11 Nov 2023 Stefan Padfield: Radicalism Behind Corporate Silence to Hamas Atrocities
Shareholders must hold corporations accountable for their hypocritical activism, especially those who threw reckless support behind Black Lives Matter before turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed by Hamas.
Were corporate decision-makers fulfilling their fiduciary duties when they on the one hand seemingly couldn’t throw financial and verbal support behind BLM fast enough in 2020, yet suddenly decided neutrality is the course when the victims were Jews?
Read Stefan’s entire commentary below.
Too many people to cite have noted the gaping chasm between corporate responses to the killing of George Floyd in 2020 and the atrocities committed against Israelis this past October 7th.
This discrepancy has left many perplexed. However, if you have been paying attention to the radical leftists and their ideology of critical race theory (CRT), then you will know that there is a very basic explanation: In 2020, the victim was an oppressed person of color (POC) while the attacker was a White oppressor, but on October 7th the victims were oppressive Whites (at least according to CRT) while the attackers were oppressed POC.
When people ask me how the woke social justice warriors managed to take over our institutions, including our corporations – I typically point out that it took the combined inputs of four types of individuals: (1) true believers, (2) opportunists, (3) useful idiots and (4) cowards.
The following sample responses of these four types to the Hamas atrocities may provide some useful clarity:
1.) True Believers: All Whites, including Jews, are racist oppressors who must be “decolonized” by any means necessary. This decolonization (both physical and psychological) necessarily requires not only the use of violence, but violence sufficiently extreme to satisfy the bloodlust of the oppressed. Accordingly, the actions of Hamas on October 7th should be celebrated as inevitable manifestations of the ‘social justice’ revolution we seek.
2.) Opportunists: These radical leftists have overthrown governments under Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and others. Meanwhile, ‘principled’ conservatives can be counted on to be reserved. Thus, it is far more risky for me to oppose the radical leftists, including those I currently count as employees and customers, along with their supporters in the government and media.
3.) Useful Idiots: Black Lives Matter and BLM organizations stand with Hamas, therefore I must be missing something due to my white fragility and privilege if I don’t agree with them.
4.) Cowards: “If I oppose the radical leftists, I’ll be called a racist — and I’d rather sacrifice my children’s college education than be called a racist.”
When it comes to our corporations, all of this leads to a number of questions, including: Were corporate decision-makers fulfilling their fiduciary duties when they on the one hand seemingly couldn’t throw financial and verbal support behind BLM fast enough in 2020, yet suddenly decided neutrality is the course when the victims were Jews?
The relevant duties here include: (1) becoming informed of all material information reasonably available before making a business decision, and (2) acting in good faith, which should preclude allowing personal political beliefs to drive decision-making.
On the question of supporting BLM in 2020, it should be noted that many were clearly warning of the neo-Marxist, neo-racist, anti-family, anti-White and anti-American elements of the BLM movement. Thus, attempts by corporations to now distance themselves from BLM, after seeing BLM organizations support Hamas’ weaponized paragliders, at least raises the issue of whether the relevant decision-makers failed to properly inform themselves at the time.
Meanwhile, to the extent corporations now claim their muted response to the Hamas atrocities is rooted in a new-found embrace of political neutrality or an acknowledgment of the complexities of the situation in Gaza, the question becomes to what extent shareholders should be required to simply trust them.
Specifically, while corporations are generally given the benefit of the doubt under the business judgment rule, which provides that corporate decisions are presumed to be made on a fully informed basis, in good faith and in the best interests of the corporation – there are exceptions to that rule. For example, a corporate decision to defend against a takeover may be subjected to enhanced scrutiny because of the “omnipresent specter” that directors and executives are simply acting to protect their jobs.
Similarly here, it is suspicious enough that both in 2020, and in response to the Hamas atrocities, the corporations just coincidentally lined up on the leftist side of our culture war. (Obviously, not all corporations did this – but certainly enough to warrant concern.) Given that we live in a time when the recent crop of decision-makers has been indoctrinated since grade school to believe they should be activists first and, for example, corporate fiduciaries second – an omnipresent specter of political bias surrounds these decisions.
Admittedly, subjecting these corporate decisions to enhanced scrutiny arguably requires a modification of existing law – but courts have noted that “our corporate law is not static” and proposals for such changes have already been advanced by the likes of Senator Marco Rubio (linking to my prior work here). Let us not miss this opportunity to further expose the rot at the core of our corporations by subjecting their politicized decision-making to enhanced scrutiny.
And in the meantime, shareholders should consider holding CEOs accountable for their hypocrisy by demanding they explain themselves at their upcoming annual meetings.
Stefan Padfield is an associate at the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP), whose stated goal is to oppose the woke takeover of American corporate life. This first appeared at Newsmax.