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Few companies are more synonymous with consumer finance than American Express, the longstanding and iconic credit-card organization.
I can still remember the day when you were too scared to carry cash while on vacation, you bought some traveler’s checks because the company’s popular commercial called it “don’t leave home without it.”
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To this day, AmEx persists as the consumer staple.
It serves its customers well, especially those of us who hate monthly fees and opt for their annual fees.
Most people I know have at least one MAEX card and a corporate one as well.
Yes, I am a happy AmEx customer.
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Which is why it is so baffling for the life of me that this company – with the word “American” in its name – is resorting to anti-American corporate vigilantism in the name of social justice.
According to critics, MAEX’s dance with the devil appears to have begun around 2020, and mostly in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd and the race riots that followed (though company insiders argue that it is little more than its initial structure). has evolved) including).
Either way, the company was not alone in trying to use tragedy and social upheaval as a teachable moment.
In fact, I don’t know a single large corporation that hasn’t addressed this matter in one way or another, either through their diversity sessions or in communication with employees.
But AmEx’s experiment, often described in corporate circles as “diversity and inclusion training” of its employees, shows how the debate on social justice has also taken an aggressive turn.
The horrific behavior of some rogue cop was used as an excuse to push a radicalized version of America as all too common in corporate America, a racist country in dire need of reform.
Remember JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon taking a knee in apparent solidarity with the financially obscure and radical Black Lives Matter movement, which became a favorite recipient of untold donations from virtue-signalling corporate titans.
A professor at the prestigious Yale School of Management gathered top CEOs to condemn a voter-registration law in Georgia that was deemed racist because people were asked to show proper ID.
Inbred racism? In fact?
Then came the sensitivity session.
Bank of America designed a lawsuit designed to right past wrongs by confronting employees at one of its branches about their innate racism and how such convictions are passed on to their children by age 5. Gaya started a program.
And if you’re to believe some stuff from MX employees, both past and present, the credit-card company took its diversity training to the extreme, and depending on who you talk to, still does.
Chris Rufo of the Manhattan Institute initially documented the madness when he uncovered corporate diversity training materials in which speakers embraced the harmful and divisive Critical Race Theory, a social movement that believes America is a racist society and thus specifically despises capitalism for its bias.
The company soon came under intense pressure to publish data on how they hired and promoted people based largely on race and gender, which made such factors largely determinant in employment decisions. , critics argue.
Diversity and inclusion sessions discussed pseudo-intellectual fads such as “intersectionality,” which views the world through the lens of our gender and race differences.
It essentially labels any straight, white male as inherently racist and in need of brainwashing.
So-called “macro-aggression”, in which certain words, even when used unconsciously, are seen as racist when communicating with people from so-called oppressed groups.
They are deemed unsuitable for hostile speech acts and grounds for discipline.
And what would a diversity/inclusion session be without CRTs; An invited speaker at an “alternative” diversity workshop argued that America is still a racist retreat, despite court rulings, years of affirmative action and the election of a black president and now vice president.
It’s amazing that this kind of nonsense, usually found on college campuses, made its way to corporate America, but it happened.
The good news: Most of the companies I’ve contacted for this column have told me that what I just put on was a reaction to the heat of the moment.
They’ve cleared out the inclusion-training sessions.
Instead of dividing people on the basis of race, they are trying to build bridges and teamwork.
Does it include MX? Well, it depends on who you talk to.
A firm spokeswoman declined to address the complaints or whether the company’s “diversity and inclusion” seminars still include such waste.
Some employees argue that so-called “D&I” training maintains awareness, but the messaging is said to be more opaque.
A source inside the company said that what you read on this matter no longer exists.
Again, that’s pretty odd, especially given the MX brand and also who runs the place — CEO Stephen Squerry, a Queens guy and graduate of Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in East Elmhurst.
Since Squeri was named CEO in 2018, AmEx’s market value has grown to $123 billion.
It is one of the most valuable companies in the world, while its shares have outperformed both the S&P and the Dow during that time.
Squery is the epitome of the American Dream, I’m told by mutual friends: a local boy of modest means who fought his way to the top of one of the world’s biggest financial companies.
It wasn’t because having a vowel at the end of his last name opened a lot of doors for big white shoe Wall Street firms.
Sounds like a great story for an MX variety session.
Ax the ‘woke’ American Express philosophy
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