Home/Rod Dreher/How Woke Capitalism Made A Trump Voter

How Woke Capitalism Made A Trump Voter

I received this e-mail last night, and have been corresponding with its author. He is who he says he is — I looked him up online. He gave me permission to publish this as long as I took out his name and identifying details. You’ll see below where I did this.

I read your most recent column about how white liberals are on the forefront of the racial grievance bandwagon, and I cannot tell you how spot on you are.

I’m a senior executive at [multinational], one of the largest [businesses of its kind] in the world. I’m a military veteran but have been rubbing elbows with these white elites for some time. I attended a top-ranked MBA program, and for a time was going over to their side. You helped bring me back.

For a time at [my company], I worked [very closely with a number of senior executives] at one of our largest divisions, meaning that I reported directly to the senior executive who ran the operation. He was exactly the type of person you reference in the article — white, wealthy, and knee deep in the wacko left.

He wasn’t shy about criticizing Donald Trump in public. In a private moment, he could be counted on to denigrate Trump and his voters. A few times, he wished a speedy death to 45. This appalled me, but being a father of three, I couldn’t risk opening my mouth to tell him that his beliefs were appalling. It was cowardly, but I didn’t have a choice.

He was also a racist, flat out. He truly believed that white people who didn’t agree with him were evil and needed to be stamped out at our company. He told me this a number of times. He instituted racial hiring quotes for senior leaders, insisted on holding managers accountable for fostering “inclusive” environments (which meant encouraging and proselytizing for racial, LGBT, and gender grievances), and even went so far to say that he would never hire another white male [for my position]. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t very good, but considering my background and performance reports, this seems unlikely. But perhaps not.

But what really struck me is that, for someone who benefitted from this so-called systemic racial inequity, he never once had any skin in the game. Every policy he put into place made it more difficult for white men like me to advance, but he and his cohort of white executives continued to sit fat and happy on their thrones. It’s so easy to throw straight white men under the bus of diversity and inclusion polices when the throwers don’t have to live with the consequences. How odd. If I believed I was the beneficiary of a corporate culture that systematically discriminated against blacks, women, LGBT, etc., I don’t think I’d be able to sleep at night. I’d rather resign than perpetuate the inequity.

But alas, so long as he’s on the right side of this fight, he probably sleeps just fine. If we deplorable have to suffer, so be it. We probably deserve it.

Corporate culture is death to people like me — white, straight, male, religious. I’ve decided to go out on my own and start a company. It’s the only chance I have to escape what’s coming, and have the financial wherewithal to support my family during the coming storm. I also want to provide employment opportunities to others like me. Call it the corporate version of the BenOp.

I wasn’t a Trump voter in 2016 (I was in Evan McMullen’s camp), but my sense of self-preservation has driven me to Trump’s camp. I don’t have any other choice.

I think this man ought to speak to an employment lawyer. If he can document these things, it sounds like he has a hell of a lawsuit against this multinational corporation. And if so, I hope he sues them down to the foundations, on behalf of all the people who are being treated like this within that particular company, and every company, and on behalf of all those who will graduate from college and walk into these bigoted lion’s dens.

If I’m reading this guy correctly, he is not particularly a fan of Trump’s, but he knows that what the other side represents is the institutionalization of progressive bigotries, and their advancement in law. And he’s right about that. Anecdotally, every conservative in my inner circle is thinking the exact same thing: they don’t like Trump, agree with a lot of the criticism of him, and look forward to the day when we have a normal president again. But they are probably going to vote for him in 2020, even if they didn’t in 2016, because they fear the Democrats in power more than they loathe Trump.

This is not abstract fear. It’s fear of things like what this man in the letter is undergoing. My personal circles being what they are, most of the people in them work in institutions or environments where what this man talks about in this letter exists, at least in principle. There are no internal restraints with corporate and institutional culture to pushing it further, either. Stand up against it, and you identify yourself as a bigot.

I received another e-mail from a reader, a Christian who has been able to get along in his large, woke-ish institution by keeping his head down. He said he has recently been invited by the bosses to participate in a discussion group convened to talk about how to foster a respectful, inclusive, etc., environment in the workplace.

He’s torn. On one hand, he wants to be open about what it’s like to be a faithful Christian working in that professional environment, having to fear that you will be found out and punished; he sees this as an opportunity to make things better for people like him in the organization. On the other hand, he knows there’s a certain risk in outing himself as a religious believer within that organization’s culture. (He told me which organization it is, and yes, there’s definitely reason to fear.) There would be no going back if he came out as a Christian in that workplace, and if the climate within the organization changed, even just a little bit, he would be targeted.

There are liberals who deny that things like this happen, or that they are common, or that when they do happen, that it’s a big deal. Don’t you believe them. It’s real. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Woke Capitalism is a force for bigotry, but you can’t see that if you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid absorbed the doublethink required to thrive in these organizations.Some left-wing reader of this blog yesterday left a comment saying, presumably with a straight face, that progressives only want a more just, equitable world, and that’s what they work for. Right. Tell it to the man who wrote the letter at the top. There are a lot of us who have seen up close and personal what “progressive justice” means in the workplace. We know it’s a lie.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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