LGBT

Capitalism Trumps Hate

CEOs have often been ahead of cops and politicians on gay rights.

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The Queering of Corporate America: How Big Business Went From LGBTQ Adversary to Ally, by Carlos A. Ball, Beacon Press, 256 pages, $28.95

Big business wasn't exactly the first place activists looked for allies as the modern gay rights movement emerged. Large corporations have long been seen as a force for social conformity, antagonistic or at best indifferent toward liberation movements. But legal scholar Carlos A. Ball's new book, The Queering of Corporate America, makes a strong case that the business world has been one of the more favorable arenas for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans people seeking equality. (Ball uses LGBTQ throughout to describe this group.)

This wasn't always the case, of course. Ball shows how advocates and managers learned to walk the path toward greater equality together, a story that should lead many readers to reassess what they thought they knew about corporate America, civil rights, and social change. Over the course of several decades, activists persuaded companies to adopt nondiscriminatory hiring rules, to protect the jobs of people with HIV, and to extend health care and retirement benefits to same-sex domestic partners. Most of this was achieved at a time when few government agencies had such policies for their own employees and when most politicians—of both major parties—wanted nothing to do with gay rights legislation.

Through a multiyear process that started in 1968, for example, protesters persuaded Pacific Bell to renounce its policy against considering homosexual job applicants. In the mid-1970s, ABC and NBC agreed to make some TV shows less homophobic. In 1985, Bank of America issued a guidance to its managers calling on them to accommodate employees with HIV and to treat AIDS, at that point a subject of great public fear and misunderstanding, as they would any other serious illness. In 1996, Disney began offering domestic partner benefits to same-sex employees. In 2013, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz publicly rebuked one of his own shareholders who disagreed with the coffee chain's support for marriage equality, suggesting that the offended investor sell his stock and invest in another company.

Early advances in equal treatment were almost never reversed once integrated into corporate culture. While several early legal advances were rolled back when a more conservative group of voters became dominant, for-profit companies stuck with their policies regardless of who controlled the state house, the White House, or Congress. It turns out that changes negotiated via voluntary arrangements can be less divisive and longer-lasting than those decided at the ballot box.

Since Ball focuses mostly on big companies with big payrolls, his book doesn't have much to say about the smaller businesses that LGBTQ people have often turned to for community and entertainment rather than for a paycheck and benefits. But it's worth remembering the ways small businesses also made a place for those outside the mainstream.

Thousands of cafés, bars, and bookshops have served as queer refuges and gathering spots. After the 2016 shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida, Curbed reporter Patrick Sisson wrote that it was "no surprise family and friends of the victims at Pulse compared the attack to the invasion of a church or sacred space, because that's what these institutions have always represented for the LGBTQ community, both in Southern Florida and around the world."

Gay-friendly businesses were also often the cradles of protest movements. Bars, then as now, served as unofficial meeting places for activists, newsletter writers, and envelope stuffers. Beer blasts and drag shows raised money for legal, medical, and educational projects. At the same time that early gay activists were spending their days lobbying their employers to renounce anti-gay hiring practices, many of them were spending their evenings organizing protests against discriminatory local laws and enforcement practices.

In cities with a critical mass, those businesses built relationships with each other. Gay bars in San Francisco, for example, banded together in 1962 by forming the Tavern Guild, which did its best to shield customers from police harassment. It even operated informal social insurance programs for bar employees who lost their jobs after police raids. Guild members tracked and shared information about both city and state crackdowns.

Harvey Milk, San Francisco's first openly gay elected official, built his clout in part by leveraging an alliance with the Teamsters, who were boycotting Coors beer because of its anti-union employment practices. Coors was also notorious at the time for its homophobic corporate policies, so it was natural for gay bar owners and managers to join the boycott. The tactic was successful, too—Ball writes that by the mid-1990s, "Coors had become a leader among large corporations in embracing LGBTQ rights positions."

