Despite being called “conspiracy theorists” who imagine crazy, racist things, conservatives in America have long known that hundreds of huge U.S. corporations have taken woke stands and are drowning consumers and employees in their progressive, political ideologies.
But, in recent years, conservatives have been warning of the dangers of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores and the moves powerful businesses have taken to target those on the right who refuse to abandon their convictions.
Stephen Moore: Biden’s ESG investment rules threaten your retirement savings https://t.co/Q3cg7wtdzv pic.twitter.com/QrmTtgfdLe
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 17, 2023
“[S]ome of these businesses have recently gone much further than merely promoting social justice causes; they have chosen to target conservative customers and employees, coercing or forcing Americans to abandon their deeply held beliefs in order to receive important goods or services or to stay employed,” writes Justin Haskins, director of the Socialism Research Center at The Heartland Institute, in an opinion piece for Fox News that lists the top 51 business “at war with conservatives” and suggests ways in which we can fight back.
Haskins reviewed a Spotlight Report from the 1792 Exchange, a nonprofit that, according to its website, “has assessed 1,000+ companies’ policies, practices, and other relevant criteria to determine the likelihood a company will cancel a contract or client, or boycott, divest, or deny services based on views or beliefs.”
The 1792 Exchange identified 147 “High Risk” businesses, “which means they are much more likely than other businesses to engage in direct discrimination,” Haskins explains.
The New York Times bestseller then grouped the top 51 most “impactful” corporations into four categories: banks, transportation, retail giants, and food and beverage companies.
While the names on the list may not surprise you, the reasons they got there confirm conservatives’ every worst fear.
Banks, Haskins found, are “perhaps the most influential groups of woke companies in the report.”
“Numerous large banks are using their financial might to effectively force business customers into adopting climate change policies, even when it will require that those customers dramatically change their business practices,” he writes. “Many of these banks have also weaponized their operations to promote social and ideological views favored by the left.”
Bank of America, Lowe’s sponsor ‘woke’ training instructing white employees ‘cede power to people of color’ https://t.co/kA4VGAHJEj pic.twitter.com/uCQ4JHkPWL
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 21, 2021
Bank of America, for example, “vets its vendors based on their commitment to LGBTQ views, and it has ceased lending with some gun manufacturers.”
“High Risk” banks, including B of A, Haskin says, “have been some of the biggest supporters of the radical environmental, social, and governance (ESG) movement.”
Twenty-one banks were identified “High Risk” by the 1792 Exchange: Ally Financial, Amalgamated Bank, Bank of America, Berkshire Bank, BMO Harris, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Eastern Bank, Fifth Third Bank, First Republic Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, TD Bank, Bancorp, Trillium Asset Management, Truist, US Bank, and Wells Fargo.
In the field of transportation, five large companies received the “High Risk” designation: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and XPO Logistics.
Southwest Airlines tried to cover up mass ‘sickout’ over vaccine mandate that impacted well over 1000 flights: report https://t.co/VPAuScwM7b pic.twitter.com/KK945X5sBx
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 10, 2021
Haskins notes that the companies listed “do not regularly refuse to do business based on ideological or religious considerations” but “they have engaged in left-wing activism and even promoted partisan legislation,” such as Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, which American Airlines actively opposed.
Southwest Airlines, the author reports, “they have engaged in left-wing activism and even promoted partisan legislation.”
Best Buy, Home Depot, Kohl’s, Lululemon, Macy’s, Madewell, Target, and Walmart earned the “High Risk” label, as did online retailers Alibaba, Amazon, Chewy, eBay, Etsy, Shopify, and Warby Parker.
In every case, Haskins states, “the 1792 Exchange provided significant evidence showing that these businesses have actively promoted left-wing ideological views.”
And then there are the food and beverage companies that seem to think no meal is complete without a healthy lecture on liberal talking points.
Ten such companies were given the “High Risk” rating: Altria, Ben & Jerry’s, Cargill, Coca-Cola, HelloFresh, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Starbucks, and the JM Smucker Company.
“Although all of these businesses engaged in troubling activities, the company with the most radical practices is, by far, Ben & Jerry’s,” writes Haskins. “The famous Vermont-based ice cream company has promoted ‘Defund the Police’ campaigns, opposed legislation meant to limit election fraud, said that the criminal justice system ‘must be dismantled,’ and openly advocated for pro-abortion policies, among many other actions.”
Israeli president calls Ben & Jerry’s boycott ‘a new sort of terrorism’ https://t.co/DAPGEd3kbZ pic.twitter.com/W7pDrX0oeq
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 23, 2021
Considering that these corporations have become go-to resources for many of the goods and services Americans rely upon, their oppressive enforcement and embrace of woke ideologies that run in direct opposition to conservative values is beyond discouraging.
And Haskins says they “are just the tip of the iceberg.”
“The 1792 Exchange outlined nearly 100 additional “High Risk” companies in its report, including some of the most powerful in the world, like Alphabet (the owners of Google), Disney, and Apple,” he writes.
Given their enormous reach and bottomless pockets, fighting back against them seems nearly impossible at this point.
But Haskins offers several suggestions we can all employ.
The first thing to do, he says, is “share instances of discrimination and reports like the one produced by the 1792 Exchange with like-minded friends and family.”
We must then stop giving our money to companies that hate us, he stresses. In essence, he argues that we need to establish a parallel economy, identifying those companies that align with our values and switching to their products and services, being “sure to tell both the business you’re leaving and the new, non-discriminatory business why you’re making the change.”
‘House of cards’: Ron DeSantis predicts that ESG will ‘come crashing down’ https://t.co/DyzWVAXl0c pic.twitter.com/8oGdicqwtq
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 14, 2023
He also suggests writing letters to those businesses we can’t split from but know to engage in discrimination. Telling them we’re considering leaving them in the dirt still has an impact, Haskins says.
Lastly, Haskins calls on conservative lawmakers to “prioritize policies that reject ESG social credit scores and other systematic attempts meant to coerce companies into embracing leftist causes.”
“The legislation proposed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this month that would limit the use of ESG scores in banking,” he says, “is a great place to start.”
If we take no action, Haskins warns, the consequences will be dire.
“If conservatives don’t soon make a concerted effort to fight back against woke corporations, America could soon be transformed beyond repair,” he writes. “We simply cannot afford to wait any longer.”
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