Are you not getting emails about systemic racism from Best Buy, Pampers and the Hard Rock Cafe? Have the CEOs of Target and HP failed to respond to the latest racial controversy in Memphis?
What is going on with corporations anyway demands Axios.
Companies that were once very vocal on human rights and societal issues have held statements close to the vest or stayed completely silent following the recent streak of tragedies in America.
Why it matters: This is a major shift in the way leaders communicate during heightened moments of tragedy and crisis. Most have now opted for internal correspondence in place of public pledges — and some are saying nothing at all.
Actually, the major shift was having corporations take very vocal partisan positions on political matters entirely outside their purview. This would be a return to sanity, normalcy, and decency.
In 2020, after the murder of George Floyd, executives from Dell Technologies, Merck and Ford made statements slamming police brutality.
However, when asked how the leaders were responding to the fatal police beating of Tyre Nichols, reps from all three companies declined to comment.
The CEO Action Network — which consists of 2,400 CEOs who publicly “pledged to create more inclusive cultures while not being afraid of having difficult conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion” — is also a “no comment.”
2020 was a hell-year and a perfect storm of cultural madness. We’re not out of it yet, but some of the fever has broken. And impassioned fanaticism, the lifeblood of the Left, really can’t be sustained by most normal people for any length of time. That’s one thing the Left doesn’t understand.
Corporate America especially goes through trends. The racial madness might be getting a reboot, but for now companies are dealing with other challenges.
Fatigue. “There’s a sensitivity to not making a statement every time something happens,” Paul Washington, executive director of the ESG Center at the Conference Board told Emily. Companies don’t want to get into the routine for fear of being asked, ‘Why did you say something about that, but not this?’
Also, Gov. DeSantis made an example out of Disney in a way that made it clear that there’s a price to pay. Other Republicans have been sending backlash signals as well. In a challenging economy, even the big FAANG gang feels less confident about waging a culture war. Never mind companies that are federal contractors and facing the possibility of a DeSantis administration that operates by the same rules as Florida. Even if that doesn’t happen, some state GOP leaders have been punishing corporations.
ESG pushback. Recent pushback from activist investors and legislators at the state and federal levels have caused businesses to become more skittish on ESG initiatives.
Also, a lot of the fervor has been diverted into ESG investments which corporations feel more comfortable with.
Plus, many tech companies have gutted their DEI departments in response to economic strains.
Woke and broke.