Many of the bars and other businesses beloved by queer people were owned and managed by members of the community. But many were not. For the latter, the profit motive did a good job of incentivizing accommodations to minority customers under difficult circumstances. The Nobel-winning economist Gary Becker has explained this effect in the context of racial discrimination.

While there have been plenty of individual cases of homophobic harassment and assault by ordinary civilians over the years, the long-term, systematic oppression of queer people came from the police. Indeed, it's almost certain that many more proprietors would have openly served the gay community if not for their fear of being fined, shuttered, or arrested themselves.

In the days when a mere gathering of gay people could trigger police retaliation, many of the businesses serving that community—including New York's legendary Stonewall Inn—were run by organized crime. In her book An Army of Ex-Lovers, Amy Hoffman, former editor of the Boston-based Gay Community News, describes her friends' mixed feelings about the gay bars that existed at the time, "whose straight, possibly Mafia owners profited from our oppression." They would have preferred to patronize watering holes with fewer unpleasant ties, but in many cities, the only people who were willing to take on an investment that risky were people who already knew when and how to bribe the police. Members of the Sicilian mafia in the mid–20th century were hardly enlightened in their attitudes toward LGBTQ people, but they did know something about delivering black market products and services while keeping the cops off of their backs.

Such police shakedowns explain one of the more memorable anecdotes of the 1969 Stonewall uprising. According to trans activist Sylvia Rivera, when cops initially raided the tavern and forced the patrons outside, the first thing thrown in defiance was pocket change. Politicians regularly justified such raids as "crackdowns on vice," but the Stonewall regulars knew the real story.

The right to own property and operate a business is good for everyone, even those—especially those—who can't count on mainstream acceptance of their sexual orientations or gender identities. One doesn't have to be an aspiring billionaire to benefit from a society that protects economic freedoms.

It's become popular in some circles to decry the commercialization of gay pride events. But the market economy, in forms both big and small, has served the interests of LGBTQ Americans for decades. There weren't any CEOs at Stonewall—not openly, anyway—but the corporate executives of later years were still years ahead of most cops and politicians when it counted.

NEXT: An Oregon Criminal Prosecution of Federal Officers Could Be Removed to Federal Court

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            1. Yes, the commentariat has declined, as have the articles. Nevertheless, there are still many very good articles, and at least a dozen rational commenters. One just has to dig a bit more to find them. A good alternative I discovered recently is Unherd. https://unherd.com/2020/07/the-ugly-truth-about-the-blm-protests/ Spiked is good as well. Both British.

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  2. Another issue on which corporations and 1%-ers are consistently on the right side of history is, of course, immigration. Reason.com’s benefactor Charles Koch is the best example. For years he’s been dedicating part of his hard-earned fortune to funding open borders advocacy.

    #BillionairesKnowBest

  3. And let’s not forget Tim Cook.

  4. File this under “Duh”.

    Businesses discover they can sell more stuff by appealing to more people, including diverse groups.

    Politicians discover they can get elected by appealing to a narrow range of people and opinions (and castigating others).

    1. Naw, this is pure social signaling to others in their class.

      If they were actually trying to broaden appeal they’d start deliberately targeting evangelicals who make up 35% of the population, instead of LGBT, who, if you remove the dabblers, make up about 1.5% of the population.
      But they don’t, because the high ranks of global corporations are drawn from the liberal haute bourgeoisie, and they consider evangelicals to be class enemies.

      1. Capitalism favors broader markets, and a steadily increasing majority of people in modern America place evangelicals’ beliefs on a continuum ranging from gullible and backward to obnoxious and silly. A sensible business chooses to go with the majority and the future. (Plus, most successful executives favor education and reason.)

        1. You’re such a delusional twit. You’re more bound by your nutty beliefs, than the people you call gullible are.

      2. Ya had to pass a law to get people to accept seatbelts, right?

        1. No. A law was passed to force them.

      3. You’ve just undermined every argument in favor of the wisdom of markets that serve as the foundation of libertarianism.

