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Is Woke Corporatism Peaking?

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Is Woke Corporatism Peaking? – American Thinker

May 28, 2022


Over the past decade or so, corporate America has incessantly barraged an annoyed citizenry with the preachiness, the condescension, and the weaponized guilt that form the basis of woke ideology.  Spineless corporate boards, bending to the will of numerically insignificant but deafeningly shrill fanatics, have bent over backward to cleanse their products and their organizations of supposed bigotries which, upon examination, would be determined to be decidedly unbigoted by any rational being.  As such:

  • Uncle Ben’s Rice removed its mascot and rebranded itself Ben’s Original.  Likewise, Aunt Jemima’s Syrup removed its mascot and rebranded itself as Pearl Milling Company. 
  • The slave labor profiteer Nike chose to brand Colin Kaepernick, the world’s wealthiest benchwarmer, as a victim of racism who “sacrificed everything”.  American Airlines, which requires every one of its fliers to show identification, bemoaned Georgia’s voting ID laws for requiring exactly the same thing. 
  • Starbucks launched an initiative, “Race Together”, (yanked a week later due to an entirely predictable cascade of negative publicity) directing its employees to “promote discussions on racial issues” with customers. 
  • The sports website Deadspin unilaterally decided that whites who watch basketball are racist.  Over at ESPN, actual racists such as Stephen Smith and Rod Gilmore spew their hate with impunity. 
  • EBay banned Dr. Suess books from sale.  Amazon pulls books from its digital shelves that question woke ideology. 
  • Coca-Cola, American Express, Pfizer, Bank of America, and other corporations force their employees to attend seminars and workshops where they are admonished to “be less white” and to focus on “the equality of outcome”. 

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But is woke corporatism reaching a crossroads?  The tale of two companies, Disney and Netflix, may provide some insight.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek, a sniveler if there ever was one, is a textbook example of to what depths corporate cravenness will descend in order to stay on the Left’s “Please Shoot Me Last” list.  The Left fumes that Chapek’s cookie cutter platitudes to the LGBTQ community ring hollow, and they are correct.  And his laughable penchant for showing “solidarity” with the workers by sporting a Disney nametag in public…you know, just so we don’t confuse Bob the People’s CEO with Jorge the cotton candy vendor…is actually insulting to the thousands of Disney workers whose annual salaries are less than the cost of the suit to which Chapek pins his nametag. 

The Right opposes Chapek for morphing a supposed family-friendly brand into a marionette for those who would have our kindergarteners be indoctrinated with transgender and non-binary ideology. 

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So, when both the Left and the Right see you for the political weathervane that you are, and your decisions are going to anger one side no matter what, it’s best to go with what aligns with your own personal values.  That Chapek chose to support a duplicitous grooming agenda rather than justifiably concerned parents speaks volumes about his moral character. 

Over the last year, Disney’s ratings have tanked, dropping from a 77% to a 33% favorability rating.  A first-year, first-day Business 101 student might attribute this to the fact that those rowdy school board meeting parents are far more crucial to Disney’s success than are drag queens and Antifa thugs (most of whom, we can safely assume, are childless). 

Meanwhile over at Netflix, in response to CEO Ted Sarandos refusing to pull Dave Chappelle’s comedy special last October, several aggrieved Netflix employees staged a walkout.  In response, Netflix recently released an internal memo defending its decision to air entertainment that might grate against the personal values of certain employees.  Properly translated, the memo can be boiled down to: You’re an adult, at least in the legal sense, and if you wish to continue working here then we expect you to behave as such.  It’s well written and worth the read, if for no other reason than to smugly imagine it being read by trembling snowflakes, aghast at passages such as “freedom and responsibility go together”, a string of words they’ve never heard from either their teachers or parents. 

The memo’s magnum opus is the passage: “Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful (emphasis mine). If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”  This is a direct shot at postmodern deconstruction and reintroduces the fact that reality and what you perceive to be reality aren’t synonymous, at least in the absence of rational argument.

Netflix also pulled “Anti-Racist Baby”, “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You”, and a number of other projects, and laid off 2% of its staff.  Though Netflix denies it, this certainly corresponds with the fact that they recently lost 200,000 subscribers, the first time ever that Netflix has shed viewers.  Other shows, such as the racist “Dear White People”, the anti-science “He’s Expecting”, and the pedophilic “Cuties” no doubt account for why Netflix predicts it will shed an additional two million viewers by next quarter. 

Future economic reports will determine the wisdom of these two companies’ directions.  But there are encouraging signs that other companies have reached the same conclusions as has Netflix.  BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, recently announced that it would be voting against shareholder green activism this year for being too extreme.  ExxonMobil no longer allows political flags to be flown from company flagpoles.   Companies like Goya Foods and MyPillow go steps further, publicly and proudly supporting conservatism. 

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And, of course, Elon Musk’s moves to purchase Twitter and remove its current modes of censorship against non-Left ideology and “misinformation” has sent the online mobs into a most delightful display of hyperventilation about ever-impending “fascism” (i.e., a system of totalitarianism that gives corporations just enough room to operate so long as they maintain public fealty to the State, which is far closer to how Twitter currently operates than is anything the Left claims to denounce). 

But to answer my own question, I don’t think woke corporatism is peaking just yet.  Rather, I think the march of the lemmings is losing steam.  Cowardice and sycophancy still chair too many of America’s boardroom meetings.  But while Netflix and (hopefully) Twitter are outliers, they are outliers moving in the right direction.  They are testing the waters outside the ossified, inflexibly hostile Groupthink demanded by monotonously bleating herds of economic illiterates.

And make no mistake, most corporations now shifting gears do so out not from any sense of decency, or from respect for free speech and opposing viewpoints, but rather solely from the same ingratiating toadyism that they lent to Woke Inc.  They presently calculate that the most profitable, least damaging way forward is to de-prioritize the woke agenda.  If tomorrow they calculate differently, they’ll bend right back over for another paddling. 

This is an unfortunate reality, but it is one that conservative America has always had a hard time adjusting to.  The reason for this is that, as conservatives, our desire to be left alone to freely pursue our own happiness is at direct odds with the 24/7 permanent outrage of the activist class.  We’re not good at “keeping the pressure up”, so to speak.  We win a single battle, an election, or a court case, and make the mistake of assuming that this particular culture war is won and that the details will sort themselves out in the aftermath.  Not so the Left, which attacks on all fronts, all the time.  Worse still, RINO Republicans still assume that the Left will accept the results in the spirit of fairness and democracy, and will work to further their agenda by winning elections rather than undermining the system.

But as in all struggles, nothing is static.  We are either winning or losing.  In the battle against woke corporatism, we may be slowly steering the ship away from the iceberg.  But we can’t let go of the wheel, because behind us are legions of the perpetually aggrieved ready to steer us right back into it.

It can’t just be Ron DeSantis and Elon Musk doing the heavy lifting for us.  We need to keep up the boycotts, the public outcry, and the reflection of our political will on the Big Board.  We need to do our homework and ensure that the people we’re electing to represent us, on every level, have proven track records.  It’s exhausting to be in “fight mode” all day every day, but our only other option is total surrender. 

Image via Piqsels.

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