22 May 2019 Amazon Rejects Diversity – Far-Left Board Votes to Remain Liberal Enclave
Free Market Leader Assails Amazon’s Partnership with Fake Hate List Creator, the Southern Poverty Law Center
Seattle, WA/Washington, D.C. –Amazon rejected a shareholder resolution designed to encourage a diverse balance of thought on the tech giant’s left-leaning board of directors at today’s annual meeting of Amazon investors held in Seattle, Washington.
The vote came in response to a shareholder proposal submitted by Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director Justin Danhof, Esq. Danhof’s proposal noted that “[t]rue diversity comes from diversity of thought. There is ample evidence that many companies operate in ideological hegemony that eschews conservative people, thoughts, and values. This ideological echo chamber can result in groupthink that is the antithesis of diversity. This can be a major risk factor for shareholders.”
The full text of the proposal is available on page 33 of Amazon’s proxy statement, available here.
“Amazon claims to care about diversity and inclusion,” said Danhof. “Today’s meeting put the truth to that lie. Amazon’s board isn’t interested in hearing conservative viewpoints. Furthermore, the company seems determined to keep funding anti-religious bigotry and partnering with groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center to demonize pro-family and Christian organizations.”
At the meeting, Danhof noted:
Diversity isn’t what someone looks like. It’s the sum of what that person thinks, feels and believes. When the company takes overtly political positions on legal and policy issues, it would benefit from having voices from both sides of the aisle in the room.
Amazon repeatedly takes left-wing positions. For example:
- The company recently opposed religious freedom legislation in Texas;
- The company funds the far-left Human Rights Campaign – perhaps the nation’s most bigoted anti-religious organization;
- Amazon even pledged legal support to oppose President Trump’s orders on immigration and travel.
Then there is Amazon’s most inexplicable action – allowing the extremists at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to decide which groups are eligible for the Amazon Smile charitable program. Using its fake hate list with completely subjective criteria, the SPLC lumps pro-family and Christian groups in with the Ku Klux Klan. Many mainstream conservative and Christian groups are shut out of Amazon Smile simply because the SPLC opposes their work.
Danhof then stated:
If Amazon had even half of a conservative on its board, there is no way that the company would continue working with the SPLC. Heck, if anyone on the board even knew a true conservative, I suspect the company would cut ties with this vile organization of bigots and hatemongers.
Whether you’re willing to admit your bias is beyond the point. In business, perception is often reality. And our proposal provides a tangible way for the company to combat its bias.
The full text of Danhof’s statement, as prepared for delivery, is available here.
The left-leaning crowd loudly rejected Danhof’s calls for viewpoint diversity, booing and heckling him throughout his remarks. One shareholder even suggested that Danhof must be late for a book burning or Klan meeting.
“It’s clear that the American left has become the most intolerant group of people on the planet,” said Danhof. “The fact that they so violently reject even the idea of viewpoint diversity is very telling. Engaging with conservatives is so foreign to their ilk that they resort to name-calling and petulance. What a sad lot. Amazon could have shown leadership on this issue and highlighted the value of diverse dialogue. Instead it chose to remain a part of the liberal mob.”
On Monday, Danhof presented a similar resolution at Twitter’s annual shareholder meeting, during which he pointed out Twitter’s bias in regularly de-platforming conservatives. Audio of Danhof’s presentation is available here, and his statement, as prepared for delivery, is available here.
Today’s Amazon meeting marks the 22nd time FEP has participated in a shareholder meeting in 2019.
Launched in 2007, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project focuses on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Over the past four years alone, FEP representatives have participated in over 100 shareholder meetings – advancing free-market ideals about health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and other important public policy issues. As the leading voice for conservative-minded investors, it annually files more than 90 percent of all right-of-center shareholder resolutions. Dozens of liberal organizations, however, annually file more than 95 percent of all policy-oriented shareholder resolutions and continue to exert undue influence over corporate America.
FEP activity has been covered by media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Drudge Report, Business Insider, National Public Radio and SiriusXM. FEP’s work was prominently featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for email updates here. Follow us on Twitter at @FreeEntProject and @NationalCenter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.