        1. The markets have nothing to do with the corporatist graft system that the big multinationals operate under, and you know it.
          Don’t pretend like they’re freely trading like local players and not sucking down tax exemptions, bailouts and grants.

          1. Naturally, but is it really a problem that corporations are choosing to do the right thing, whatever the motivation? Oh no, corporate America isn’t propagating bigotry in service to a meddlesome uncool minority of white Christians. They’re being responsible community leaders! Oh no!

            1. Haha. Whoever panders the loudest gets your business. Awesome.

      4. Except showing acceptance of LGBT doesn’t just appeal to LGBT, it appeals to pretty much everyone who isn’t outwardly anti-LGBT. In other words it appeals to the 65% of people who *aren’t* evangelicals, and thus makes good business sense between the two alternatives

        And BTW, there are plenty of businesses targeting evangelicals too. Ever had Chick-Fil-A on a Sunday? Only reheated, right?

  5. It was culture more so than business or money that trumped hate in my opinion. And it could have gone the other way and might still.

    1. And what is “culture” other than the collective behavior of people and businesses?

  6. If Drmocrats really cared about fighting prejudice they would look in the mirror. Two of their favorite groups are the worst offenders of homophobia: muslims and ethnic minorities.

    Instead they just pretend the root of the problem is conveniently caused by the stuff they hate anyway, businesses and Christianity

    1. Depends on how you define worst. Muslims and ethnic minorities pose almost zero threat to gay rights in the United States. The same obviously can’t be said for Christians and capitalism.

      At any rate, despite your hardest attempts, perhaps learn to appreciate that bigotry against minorities is not in fact the solution to every problem. What would you have Democrats do to conservative Muslims, exactly? It’s not like they are tempering their support for gay rights for their sake.

      1. Muslims and ethnic minorities pose almost zero threat to gay rights in the United States.

        Well, except their right to life.

        The Pulse nightclub massacre was the work of a Muslim.

        And all those marches this past June about black trans lives mattering? Well, the killers in those cases are overwhelmingly black cis lives–often BLM hangers on.

        So yeah, they don’t have a big vote–they’re just really killy. And people who are really killy who are protected by the SJW mob tend to get a pass.

  7. And speaking of monuments to evil Republicans won’t even repeal the sodomy laws and you mfers are damn near blind to it.

    1. So of course, the Democrats repealed those sodomy laws the first time they were in control, right? No? Odd. It’s almost like the world doesn’t line up on a simplistic evil R / good D axis.

    2. Can’t even assfuck no more in Blormph’s America.

    3. And in how many states are those laws actually enforceable? I’ll give you a hint – it’s less than 1.

  8. Libertarians were once pro business and pro capitalism. A few may still be but most have become far left Trump haters and demagogues.

    1. Libertarians also were once dedicated to liberty and individual freedom, but that makes it hard to push an agenda.

      1. There is economic clout with group rights. That is why Nike makes pink sneakers.

  9. “Republicans buy gym shoes too”.

    1. The gay ones, maybe.

    2. Yes, Michael Jordan was, and is, publicly almost apolitical. But do you think he could get away with that if he were just starting out today? He would risk being cancelled. Of course, now that he is fabulously wealthy he risks little.

  10. How a grouping of paraphilias were packaged and sold to Western culture as biological imperatives and a human right, should be a marketing case study for the ages.

    A lot of people think that the change started with Stonewall, but that’s just LGBT founding myth.
    The real change began when Gay Liberation Front activists hijacked both the 1970 and 1971 American Psychiatric Association conferences, first by interrupting speakers and shouting down and ridiculing psychiatrists, and then locking them out. This continued until the mid-seventies when the APA finally caved to the activists and removed homosexuality from the DSM.

    1. What is that Catch-22 – mental stability is denied by the sane and claimed by the insane.

    2. Always great to get pointers on sound thinking from people who base their judgment on a foundation of fairy tales and bigotry.

