Steve Forbes, the editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, has some definite thoughts about corporations participating in what he believes is divisive diversity training. Recently the man who twice made a bid for the White House warned about the implications of businesses like American Express participating in this training.
It was recently reported by Chrissy Clark with The Daily Wire that some whistleblower documents revealed American Express invited the grandson of the Nation of Islam’s founder to talk about the evils of capitalism. American Express is a financial company that earned $2.3 billion in profits last quarter.
Portions of Dr. Khalil Muhammad’s lecture were published in The New York Post. He focused his talk on “race in corporate America.” In the lecture, he blamed the plight of black America on “systemic racism.” He also said that American Express must do more to address its relationship with “racial capitalism.”
Muhammad challenged the company saying, “So, I first say that American Express has to do its own digging about how it sits in relationship to this history of racial capitalism.” He then argued, “We didn’t get to the wealth gap by virtue of a series of bad decisions and bad decisions and bad parenting by black boys, black people. We got there through exploitative extractive systemic racism.”
Forbes, who ran for the presidency as a Republican, countered the lecture by Muhammad saying to Maria Bartiromo of Fox News, “These things have very real consequences, and I wonder if AmEx is going to bring in people to talk about the virtues of free markets and how it enables people, as Lincoln put it, to improve their lot in life.”
He proposed that there are other ways for bettering the United States like provided a course on how we can change the schools in America. He said that we are holding back millions of children with a “rotten education.” Forbes believes this was especially true during the pandemic. “How about liberating kids from the schools so the parents have real choice and get their kids a good education and a better life?”
Forbes also focused on the issue of slavery saying that it had been with us for 4,000 years of human existence. He noted that only in the last 200 years was a real effort made to get rid of slavery led by religious leaders. “So it’s all fine to talk about the past. But the thing is, where do we go from here?”
The Daily Wire reported an analysis of Fortune 100 companies taking the largest firms in the United States by the amount of revenue they acquired. These companies allocated over $37 billion toward racial equity initiatives just since the death of George Floyd in May 2020. The allocations represent less than 0.5% of the companies’ collective $9 trillion of earnings from the last fiscal year.
The critical race theory (CRT), promoted by Muhammad, is a body of legal scholarship that has become of movement among civil rights scholars and activists in the United States. They seek to critically examine the intersection of race and law and then challenge the mainstream approaches to racial justice. It originated in the mid-1970s in the writings of some American legal scholars including Derrick Bell, Alan Freeman, Kimberle Crenshaw, Richard Delgado, Cheryl Harris, Charles R. Lawrence III, Mari Matsuda, and Patricia J. Williams.
By the 1980s it was a movement that reworked the theories of critical legal studies and put a primary focus on race.
Forbes obviously is warning of the potential for a slow but radical change in the American way of life regarding free enterprise and capitalistic growth.