The responsibility to observe range coaching
In the 2019 Marchand v Barnhill case, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled that Delaware law requires a board to “use good faith efforts to establish an adequate system for monitoring and reporting key compliance risks of the company “. In this case, the key compliance risk related to food safety. Blue Bell was “one of the largest ice cream manufacturers in the country” and “suffered a listeria outbreak in early 2015”. Other corporate governance experts have argued that cybersecurity can pose a relevant, generally applicable, identifiable risk because “[h]Public data breaches have made every business leader and boardroom aware of the risk. To the extent that identifying significant risks can trigger oversight, it must be argued that such an obligation exists with respect to diversity training, including anti-racist and anti-bias training and the many related “social justice” initiatives from public and private bodies? After reading the cynical theories of Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, one might well conclude that recognition of such a legal obligation is long overdue.
As of this writing, Cynical Theories is the # 1 best seller in Modern Philosophy on Amazon. It explains and accuses what the authors call the theory of social justice. It reveals the postmodern roots of statements like (I paraphrase): “Only whites are racist (and irrevocable)”; “Mathematics and science make up white supremacy (as well as the defense of freedom of speech and liberal democracy)”; “Whites should not be allowed to speak up on allegations of systemic racism” etc. Pluckrose and Lindsay effectively present the theory of social justice as a non-falsifiable belief that promotes destructive means to “truth” according to social justice ( Theory) “. They explain how and why social justice theory has rejected the dream of color-blind equality such as that advocated by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others. Instead, social justice theorists pursue a world order that divides us into warring groups of race and gender at any time and in any place, accusing one another of endless micro-aggressions and other abuses. The book explains exactly how the institutions that are now rushing to embrace this theory will ultimately and inevitably be torn apart by it – and that this is a feature, and not a flaw, of social justice theory. This warning should be particularly relevant to those who work in corporate governance.
In view of the fact that identifiable risks can lead to mandatory monitoring, I have identified at least six risks that are relevant for mandatory monitoring for diversity training courses.
(1) The risk of diversity training violating anti-discrimination laws. In How to Be an Anti-Racist, Ibram X. Kendi claims, “The only remedy against racial discrimination is discrimination by anti-racists. The only remedy against past discrimination is current discrimination. The only remedy against discrimination is future discrimination. “However, institutions cannot opt out of existing anti-discrimination laws simply by labeling discrimination as“ anti-racist ”. Individuals responsible for delivering diversity training should use caution when conducting training that classifies individuals into groups based on racial or gender stereotypes. Such training can “create a hostile environment in which [for example] Whites are … harassed. “
(2) The risk that diversity training violates the individual’s freedom of conscience (which implies the right to remain silent). We have all heard recently that “silence is violence” and that “being ‘not racist’ is not enough … We want white people to be actively anti-racist. “In W. Virginia State Vol. By Educ. v. Barnette, the US Supreme Court, noted, “Any spark of love for the country that can arise in a child or their co-workers by forcing them to make what is to them an empty gesture and words reciting that were taken from him contrary to his religious convictions is overshadowed by the desire to fully maintain freedom of conscience. “Therefore, those who conduct diversity training should be careful about training that includes instructions:“ You must talk about your power and privilege. You have to name your privilege. “As Samantha Harris has argued in a related context,” Princeton, consistent with the right to freedom of conscience, cannot require faculty to actively participate in any training, “which amounts to obsessive-compulsive reform.
(3) The risk that diversity training will undermine the institution by cooling down bourgeois discourse and the pursuit of truth (which implies free speech). In Cynical Theories, the authors describe the attitude of prominent social justice theorists towards open debate: “Robin DiAngelo calls anything but a respectful agreement ‘white fragility’; Alison Bailey characterizes disagreement as “willful ignorance” and a power game to preserve one’s privilege. Kristie Dotson characterizes dissent as “harmful”; Barbara Applebaum rejects any criticism of theoretical methods of social justice as “color talk” and “white ignorance”. Those who, on the one hand, insist that diversity is critical to institutional success, should be careful about, on the other hand, portray diversity training that undermines diversity of viewpoints.
(4) The risk that diversity training will undermine the institution by exacerbating divisions. It probably goes without saying that institutional decision-makers should avoid implementing programs that pose a significant risk of “breaking institutions from within”. However, this is exactly what the authors of Cynical Theories propose to emerge from the social justice theory that appears to underpin much of our current diversity training: “The belief that the decline in racial attitudes has largely been a mirage and that whites People Only Allow People When it is in their best interest, it can lead to profound paranoia and hostility, especially among activists, on college campuses, and in a competitive work environment. These feelings occasionally break out and break out institutions from within, especially when well-meaning people who do not relentlessly defend themselves against allegations of racism and white supremacy submit to, withdraw, or avoid these situations. “
(5) The risk that institutions will suffer a backlash if they dedicate excessive resources to questionable diversity training. To paraphrase Matt Taibbi, all of this would be less absurd if the efforts were not led, in an extremely large number of cases, by extravagantly paid white consultants such as DiAngelo and Howard Ross, a “social justice attorney,” whose company the federal government billed 5 Million US dollars since 2006 to teach basically the same course on white to agencies like NASA, the Treasury Department, FDIC and others. “More recently, Loudoun County, Virginia, Public School District received less favorable press coverage for spending $ 422,500 in tax dollars on diversity training, which is inspired and claimed by critical racial theory, since 2018 Racism is inherent in almost all aspects of America. ”How well informed are these issues? And how far are we from malicious decisions if managers have deliberately not been fully informed about relevant opportunity costs, etc.?
(6) The risk that institutions will suffer a backlash in commissioning training that the US Constitution argues is impermissible and our nation is systematically racist. As Hans Eicholz put it in an earlier piece by Law & Liberty:
And here then is the heart of the new radicalism of our time. Everything that deals with liberal institutions such as markets, treaties, property or constitutions, the rule of law, customs and precedent is interpreted as an expression of systemic power asymmetries. Categorized in this way, nothing of US politics or the economy of a largely market-oriented economy can offer anything redeeming or hopeful, and no quarter should be given for the urge for change.
Exactly how long do institutional decision-makers expect to be able to support training that promotes this “new radicalism” – sometimes at government institutions through compulsory training – before being pushed back by those who have vowed to uphold and uphold the United States Constitution defend it from enemies at home and abroad?
We recently had evidence that at least some of these risks are manifesting. On September 4, 2020, Russel Vought, OMB director, issued a memorandum instructing federal agencies to “identify any contracts or other expenses of agencies providing training on“ critical racial theory, ”“ white privilege, ”or otherwise Training or propaganda efforts are related that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country, or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil. “On September 15, 2020, it was reported that the DOE was investigating Princeton for admitting” systemic racism “on campus. And on September 22, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order to “Combat Offensive and Anti-American Racial and Gender Stereotypes and Scapegoats,” which was promoted through various forms of diversity training. Institutional decision makers providing diversity training should be aware of these risks, and it appears some are already.
Obviously, the foregoing are broad arguments that justify numerous qualifications that have been omitted for reasons of space. I’m working on a project to clarify these concerns. This is not about rejecting diversity training. Indeed, President Trump’s EO explicitly states, “Training employees to create an inclusive workplace is appropriate and beneficial.” Rather, the question is whether institutional leaders are effectively monitoring the potential risks of diversity training. Adding cynical theories to a reading list that includes White Fragility and How to Be a Antiracist is a good place to correct any shortcomings.