The primary concern of the people who ran the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) — the bank that just went bust — was not banking. Nor was it making money for the bank’s shareholders or safeguarding the funds of its depositors.
Their primary concern was social activism — LGBTQIA+, DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion), ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), and climate change.
In fact, for nine months — from April 2022 until only eight weeks ago — SVB in America didn’t even have a chief risk officer (CRO). It did have a CRO for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, but the woman entrusted with that role, Jay Ersapah, was apparently considerably more interested in left-wing activism than in risk assessment.
The Daily Mail reported that Ersapah — who identifies herself as a “queer person of color” — “organized a host of LGBTQ initiatives including a month-long Pride campaign and implemented ‘safe space’ catch-ups for staff. In a corporate video published just nine months ago, she said she ‘could not be prouder’ to work for SVB serving ‘underrepresented minorities.'”
“Professional network Outstanding listed Ersapah as a top 100 LGTBQ Future Leader.
“Jay is a leading figure for the bank’s awareness activities, including being a panelist at the SVB’s Global Pride townhall to share her experiences as a lesbian of color, moderating SVB’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) Pride townhall and was instrumental in … supporting employees in sharing their experiences of coming out,” her bio on the Outstanding website states.
“It adds that she … had authored numerous articles to promote LGBTQ awareness. These included ‘Lesbian Visibility Day’ and ‘Trans Awareness Week.'”
How is one to explain SVB’s — and for that matter, virtually every major bank’s — woke activism?
There are a number of possible reasons, but here is one that explains the left-wing activism of almost every profession.
Beginning in the second half of the 20th century, people in nearly every white-collar profession ceased finding their work inherently meaningful. So, they sought to use their profession to change the world.
Take journalism. For most of American history, reporters understood that their primary job was to report news. And for the most part, reporters believed that was important work. In the second half of the 20th century, more and more of them found reporting the news unexciting and meaningless. So, they sought to use journalism to change the world.
Sports writers are one such example. There is no group more woke, or more sheeplike in its behavior than sports writers. They decided that merely writing about sports was not particularly significant work. So, they decided to use their profession to change the world. It was sports writers who led the idiotic campaign to drop the name “Redskins” from the Washington NFL team — even though the name was adopted as an honorific (no one names their team for an insult) and even though the vast majority of Native Americans, according to the Washington Post itself, could not care less about the issue.
But the hysteria they whipped up over the name “Redskins” gave the lives of these sports writers much more meaning than merely reporting on football games. They were now making the world a better place.
The same holds true for actors. Until about the mid-20th century, few actors spoke out on political issues, let alone devoted their off-screen lives to social activism. Most actors actually found meaning in their profession — as indeed they should. Bringing plays and films to life, making people laugh and cry, distracting people from their troubles for a couple of hours — these things render acting a very meaningful profession. But, again, beginning in the second half of the 20th century, Hollywood stars thought they had to “make a difference” by changing the world. One obvious result has been the decimation of the Academy Awards, which have morphed into joyless celebrations not of acting, but of left-wing anger.
The same holds true for academia. If you’re an English professor, why merely teach English literature when you can change the world? Doesn’t that make you feel much more important? And, if that’s true for a college professor, how much more so is it true for an elementary school teacher? What makes you feel more important — teaching third graders how to read and write or fighting racism?
There are two related reasons for these developments.
One is the ascent of leftism, an ideology that regards literally every aspect of life as political. For the left, there are no non-political spheres. Whether you are a kindergarten teacher, a sports writer or an oboist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, you are to bring political activism into your work.
The other reason is the loss of meaning in our secular society. Whereas in the past people derived meaning in life from their religion — their religious community, their house of worship, from Bible study — religious sources of meaning have begun to disappear from our secular society. And secularism is rapidly leading to the collapse of the other great source of meaning in people’s lives: marriage and family, as we witness the lowest number of marriages and children in American history.
Therefore, one has had to look elsewhere for meaning.
And where do people look? To career and political activism — and ideally, the merger of the two. Whereas in the past, one’s work was primarily regarded as a means to an end — namely, a way to provide for one’s family — today, work is an end in itself.
That’s why the people running the Silicon Valley Bank were more interested in LGBTQ activism than in making money for its investors and protecting the money of its depositors. The former is way more meaningful.
Leftism has become a religion, with government as its god. That’s why leftists consider the government’s official pronouncements (e.g. relating to Covid) to be infallible, and treat any opposing views as heresies that need to be censored.
Kynarion Hellenis says
Thank you, ST.
We make a grave error when we do not see that “secular” worldviews are religious. Worldview governs the fundamental cognitive orientation of every person. The dominant worldview in any society will fundamentally shape the society.
“Religion” can be loosely defined as worldview. It is not limited to those “faiths” formally articulating a belief in deity or deities, but each faith has a non-negotiable core.
If government is not god, then it is at least the power of god to punish unbelievers who refuse to live in the chaos our modern dominant religion creates.
Leftism ruins everything.
Steven Brizel says
This is what happens the fake religion of the woke is substituted for merit and competence
Joe Biden says
C’mon man, the real reason is to show you MAGA white supremacists how wrong you are and how right we are.
I’m a catholic protestant muslim hindu who loves kids too.
What a great column! New slogan in the wake of SVB: “Go woke, get bailed out.”
Spurwing Plover says
The Great Reset its all about World Government and the whole Planet under the control of a One World Government run by the UN
I believe it is/was the television that has changed mostly everything. And now the internet has gone even farther than the tv. Plus, we have more free time on our hands(remember: an idle mind is the devil’s workshop?)
Rita Petty says
Loves to smell their hair, kiss a young boy on his mouth.
Biden is not a Catholic. He has broken all 10 commandments. No church would consider him worthy.
Interesting that he did not
mention being a Jew.
Biden is a Jew? Evidence please!
“Woke activism gone horribly wrong” has its lighter moments, where the Irony is downright delicious.
Consider the Israeli “judicial reform opposition protests”, which are suffocating the country and terrorizing the MKs and their families. A major instigator is one Gadi Moshe, self-identified as the “chief democracy officer” (sic) in his company.
For 3 months, Gadi urged Israel’s high-tech CEOs to take their billions out of Israeli banks. The declared goal was to force the government to abort their democratic voting process on the judicial reform bills — or risk economic collapse.
Gadi recommended SVB as the best place for the woke super-wealthy to keep those billions. An estimated 50 high-tech leaders took his advice. And Gadi was congratulating them — right up until two days before SVB crashed.
Now his woke warriors are running back to the Israeli banks they had tried to sabotage, asking for loans to stave off bankruptcy.
But the best Irony is what happened to Gadi Moshe.
When he’s not directing the lawbreakers on Israeli streets, he is in top-tier management at SVB Israel.
Or rather, he was. SVB’s crash reached the Israeli branch, which closed its doors on March 12.
Gadi Moshe’s antics have destroyed the jobs of unknown hundreds of high-tech employees. Now he is jobless.
Gotta love it when the punishment fits the crime. God is no fool!