      1. You should give it a try, asshole bigot.

      2. Your saying the APA based DSM 1 and 2 on fairy tales and bigotry?
        You’re such a fucking moron, Kirkland.

    3. “The real change began when Gay Liberation Front activists hijacked both the 1970 and 1971 American Psychiatric Association conferences, first by interrupting speakers and shouting down and ridiculing psychiatrists, and then locking them out…”

      Who says violence doesn’t solve anything…

      1. Threatening ideological adversaries is now an integral part of scientific method.

    4. You mad that gay rights activists achieved success in their goals, bruh?

      1. More disgusted than angry, but with a pinch of the sort of admiration you get when you see some sleazebag successfully pull an enormous con.

        1. Let me guess, none of the disgusting things you do in the privacy of your bedroom is unnatural, no matter how many farm animals it involves?

          You know what really kills a party of freedom people? Religious authoritarian cunts who think missionary position with your cousin is the only acceptable form of happiness.

          1. Religious authoritarian cunts who think missionary position with your cousin is the only acceptable form of happiness.

            Why do you hate Arabs Tony? What did they do to you?

            1. Arabs? And here I thought he was talking about Franklin Roosevelt.

            2. “We’re not as bad as the Muslims! Vote for us and get a kick in the nuts!”

          2. the disgusting things you do… farm animals… kills freedom… Religious authoritarian cunts… missionary position with your cousin…”

            Lol, Tony’s super mad, and is shrieking about religion and hillbilly sex tropes again. When he trots out all his favorite “deplorables” strawmen you know he’s lost the argument.

            1. But have you ever tried not being a deplorable?

              1. Have you ever gone more than a week without thinking of sex with farm animals?

                1. I’ll stop making the crack when you people stop being so curiously defensive about it.

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    6. “The real change began when Gay Liberation Front activists hijacked both the 1970 and 1971 American Psychiatric Association conferences”

      That’s ridiculous. Social change doesn’t originate in psychiatric conferences. The real change began years earlier when the Rolling Stones’ Jagger, Richards et al would grow their hair long and appear in public wearing clothes they would borrow/appropriate from the haute couture (high fashion) models they were sleeping with.

      1. An interesting take….

        But I’ll point out that Liberace was a huge star long before the Rolling Stones existed, and he was far more flamboyant about crossing gender norms than Jagger ever thought about being. And Liberace was acceptable in polite society his entire career.

        Sometimes the narrative people tell themselves isn’t actually as reflective of reality as they think it is. In the age of woke, that historically untethered narrative actually finds its way into academic treatises.

        Remember, life before the 1960’s wasn’t always like the 1950’s. The 1950’s was in many ways a reaction to the pre-crash 1920’s and 1930’s, which was a pretty wild and party friendly society. But in post-war America, huge numbers of people were starting families at the same time and the focus of the culture shifted. For a taste of just how skewed the 1960’s social change movement’s view of “historical attitudes” was, simply watch any of the censored films and animations from the teens and 20’s. There’s plenty of debauchery to be found – including graphic depictions of all sorts of flouting of sexual norms.

        Don’t forget – people are people. They don’t change all that much over time. Cultures might be different, societal norms might be different… but the people underneath are basically the same, whatever their race or wherever they come from. So all the same drives and behaviors exist everywhere. It is just the boot of the state that enforces conformity with violence. Sure, you’ll find a minority that are happy to play along with those strictures, because they enjoy having a bit of power over others. That too is a human constant. But most people settle in to a go along to get along life – even in truly repressive regimes like today’s middle eastern theocracies where being gay can get you executed.

        There is always a tension between the natural desire of people to be left alone and the natural desire of people to tell other people what to do. Creating an all-powerful central authority that controls all aspects of the economy and decides what can and cannot be said is certainly not the way to combat people’s urges toward the latter desire. It pretty much guarantees that all you are going to get is people telling others what to do, with the backing of state power behind it. The rest of us will be forced to keep our heads down and attempt to operate below the radar.. just like everyone in the Soviet Union did, just like people in Mao’s China… just like folks everywhere the state becomes too powerful.

