by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
“The chief business of the American people is business,” President Calvin Coolidge once said. One hundred years later, Americans’ chief business increasingly is managing racial and sexual politics through the ideology of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
I have surveyed the programming of every Fortune 100 company and have confirmed that all of them have now adopted so-called DEI programs. These initiatives are no longer limited to high-technology firms in the coastal enclaves; they have spread to traditionally conservative sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, insurance, and oil and gas. The result is clear: every major corporation in the United States has submitted to DEI ideology and begun to make it a permanent part of its legal and human resources bureaucracy.
No doubt some of these programs are benign. Many companies adopt DEI policies out of pressure to conform. Other companies, however, use diversity, equity, and inclusion to promote the most virulent strands of critical race theory and gender ideology. I have documented many examples: Bank of America teaching employees that the United States is a system of “white supremacy”; Walmart telling workers they are guilty of “internalized racial superiority”; Lockheed Martin forcing executives to deconstruct their “white male privilege”; and Disney promising to abolish the words “boys” and “girls” in its theme parks and inject “queerness” into its children’s programming.
Three factors drive corporate executives to adopt DEI programs. First, these initiatives serve as an insurance policy against frivolous race- and sex-discrimination lawsuits. The legal department can point to mandatory trainings and policies as evidence that the company is “doing something” to prevent discrimination. Second, executives create these programs to appease internal activist groups that want to use the corporation as a platform for left-wing race and gender activism. Third, splashy DEI initiatives, such as Wal-Mart’s $100 million “Center for Racial Equity,” form part of a reputation-laundering strategy. …