These NOTE5 are random thoughts & bookmarks, roughly organized by topic, that I use for reference and conversation starters. I publish them for easy sharing, with hope there’s some hidden value for a wider audience. The format is more newsfeed than article.
Leaders, ask a serious question of yourself and your team members:
Can you imagine an endpoint where every individual’s feelings will be secured? Where you can promise no further possibility of anyone feeling offended, uncomfortable, unsafe at the hands of an idea? How will you measure it? How long will it take? What will we do when our collective feelings are secured? How can we guarantee past & future emotional safety? Who will decide when enough hurtful words have been expunged? What about hurtful words in languages other than English? Can we start/share a company-wide Google Doc to track down and document problematic action items? …
Is there any logical conclusion to this line of inquiry? Is there any measurable output? Is there even an identifiable unit of measure?
“the most sensitive pair of ears in the room gets to decide what everyone else gets to hear or what everyone else gets to say.”Jonathan Rauch speaking to Nick Gillespie (Reason)
Definitions: Diversity, Inclusion, Equity
Here’s a practical, actionable podcast on DE&I as human value-driver vs. ideological toxin. Diversity, inclusion, and equity are all covered separately using clear language and examples of how to build a culture of service, or a platform for identity-based LARPing.
Self-Censorship as a Workplace Survival Mechanism
“Examining all Americans under 65, 37% of those under 30 are worried their political opinions could harm their career trajectories, compared to 30% of 30–54 year-olds and 24% of 55–64 year-olds. But the age gap is more striking taking into account political views.”
Glenn Loury on Woke Corporate Policy
Glenn Loury has been at this for a long time. He’s a even-keeled thinker with tremendous output and still does regular appearances on podcasts. The video below the article is an interesting reminder that today’s arguments are just a remix of yesterday’s arguments. Progress remains the elephant in the room that hustlers want to avoid.
From Your Employee’s Perspective
Put yourself in the shoes of your people and consider this from their perspective: How to Talk to Your Employers About Anti-Racism (New Discourses)
Organizational Resistance to Woke Pressure
“To understand this concept, think of something like how it’s possible to stand on an empty soda can even though the aluminum walls are literally almost paper thin. So long as the cylindrical shape of the can stays intact, rather a lot of weight can be put on top of it without it being crushed, but if there’s even a slight dent in the side of the can, almost no pressure at all will smash it to the floor. The integrity of the shape of the can, in this metaphor, is the integrity of your organization’s internal culture. If it is strong, unified, and clear in purpose, it can resist a lot of outside pressure and activist braying of various demands. If not, it will be crushed by the extortion.”
How Your Organization Can Resist Woke Social Pressure (New Discourses)
Coinbase’s Choice To Be Apolitical
“…it is likely to be adopted at other companies––probably for the better––because it is well suited to helping workplaces stay diverse and inclusive in a polarized moment.”
The author considers both sides of a company’s choice to either welcome political discourse in the workplace or to create an apolitical environment. Worth a read…
Another: Coinbase Has Drawn a Line in the Sand for Its Activist Employees (Coindesk)
A Little Background
I’ve curated a few hours of video/written content here that goes deeper than soundbites. Why?
— The black community, whose wholesale support for the agreeably-named but radical BLM agenda is at best unsubstantiated, will shoulder disproportionate blame at the hands of shallow media coverage and adjacent radical groups who seized opportunity. (see Antifa / Portland and the significantly white demo)
— Our best intentions are being crippled by purposefully misleading & incomplete information
— Whether you lead a company, team or family, it’s prohibitively time-consuming to gather these sources and information quickly. I happen to have been doing it for a couple of years so I hope it’s helpful.
Send In The Clowns: Woke At Work And Other Gaps (this site)
BLM is Owned by Mostly White, Wealthy, Communist-adjacent Power Brokers
American C-suite leaders are either unaware, irresponsible, or believe it’s easier virtue-signal now and walk back public support at a later date.
1) “In 2016, BLM Global Network approached Thousand Currents to create a fiscal sponsorship agreement. Thousand Currents, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization, provides the legal and administrative framework to enable BLM to fulfill its mission.”
2) “As of June 2020, the vice chair of Thousand Currents board of directors was Susan Rosenberg, a former member of the Weather Underground and May 19th Communist Organization who spent 16 years in federal prison before having the remainder of her sentence commuted by President Bill Clinton in 2001.”
Profile of Thousand Currents on Influence Watch
3) Here’s a much deeper look at the history and organizational structure of BLM and the tangled network of players that provide financing and business infrastructure.
Is Warren Buffett the Wallet Behind Black Lives Matter?: The Tides Network is a powerful instrument leveraged by billionaires working to change America, while shielding their philanthropic dollars from public scrutiny. Here’s how it works. (Tablet Mag)
Listen, Ask Questions. Arguing is a Trap.
How does a leader approach misplaced, illogical demands from wokesters? First, learn the arguments. They’re convoluted but few. Then just let people talk. Very few people can articulate what’s behind their demands.
Case in point, the prominent co-founder of BLM. Here’s a quote from the video: “We actually do have a ideological frame. Myself and Alicia in particular, we’re trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super versed on, sort of, ideological theories.”
The bar ought to be a bit higher than “super versed” in unspecified ideological theories for the sort of claims & demands that are being leveled at American culture.
Why is this on a professional network? Because the same playbook — collective responsibility >> forcible, collective action — is being deployed for COVID lockdowns (we’re all in this together, we have to lockdown the country!), white privilege indoctrination (irredeemable white racism requires forced interrogations, erasure of history, and “peaceful protests”), and diversity & inclusion (reward identity over output).
Moral Panic Finds Racism Everywhere. These Are Not Satires.
Who Is Karl Marx: Meet the Anti-Capitalist Scholar (Teen Vogue)
Beethoven Has a First Name (Slate)
The Constitution Is the Crisis (New Republic)
Columbia University Marching Band votes to disband after 116 years because racism? (Columbia Spectator)
Hard Work = White as [?] = Black
This taxpayer-funded “whiteness” chart was published (then quickly taken down) by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American Heritage. Imagine the thinking behind finding habits like hard work, rational thinking, and keeping to a schedule to be aspects of “whiteness.” Where, may I ask, does that leave “blackness?”
Signs of Collapse
- Within weeks, the “garden” inside Seattle’s infamous CHAZ was segregated
- “Wall of Moms” devolved into a race-fueled Twitter war
- “Riot Ribs” was dissolved due to fraudulent fundraising
The woke mindset is poisonous. There is no distinction between the street mindset and the workplace mindset. It’s not confined to any race or identity group. Classic zero-sum.
Signs of Strength
Traders Joe’s: A Note About Our Product Naming (TJ site)
Red Bull: Red Bull Replaces Top U.S. Executives Amid Internal Tensions (WSJ)
It’s a matter of time before horror stories from American enterprise begin to emerge.
The antidote to woke, Robin DiAngelo-style indoctrination is slow, logical, reasoned questions and examination. Woke cannot stand up to any measure of scrutiny or resistance — it has only 1 fallback position: invent a racism claim.
Thomas Irre is the founder of HK5, LLC and an advocate of analog transformation – a common sense approach to sustainable business transformation that emphasizes people & performance first, and arms them with a flexible technology arsenal that aligns to clear-cut business goals.