        Rising to power on a “we are anti-racist and we love Trans people” slogan is no guarantee that the society they build would have any compunction at all with banning disfavored lifestyles – including many currently flourishing under that rainbow banner.

        1. All societies have taboo. They change over time. Once any exhibition of gayness was to be avoided. Now it’s expressions of homophobia. I don’t think we can attribute these changes to society’s leaders. It comes from the margins instead. Warhol, David Bowie, Elton John and others all started their careers in the closet. They didn’t come out because of anything our leaders said or did.

  11. So what gay rights still need to be achieved? I’m pretty much in gay overload as much as I am in Black Lives Matter overload.

    Now the gay rights movement is just annoying.

    WTF do you want?

    1. Gay overload? Maybe you should stop going to all those gay bars hoping someone will talk to you.

  12. CEOs have often been ahead of cops and politicians on gay rights.

    They’re also ahead of everyone else on the elimination of capitalism, the destruction of the nuclear family and the elimination of international borders.

    1. If you’re going to be such a cheerleader for traditional institutions, you have to wear the uniform. Petticoats, wide hats, and a big old hand fan for when you feel like fainting.

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  15. What large corporations support is regulations which they can comply with (or mandate things they would do anyway) but which allow the government to hassle some of their smaller competitors.

    Which may be a coincidence – maybe their motives are pure and rainbowish – but it’s a fortunate coincidence for them.

    1. For years corporate America shunned gays, blacks and so on. Now they are no longer hesitant about using the skills they have to offer, just as you would expect from any business in a competitive market. You seem to believe this new openness is somehow underhanded or distasteful. I suspect this is your conservatism showing.

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  17. Capitalism Trumps hate! Great headline…

    But what is today teaching us… not “the last 40 years”, but today?

    Today, Siri answered a generic question with some offers to teach me about #BLM. Now, having been active in the innocence project for 2 decades and pushing for changes to the drug war and policing tactics for even longer, I’m all about the superficial goals of the BLM slogan. But the group? They are straight marxists who are directly using racial animus to divide the people in order to achieve their revolution. So I put that squarely in the “hate” camp. I get that nobody in the media is going to go along with this assessment, but it really requires a lot of mental gymnastics to read the BLM list of demands and not see flaming racism that would make David Duke blush.

    #BLM is also the cash funnel for the DNC. It was their largest small donor generator for independent political groups before all this mess started, and now they are extorting millions from corporate donors who wish to buy indulgences. So, despite the optics of putting a Black Lives Matter bumper sticker on your corporate logo, the results are very much not in the “anti-hate” camp. Quite the contrary.

    George Floyd was a generational opportunity. There was absolutely zero disagreement about immediate reforms to the militarized police, qualified immunity, union reforms… basically a laundry list of issues that we have been working toward for a couple of decades were right there for the taking.

    Then along come the Marxist race-baiters. They’ve decided that instead of taking the win on the issues of relevance, they are going to demand the end of the nuclear family, the end of the white cultural hegemony that is science, linear rational thought and a solid work ethic. (this is really what they literally demand, not some hyperbolic twist of the facts)

    They sound exactly like Hans Gruber demanding that his comrades in arms around the world be released. He didn’t care if anyone actually got released… he wanted them busy working on something else.

    This is what the BLM crowd is doing. They don’t care if we actually abolish reason, the scientific method and the nuclear family. They want everyone arguing about ridiculous racist demands so that they can slip their agenda through the back door. Nobody was discussing policy in the presidential debate, but Sanders managed to pretty much write the party platform thanks to all the chaos.

    There is no capitalism cure for that. They are using the capitalist motive to milk corporate america for the funds they’ll use to abolish the corporations.

    1. ” They are using the capitalist motive to milk corporate america for the funds they’ll use to abolish the corporations.”

