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If the white billionaire CEOs who have signed on to the woke agenda have their ways while keeping their positions and their fortunes, they will of logical necessity consign millions of poor whites to punishing poverty and an abjectly powerless future. They are either fully aware of this, or too incompetent to run a concession stand. There are no other options.
An astonishing number of CEOs have “got woke,” including pushing for “racial equity.” This doctrine, which by now also comes variously under the labels of critical race theory and the white supremacy/fragility/privilege triad, is at heart a demand for re-racializing American life: considering people not primarily as unique characters responsible in the first instance for themselves, but rather as members of their racial (and sexual, and sex-activity) categories, with their personhood subsumed within the collective identity.
That’s the racial (or other surface category) part. The “equity” part is a demand that each of these racial groups get the same aggregate financial and power-wielding outcomes. So if the “black community” makes up 12 percent of the national population, blacks must – regardless of the actions of any actual black people who make up that community – enjoy at least 12 percent of the national wealth; ditto the “Hispanic community,” and other stripes in the BIPOC (an initialism of black, indigenous, and people of color) rainbow.
I say at least, because the caveat to the racial spoils system, the great asterisk, is that “equity” permits giving whites and men and straight people less than their proportional amount now, because some people’s ancestors of similar hue or anatomy discriminated against others in the past. (Of course, some ancestors of all colors and types discriminated against others of all colors and types in the past, but we hold only whites and men liable for ancestral misdeeds, because … equity, somehow.)
The analysis is pretty much the same for power. Each race should get its proportional share of power over others, with whites (and men) perhaps getting less than their proportion.
So under the racial equity doctrine that these CEOs have endorsed, each race may have only as much money and power as its proportion of the population. And right now these white billionaires have far, far more than their “equal” share of the white proportion.
As I suggested in these pages some months ago, the right thing for these CEOs to do, if they really believe in the New Racism of critical race theory and the rest, would be for them to abandon their positions in favor of those races that their theory deems to have been inequitably treated. And BLM, which they ostensibly support, has taken up the call as well, demanding last week that wealthy white people refrain from sending their children to the Ivy Leagues and other prestigious colleges so that those spots can be taken up by BIPOC. You know, for equity’s sake.
But there is no evidence that any of this is happening. Rather, these scions of great wealth and power continue to magnify both their riches and their authority (as with billionaire Jamie Dimon’s $20 million bonus check to himself to keep himself from retiring and passing power on to less privileged hands).
If these CEOs had not endorsed the New Racism – if they still believed in individual responsibility, and individual merit – then there wouldn’t be anything much for a conservative or libertarian to object to in this behavior. They earned a pile of money. Good for them.
But now, by the very theories that they have espoused, their continued wealth and power must take wealth and power from all other whites, and all other men, because we can all collectively only have our racial (and sexual) proportion of the total. For every white male billionaire with great power, there must – by their lights – be millions of poverty-stricken and utterly powerless white men to make up the numbers. And to the extent that there are more white male billionaires of great power who hold onto their wealth and power than BIPOC or women billionaires of equal power, then millions of poor whites and particularly poor white men will necessarily have to be significantly poorer and more powerless than even the poorest and most powerless people of any other races – again, just to make up the numbers.
There is no avoiding this, no way to finesse it. If Larry Fink and Brian Moynihan and Jamie Dimon and that whole crowd support the New Racism of “racial equity” without giving up their wealth and their power and their social positions, then they directly – even if not explicitly – support the grinding immiseration of millions of poor whites, and particularly poor white men. That’s the only way “equity” can be achieved.
It’s good to see clearly what people are really up to, beneath all the self-congratulatory phrases.
Scott Shepard is a fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research and Director of its Free Enterprise Project. This was first published at Townhall Finance.
Author: Scott Shepard