Company ‘should select the best candidate for its board regardless of skin color or gender…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) As coffee giant Starbucks continues facing backlash over its reactive diversity measures following a customer service debacle, another Seattle-based monolith, Amazon, is taking flak over a decision to adopt affirmative action policies for selecting its own Board of Directors.
Such a proposal, co-sponsored by the Service Employees International Union, was on the agenda Wednesday at Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting.
The proposed policy stipulated “that the initial list of candidates from which new 14 management-supported director nominees are chosen (the ‘Initial List’) by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee should include (but need not be limited to) qualified women and minority candidates.”
Although the SEIU ultimately withdrew the proposal, it was not until after Amazon had agreed to adopt a policy in line with it.
In a press release from the Free Enterprise Project – part of the nonprofit National Center for Public Policy Research – its director, Justin Danhof, called on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to instead focus more on a diversity of viewpoints.
Bezos’s media company, the Washington Post, has long been a beacon of inner-beltway bias and has come under particular scrutiny during his tenure due to its open hostility against the Trump administration.
The proposed “diversity” policy, Danhof charged, would conversely reinforce the leftist hegemony in the tech sector.
“Amazon should select the best candidate for its board regardless of skin color or gender. To do otherwise is racist and sexist,” Danhof said. “Liberal investor advocates and their allies are making a major push to force affirmative action in corporate board rooms. Amazon missed a big opportunity to stand firm against this insidious approach.”
Danhof, who attended the meeting as an Amazon investor under the NCPPR umbrella, addressed the board immediately after a speech by Jesse Jackson that praised the proposed diversity policy.
Evoking Jackson’s background with the 1960s civil rights movement, Danhof said, “Today’s social justice warriors seem to have forgotten what the Civil Rights Era was really all about and what the word diversity means. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sought a future in which we would judge one another on the content of our character and not by the color of our skin.
“The SEIU seems to want to upend that noble goal and return to the era when folks focused primarily on outward appearances. That’s an insidious approach.”