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Last summer, reporter Chris Rufo uncovered controversial training materials at Raytheon that demonstrate how the company indoctrinates its employees using Critical Race Theory (CRT). The training documents reveal that the company has been asking employees to “identify [their] privilege” and pushes the notion that white, straight Christian men top the “oppression hierarchy” and must “step aside for minorities.”
As a longtime critic of CRT training, which reduces human existence to surface elements that no one can control (such as skin tone or sex), the Free Enterprise Project (FEP) questioned Raytheon on these outrageous training materials during its annual shareholder meeting. Specifically, FEP inquired as to how it is that these training materials do not run afoul of federal anti-discrimination laws, a very real concern of CRT skeptics.
Unsurprisingly, the Raytheon executives dodged the question. Rather than asking FEP’s CRT question and explaining to its shareholders how CRT is not violative of the law, the company lumped together several inquiries regarding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. The individual who fielded the Q&A session posed this instead:
We received a number of questions from share owners on these topics. Some were critical of the company’s focus on DE&I or on ESG matters more broadly. Others seemed to question the seriousness of the company’s commitment in these areas.
Astonishingly, the response provided by Raytheon to the makeshift question made clear that top executives at the company not just tolerate the company’s DE&I and ESG policies, but that they wholeheartedly support them. In fact, the company doubled down on its position when pushed on the matter. The Raytheon executive responding to the question asserted:
Let me be very clear, we are committed to our DE&I agenda. We focus on ESG and DE&I because we recognize that they’re important for our business. Further, outreach to our largest share owners in recent years has confirmed the increasing importance that they place on ESG issues.
There are two key reasons to be concerned by Raytheon’s response. First, it is unclear why or how ESG and DE&I policies are so important to the company’s business. According to its website, Raytheon is “advancing aviation, building smarter defense systems and creating innovations to take us deeper into space.” In fact, the company is the country’s second largest defense contractor. So why then the emphasis on superficial characteristics such as skin color and sex instead of experience or educational attainment? One would think that when it comes to the critical areas of defense and national security with which Raytheon is so integrally involved, that the criteria for hiring, retaining and training staff would be focused on the “best and brightest” – regardless of race, ethnicity, sex or sexual orientation.
But apparently the answer, according to Raytheon’s “largest share owners” at least, is that race and sex ARE important when it comes to ensuring our country’s national defense. This leads to the second reason to be concerned about Raytheon’s response, which is that the company’s “largest share owners…ha[ve] confirmed the increasing importance that they place on ESG issues.”
So here Raytheon effectively admits that it’s not that the company has looked at its mission and said it needs to implement certain DE&I or ESG policies to be successful. Rather, it is being pushed by its “largest share owners” to implement these types of woke, liberal policies.
And who are the largest share owners at Raytheon? The top three are none other than State Street, Vanguard and BlackRock, the unaccountable echo chamber of money management firms leading the charge for left-wing policies at our nation’s biggest corporations.
If you’re not alarmed by the Wall Street trifecta of liberal money managers calling the shots with regard to employee training at one of our country’s top defense corporations, you should be. It’s a stark reminder that as shareholder season gets underway, every shareholder should think critically about who is really in charge of the company, who exercises the most influence and who has access. If you are a shareholder, these are important questions to think about and to ask. And if you’re not a shareholder, you may want to consider becoming one to hold them to account. If you have questions about how to get involved, check out FEP’s webpage and Take Action page for more information.
Author: Sarah Rehberg