is allocating rewards and punishments on the basis of skin color in the name of “equity.”

Note in particular what the implications of these propositions are. First, blaming systemic racism avoids having to identify any actual racists, who could otherwise be held accountable under existing civil rights law.

Second, blaming systemic racism becomes an unfalsifiable proposition because it’s simply systemic racism all the way down. Thus, it doesn’t matter if someone notes that the Black wage gap may be explained by Blacks performing worse in school compared to other demographic groups because the poor performance is itself attributed to systemic racism.

In fact, this seemingly religious faith in systemic racism is so all-encompassing that there is no room for any personal agency or personal responsibility whatsoever, which seems like a patently terrible way to try to uplift people.

Finally, any costs associated with allocating employment and other contracts on the basis of race are simply ignored because no other solution is permitted so there is no reason to bother calculating costs. But, of course, there are numerous costs that should be accounted for, including the costs of violating anti-discrimination laws, undermining performance by hiring and promoting on the basis of race rather than merit, and more generally, stoking resentment against the company both internally and externally.

All of this explains why the Free Enterprise Project of the National Center for Public Policy Research, where I work, is submitting a shareholder proposal at P&G’s next annual meeting recommending a civil rights audit of reverse discrimination. Specifically, we are asking P&G to “commission an audit to assess the impact of the Company’s policies on non-BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) and non-Latinx/a/o/e communities.”

As noted in our supporting statement, “P&G must attend to all groups’ concerns, lest it discriminate in ways that threaten financial, reputational and legal consequences.”

Perhaps most importantly, this racism in the name of antiracism harms the very groups it is intended to help. As Justice Clarence Thomas noted in his concurrence in the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down affirmative action in college admissions: “[M]eritocratic

systems have long refuted bigoted misperceptions of what Black students can accomplish…. Racial preferences take away this benefit, eliminating the very metric by which those who have the most to prove can clearly demonstrate their accomplishments — both to themselves and to others.”

Corporate directors have been given a pass for their racial discrimination in the name of diversity for too long. It’s time for them to account for their racist programs.
Stefan Padfield is an associate at the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP), whose stated goal is to oppose the woke takeover of American corporate life.

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Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of "When Race Trumps Merit," recently published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that has implications for corporate directors.
diversity, workforce, affirmative action, Supreme Court, civil rights law
Thursday, 21 September 2023 11:46 AM
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