      Corporations come and go all the time. Compare a list of the top 100 40 years ago with a list from today, and you’ll see what I mean. The revolution will need experienced managers and technocrats when it finally manages to kick over this rotting regime, and they will be drawn from the ranks of corporate suits implementing these socialist policies.

      1. “…experienced managers and technocrats…”

        Yep, like these guys… just what the revolution needs.

          1. These are Nazis and they came to power via elections rather than revolution. And a corporate background is not their norm. Rare, if anything. What they tended to share was a record of military service, many continuing in the right wing Freikorps when world war I was over. Much like Hitler.

            1. It still takes money to get elected. And where do you think the Nazis got their funds?

              1. Will today’s corporations use slave labor? Build gas chambers like I.G. Farben?

                1. They already use America’s prison work force. It’s basically slavery but for the name. People are put in cages for years on the most ridiculous charges. China also uses prison workers although not as many as are enslaved in America, they probably make up for it in harshness.

                  But the technocrats and experts needed by the revolution probably won’t have to be enslaved. They will be content to keep doing what they are doing now for new masters.

                  1. “…the technocrats and experts needed by the revolution probably won’t have to be enslaved.”

                    Just like the Top Men from Krupp, IG Farben, Siemens, Porsche and all the others didn’t need to be enslaved. Only the lowly workers were slaves.

                    1. “Just like the Top Men from Krupp, IG Farben, Siemens, Porsche and all the others didn’t need to be enslaved.”

                      They didn’t need to be enslaved. They were often more Nazi than the Nazis. (Read about Krupp, and Farben was essential in formulating economic policy, something that disinterested Hitler readily handed off to others.) I’m not talking about Top Men in any case. I’m talking about managers, technocrats and experts, people necessary to the Top Men in any regime.

                  2. Corporations use America’s prison population as slave labor?

                    Which products and corporations should we avoid? People must be told about this! Please share!

                    Everything is so terrible and unfair!

                    1. “Which products and corporations should we avoid? ”

                      In your case, all of them.

  18. “But what is today teaching us… not “the last 40 years”, but today?”

    It’s teaching us that corporate America has been and still is at the forefront of social change. It’s admittedly a little counter intuitive (surprising) because it’s traditionally been conservative. Couple hundred years ago America’s churches and figures associated with them were at the forefront of the abolition of slavery and other such struggles, while corporate America was largely silent. These days it’s the churches who are silent.

    http://libgen.li/search.php?req=ellroy+underworld&open=0&res=25&view=simple&phrase=1&column=def

    James Ellroy’s Underworld Trilogy is interesting for its portrayal of the criminal underclass in the 50s and 60s and their tolerance and acceptance of the gay demi monde (social fringes). Blacks never got the same treatment. In fact the novels portray the criminal underworld conniving with American intelligence agencies in marketing heroin in black communities to undermine them and sap them of their spirit.

    1. yeah, nice attempt at spin….

      But if you think “corporate america” is buying in to an anti-corporate socialist revolution, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

      The corporate response is the accumulated result of 50 years of operating in a society where being racist is one of the worst things you can be. They are marketing themselves as “not racist” to maintain social acceptability. That is all.

      There are no “corporations” that are on board with the BLM organization’s goals. They are on board with BLM’s slogan. That is all. BLM is a very clever and very intentional grab for the baton at the front of the parade by the Communist Party of America. Notably, they also jumped in front of a parade with “occupy” and ended up with a bunch of Antifa acolytes. These movements are not even populated with people who believe in the ideology of their leadership… except for a good chunk of the Antifa crowd which seems to be a coalition of anarchists, communists and social democrats (as well as a sprinkling of people who enjoy LARPING as dangerous Nazi hunters).

