Google's Parent Company Alphabet Asked to Commit to Viewpoint Diversity, Instead Adopts Policy Dubbed "Racist and Sexist".
As Google search results continue to deride conservative organizations and politicians, a leading shareholder activist proposed a solution by asking Google's parent company, Alphabet, to commit to a new policy to increase the tech giant's ideological diversity. Alphabet's leadership instead announced a new board selection policy that uses a racial and gender paradigm.
At today's annual meeting of Alphabet shareholders, National Center for Public Policy Research General Counsel and Free Enterprise Project (FEP) DirectorJustin Danhof, Esq., presented a resolution requesting that Alphabet adopt a new policy for its board selection process that would increase the viewpoint diversity of the company's leadership. Instead, the company reported that it will interview a minority and female for all open board seats.
"Liberal corporate leaders often talk about their commitment to diversity, but they have so distorted the concept that the word has lost its meaning. As the memorable Princess Bride character Inigo Montoyo once said, 'You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means,'" said Danhof. "Today Alphabet proved that point by continuing its focus on skin color and gender identity as the defining factors of diversity.
"We designed our proposal to urge Alphabet to take a broader view of diversity and consider a candidate's belief system. This would help Alphabet overcome its obvious liberal groupthink problem and lead to more creative problem solving," continued Danhof. "Our idea would have been a win for investors. Too bad Alphabet appears to value its liberal echo chamber more than true diversity."
At the meeting, Danhof stated:
Rather than promote racism and sexism, we urge the company to consider viewpoint diversity when it makes its board selections. Silicon Valley elites often preen about their commitment to diversity and inclusion, but I don't think many of you know what that means. Diversity isn't what someone looks like. Let me repeat that - diversity isn't what someone looks like. It's the sum of what they think, feel and believe. And at this company, thinking and believing in conservative policies appear to be verboten.
At last year's shareholder meeting, I asked the company's executives if conservative and libertarian opinions were welcome at Alphabet in light of the company's numerous liberal public policy positions. Mr. Schmidt told me that the company was not going to reconsider any of its positions because everyone in the company believed in the same things. That's obviously not true.
Many Google employees emailed me thanking me for saying publicly what they are petrified to say within the confines of this campus. And soon after the meeting, the company very publicly ousted engineer James Damore for suggesting concrete ways to increase Alphabet's gender diversity, apparently because he referred to human biology. I thought Alphabet was committed to science? I guess it's not.
Danhof then noted:
We believe that boards that incorporate diverse perspectives can think more critically and oversee corporate managers more effectively. Appointing a few conservatives may help the company avoid groupthink. That's a win for investors and a win for true diversity.
Danhof's full statement, as prepared for delivery, is available here.
Video of Danhof presenting the National Center's proposal is available at this link.
The full text of the National Center's shareholder proposal is available on page 68 of Alphabet's proxy statement. None of the shareholder proposals at today's meeting, which was held at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, received a majority vote.
"Alphabet's leadership did the exact opposite of what we suggested. In adopting this affirmative action-type policy for its board selection process, the company is really creating a system that's racist and sexist. It's also demeaning to the minority candidates that it interviews for these lofty positions," said Danhof. "Since the company has stated that it must interview a minority and a woman for each open slot, candidates will have no way of knowing whether they were selected on merit or based on their skin color or gender. That's evil."
"The left's definition of diversity solely based on a person's outward appearance is perhaps this generation's greatest moral failure. The liberal obsession with separating folks by race and 'gender identity' threatens to reverse the progress of the Civil Rights era – when Americans fought for equality and celebrated common interests," said Danhof.
FEP representatives have participated in 24 shareholder meetings so far in 2018.
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, FEP 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).
Danhof's latest commentary, on the recent Walt Disney shareholder meeting where his actions resulted in Joy Behar's public apology for suggesting Christianity is a mental illness, is available by clicking here.
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. Contributions are tax-deductible and may be earmarked for the Free Enterprise Project. Sign up for email updates here. Follow us on Twitter at @NationalCenter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.
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