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Go WOKE, Go BROKE: The Misplaced Values of Corporate America


There has been a business trend of late to embrace the WOKE agenda. For the most part this trend in organizational change has been to the detriment of corporate profitability. The need to either embrace or force cultural change should be the purview of government and the non-profit sectors, but not the for-profit. There is the argument about corporate responsibility. The civil rights movement and parity for women in the workplace and governance are good cases. But there are limits to this. A good case in point is the Anheuser-Busch campaign to have a transexual male sell Bud Light. The campaign ads were to celebrate “her” 365 days of 'girlhood.'

The fact that Busch spent good money on this promotion is nothing short of stupid and several levels. First, who buys Bud Light? Who is the customer? I am guessing that less than one percent of the customers are either transexual or want to be. So, the company was clearly trying to promote transexuals as being the new norm. Did the company actually believe that their customers could be persuaded to accept transexuals? Women in particular are as concerned about this as men. Indeed, women have more to lose. Transexual men, presenting themselves as women, are unfairly competing against women in all sports venues. No amount of surgery or hormones will change a man’s muscle, body mass or size.

      Do transexuals have rights? Of course! In America, every citizen has the same Constitutional rights. Should transexuals be discriminated against. Of course not! But that doesn’t mean everyone has to like a person whose sexuality is such that a person doesn’t understand it. I am a heterosexual male. As such, I have no right to promote my sexuality with gays or transexuals. Sexuality is something that is best left in the bedroom. Would a transexual be happy with a Christian lecturing them on their “sin” every day at work? Of course not.

      Another WOKE debacle is Disney. Why Disney is dressing up Minnie Mouse as more male is beyond comprehension. I was born in Southern California and went to the first Disneyland when it opened. I was later banned from Disneyland because I was a male with long hair! No hippies were allowed because… what? Hippies weren’t automatically gay. Quite the opposite. Remember Free Love? My point being that a person’s sexuality shouldn’t matter when it comes to entering the Magic Kingdom. On the other hand, Disney shouldn’t promote sexuality. Disney’s mission statement was changed “to entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds and innovative technologies that make ours the world's premier entertainment company.” To “entertain” is not the same as to “persuade” anyone about what is sexually acceptable. By the way, Disney’s original mission statement was “That it would be a place where parents and children could have fun.” I guess having “fun” is now out of the question – or at least out of the mission statement. Same for parents and kids. Disney no longer cares about families and parents got the message.

      Take note of the fact that I am not discussing the issue of black Americans. Being black is not a lifestyle choice. It is not as subtle as a person’s personal sexual choices. You can’t be black and leave it in the bedroom. How to address or redress the historical issues black Americans have lived with is a separate issue. I doubt that anyone rational person would think putting black Americans on beer cans would solve anything. If anything it would cheapen the black experience.

      My bottom line is that business has no business promoting any sexual choices people make. The purpose of corporations is profitability done in a legal, ethical, and moral way. The latter is more about what people should not do. Corporations should work to eliminate prejudice of any kind in the workplace. It should not be to promote any social agenda. When a corporation spends money to take a position for or against anyone’s beliefs, then they lose money. It is that simple.

      There is an important cultural trend that underlies this shift in sexual politics. Who is promoting this shift away from profitability to sexual choice acceptability? Where did WOKE Capitalism come from? I believe it is two groups of people. Specifically, Generation X (born 1965-1979) and Millennials (born 1980-1994). I am not going to spend time trying to explain the value system of these folks. I am a Baby Boomer and a parent of them. I can say that they are not doing better than their parents. As a sometime futurist, I can tell you that the world they live in and will live in is not going to be a good one. The reality of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics will put most of them out of work and economically marginalized. The recent pandemic is a harbinger of things to come. To be quite honest, I am glad I won’t be around to witness this. Unless, of course, Ray Kurzweil is right. Then I will download my brain into an android body and live as long as I can stand it.

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