      One tool for combating this anti-societal movement is simply exposing what their leadership believes. So far the corporate media has studiously avoided this topic, probably because they believe they are allies. So you’ll get reactions like “well, maybe that lady is a former member of a violent domestic terrorist movement and avowed communist, but that doesn’t mean anything about the movement” when you talk about individuals. And you’ll get handwaving about their manifestos and lists of demands similar to the response we saw to AOC’s “green new deal” when you actually read what was in it. “They don’t really mean that”. “That’s not real.” “Nobody wants that”.

      Just like they told us “nobody is coming for statues of Washington and Jefferson”, the power of double-think means never having to worry about what anything means or what anyone said or did more than 24 hours ago (as long as they agree with the cause). Now we are moving from an ACLU that will vigorously disagreeing with what you say while strongly defending your right to say it, to an ACLU that says “Hate speech is not free speech” and now to a fully woke ACLU that will vigorously defend the right of the woke to restrict speech they disagree with.

      Remember, all those Bolshevik intellectuals thought they were going to lead the new communist paradise only moments before they were shipped off to the gulags. There’s no reason for all of these “woke” folks in the media and working at Silicon Valley companies to expect that they will be any better situated. And the end result is never a paradise – it becomes a miserable downward spiral as all of the incentives that drive humans to work together are broken down and eliminated. This ideology never leads to equality of all minorities. Just ask anyone who wasn’t Russian living in the Soviet Union. Or any of the non-Han minorities in China. Or anyone in Pol Pot’s Cambodia. Or heck, even head down to Cuba. How diverse is their leadership?

      Anyone who thinks that supporting communism is the same thing as opposing racism is deluded. The only way to guarantee a racist society is giving too much power to the government… and there are few forms of government that require more absolute authority than a communist government. And anyone buying in to the “they are social democrats, like Sweden and Norway!” is similarly deluded. All you have to do is listen to what they actually believe in order to know just how ludicrous that is. Social democrats do not require tearing down society and remaking it… destroying corporations, the nuclear family, churches and even “the scientific method”. Anything that might lead people to question the new Harrison Bergeron inspired, woke version of equality.

      1. “But if you think “corporate america” is buying in to an anti-corporate socialist revolution, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. ”

        I don’t think that at all. The corporate willingness to delve into identity politics is a harmless way to divert us from class politics, something much more threatening to them. When I say ‘social change’ I don’t necessarily mean ‘socialist change.’

        I don’t know much about BLM, Antifa or the CPUSA. I think they have spokespersons rather than leaders, and these spokespersons should be viewed with skepticism. (Although the CPUSA probably does have leadership, it is so inconsequential, I don’t know why you worry about it.) I remember a few years ago when there was unrest in Ferguson. Al Sharpton traveled down from New York to address the crowd. He was booed off the stage. A healthy attitude I suggest we all follow.

      2. Well said, cyto.

        But I have to disagree, partially, with one point:
        “The corporate response is the accumulated result of 50 years of operating in a society where being racist is one of the worst things you can be. They are marketing themselves as “not racist” to maintain social acceptability. That is all.”

        I don’t think that is all, at all.
        Corporate America is getting something out of promoting this movement, more than just avoiding woke ire.
        It may be nothing more than the fact that a conformist and superficial society favors the biggest brands, so why not encourage that?
        But I’m not convinced there isn’t even more to it than that…

        1. “Corporate America is getting something out of promoting this movement, more than just avoiding woke ire.”

          Corporate America is finally availing itself of Black talent, something they’ve ignored up to now. 50 years ago, they were finally getting around to employing Jewish talent. I remember seeing figures of wages broken down by sex and race. The only group between white men, black men, white women, black women to see substantial increases in wages over the past few decades was, you guessed it, black women. This shows that corporate America finally understood the value of a group they had until recently ignored.

          1. 50 years ago for Jewish talent, and only now for Black talent? I think your timing is seriously off.

            1. “I think your timing is seriously off.”

              I meant to say that Jews were only accepted some time after WWII and Blacks a few decades after that.

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      There is no rational reason for a baker, of any faith, to refuse to serve a paying customer.

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