Ax the ‘woke’ American Express philosophy –

By | March 12, 2023

Charles Gasparino


March 11, 2023 | 8:40 p.m

There are few companies more synonymous with consumer finance than American Express, the long-standing and iconic outfit of credit cards.

I still remember back in the day when you dreaded carrying cash on vacation, you bought some company Traveler’s Checks because as the company’s popular ad said, you “can’t leave the house without” them.

To this day, AmEx continues to remain a consumer staple.

It serves its customers well, especially those of us who hate monthly fees and prefer their annual fee.

Most people I know have at least one AmEx card as well as a company card.

Yes, I am a happy AmEx customer.

That’s why for the life of me, it’s so disconcerting that this company — with the word “America” ​​in its name, no less — is approaching an anti-American corporate conscience in the name of social justice.

According to critics, AmEx’s dance with the devil of wakeness seems to have begun sometime in 2020 and largely after the police killing of George Floyd and the race riots that followed (though company insiders argue it has evolved from its initial framework into something more). inclusive).

Either way, the company isn’t alone in trying to use tragedy and social upheaval as teachable moments, of course.

In fact, I don’t know of a single large company that hasn’t addressed this issue in one way or another, either through diversity sessions or in communications with employees.

The American Express “renaissance” reportedly began after the killing of George Floyd.

But AmEx’s experiment in what is often euphemistically described in corporate circles as its employee “diversity and inclusion training” illustrates how the debate about social justice is also taking an aggressive turn.

The appalling behavior of some rogue cops is used as an excuse to advance a version of America that is radical as a racist nation in dire need of reform is all too common throughout corporate America.

Remember JPMorgan head Jamie Dimon kneeling in apparent solidarity with the shadowy and financially radical Black Lives Matter movement, which is the favorite recipient of countless donations from benevolent corporate giants.

A professor at the prestigious Yale School of Management convened top CEOs to condemn Georgia’s voter registration law that it says is racist because people are required to show proper identification.

JPMorgan head Jamie Dimon has publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Innate racism? Truly?

Then comes the sensitivity session.

Bank of America at one of its branches instituted a program designed to correct mistakes by educating employees about their inherent racism and how that defect is passed on to their children when they are 5 years old.

And if you believe some of the things AmEx employees, both past and present, credit card companies take their diversity training to extremes, and depending on who you talk to, they still do.

Chris Rufo, of the Manhattan Institute, originally documented the frenzy when he came across corporate diversity training materials featuring speakers who subscribed to the dangerous and divisive Critical Race Theory, a social movement that regards America as a racist society and finds capitalism particularly contemptuous of such bias.

Companies immediately came under intense pressure to publish data on how they hire and promote people largely based on race and gender, which makes those factors so decisive in employment decisions, critics say.

The diversity and inclusion session explores pseudo-intellectual modes such as “intersectionality”, which view the world through the lens of our gender and racial differences.

It also basically labels any straight white man as racist, and requires brainwashing.

So-called “macro-aggression”, where certain words, even if used unintentionally, are perceived as racist when communicating with people from so-called oppressed groups.

They consider hostile speech unfit for work and a reason for discipline.

And what would a diversity/inclusion session look like without a small CRT; a speaker invited to an “optional” diversity workshop argued that America is still a racist throwback despite court decisions, years of affirmative action and the election of a black president and now vice president.

Under Stephen Squeri, American Express has increased its market share to $123 billion.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

It’s amazing that such nonsense, which is usually found on college campuses, got to corporate America, but it worked.

The good news: Most of the companies I contacted for this column told me that some of the things I just outlined were overreactions to the heat of the moment.

They have clear inclusion training sessions.

Instead of dividing people by race, they seek to build bridges and teamwork.

Does that include AmEx? Well, it depends on who you talk to.

A company spokesperson declined to comment on the complaints or whether the company’s “diversity and inclusion” seminars still feature such rubbish.

Some employees argue that wakeness persists in so-called “D&I” training, but the message is said to be more opaque.

A source within the company says the worst of what you’ve read about the matter is gone.

Again, this is very odd, especially considering the AmEx brand and also who runs the place – CEO Stephen Squeri, a Queens man and graduate of Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in East Elmhurst.

Since Squeri was named CEO in 2018, AmEx has increased its market value to $123 billion.

It was one of the most valuable companies in the world, while its shares outperformed the S&P and Dow during that time.

Squeri is the epitome of the American Dream, I was told by mutual friends: A humble local boy struggling his way to the top of one of the world’s largest financial firms.

It’s not because having a vowel at the end of her last name opens a lot of doors in the big Wall Street corporations.

Sounds like a good story for an AmEx diversity session.

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