The Bell Approach to Business continues to spread
Polarization is getting worse, as corporations become increasingly political.
I am still working on some practical ways to push back on the Bell approach to business. Expect new developments in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I want to share my concerns about polarization getting worse in our communities.
A Home Depot in Calgary made the news last week for distributing a two-page flyer to its employees about “privilege.” The flyer’s content made many of the offensive assumptions that privilege discourse often makes, including the assumption that people can know how easy or difficult your life is based on the colour of your skin.
It should be considered racist to make such assumptions, but Home Depot has bought into a new definition of racism that you might find in a post-modern graduate school seminar. Home Depot defines racism as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people because of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or maginalized.” In other words, according to Home Depot, only some people can be racist against some groups. Home Depot does not consider racism a matter of universal morality or ethics, which defies common religious and philosophical perspectives.
As you’d expect, Home Depot tried to distance itself from the flyer once social media users took notice, telling FOX Business, “This was a resource in our Canadian division and not part of any required programming.”
How is that supposed to make Canadians feel? Home Depot is okay with distributing toxic political messages to employees, but only in our country?
Home Depot is taking the Bell approach to business by forcing ultraliberal political views on employees. The impact of businesses becoming political organizations is bigger than just internal employee matters. By taking political positions in the workplace, Home Depot is alienating customers, suppliers, and partners who don’t share an ultraliberal view on race.
If these corporate officers and managers turned political activists aren’t careful, they will divide our economy along the same lines as our culture wars. It’s already starting to happen.
A clear example of this has emerged in the men’s grooming market: Jeremy’s Razors. Face of the brand, Jeremy Boreing, is co-CEO of media company the Daily Wire. He started Jeremy’s Razors as an alternative razor subscription service to Harry’s Razors, after Harry’s decided to stop advertising with the Daily Wire because its podcast content wasn’t liberal enough. Specifically, Harry’s cited “values misalignment” when explaining the decision to stop doing business with Daily Wire.
In its first week competing with Harry’s, Jeremy’s Razors has sold tens of thousands of shaving kits using the slogan “Stop giving your money to people who hate you. Give it to me.”
Jeremy’s slogan is effective because it speaks directly to a feeling that many conservatives and centrists have experienced. The likes of Harry’s Razors and Home Depot are making people who aren’t liberals feel unwelcome as customers and employees. It’s unnecessary hostility being directed by big businesses toward working middle class families.
I don’t want to live in a world where liberals buy from one razor company or home improvement retailer, and conservatives and centrists buy from another. That’s far too divisive. But it appears we continue heading in that direction because of corporate officers and managers who are trying to stay in the good graces of social activist investors and Big Tech algorithms.