The Top 10 most hypocritical institutions of the year — and one “Champion of Tolerance”
Many individuals and organizations gave tremendous lip service to “diversity, equity, and inclusion” throughout 2021, but their actions spoke far louder than their words. Here are the 10 worst offenders:
Award Winner: Major League Baseball
Reason: The league moved the location of its All-Star Game after announcing in April it could not in good conscience hold the famed (and economy-boosting) annual contest in the same state that passed what critics called a “restrictive” voting law in Georgia, which has at least 17 days of early in-person voting. To demonstrate how “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” MLB moved the game to Colorado, which has 15 days of early in-person voting. At the same time, MLB struck a deal to stream their games in China despite ongoing genocide and human rights abuses in the country.
Award Winner: Disney
Reason: When it comes to wokeness, the media mega-company was firing on all cylinders in 2021. First, it terminated Mandalorian star Gina Carano for an Instagram post comparing the treatment of conservatives to the Jews during the Holocaust — but her costar Pedro Pascal got off scot-free making the same analogy comparing supporters of President Trump to Nazis. Disney proudly showcases a “Diversity and Inclusion Commitment” on its website, yet the company chose to film parts of Mulan in Xinjiang, a region notorious for religious persecution, even going so far as to thank Chinese Communist Party (CCP) entities responsible for human rights abuses in the movie’s credits.
Award Winners: Big Tech Tie — Facebook and Twitter
Reason: If it wasn’t for double-standards, Facebook and Twitter wouldn’t have any at all. In September, the Wall Street Journal revealed Facebook had two sets of rules for content — one for “celebrities,” and another for everyone else. In January, Twitter booted then-President Trump from their platform “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” but were a-OK with CNN contributor Adeel Raja’s drumbeat of anti-Semitic tweets, including one stating, “The world today needs a Hitler.” It’s impossible to say which of the social media behemoths is more hypocritical, so we’re calling this a tie.
Award Winner: Elites Who Flouted their Own COVID Rules
Reason: As the world endured the second year of the COVID pandemic, a weary public watched with ire as it became clear draconian COVID mitigation measures only selectively applied to politicians, unelected bureaucrats, and entertainment industry stars. Whether it was mayors partying indoors at large gatherings, governors enjoying vacations in states with far less restrictive rules than their own, and celebrities strutting maskless across red carpets and whooping it up at awards ceremonies as masked servers waited at their beck-and-call — there was no shortage of double-standards among the COVID-scolds in 2021.
Award Winner: Walmart
Reason: Indoctrination isn’t just found on college campuses anymore. In September, Christopher Rufo broke news in City Journal that the largest employer in the United States had been conducting critical race theory (CRT) trainings for its employees — “recommended” for most; mandatory for executives. While giving the green light to controversial CRT trainings at Walmart, CEO Doug McMillon presided over an executive team at the retail giant that employed just a single person of color. Amid an ongoing New Tolerance Campaign call-to-action, the retail giant issued a statement stating they “don’t always agree with every comment made by every participant in a session or endorse every view on a PowerPoint slide produced by others.”
Award Winner: CVS Health
Reason: Outgoing CEO Larry Merlo ended his tenure at the healthcare giant in January — but not before requiring tens of thousands of his hourly wage employees to attend a lecture about their “privilege.” Privilege? The average salary for a CVS Health employee: $35,529; Merlo’s salary: $22 million. His successor, CEO Karen Lynch, has yet to respond to repeated media inquiries asking if CVS Health would conduct similar sessions under her watch.
Award Winner: BlackRock
Reason: Managing more than $10 trillion, investment firm BlackRock — a frequent target of leftist activists — announced earlier this year that it would prioritize its investments in “environmental sustainability” and “socially conscious” companies in the United States. At the same time, the Wall Street titan remains heavily invested in China, notorious for its industrial pollution and human rights abuses — a move that made even far-left megadonor George Soros blush. “Pouring billions of dollars into China now is a tragic mistake,” he wrote. “It is likely to lose money for BlackRock’s clients and, more important, will damage the national security interests of the U.S. and other democracies.”
Award Winner: Emerson College
Reason: If you call out human rights abuses in China, you’re racist — that’s the message Emerson College had for the school’s Turning Point USA chapter in October when the student group passed out stickers on campus stating, “China Kinda Sus,” a reference to the popular online game Among Us. The club was suspended and referred to the school’s Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct. “It is important to denounce all instances of anti-Asian bigotry and hate, and affirm our support and solidarity with the Asian and Asian-American community on campuses and around the world,” Emerson’s Interim President William Gilligan said in reference to the suspension. In December, Emerson promoted a professor who doubted whether black women and white women could be “true friends.”
Award Winner: ACLU
Reason: Given their roaring silence on freedom of speech issues throughout 2021, the ACLU could use a reminder that the “CL” in their acronym stands for “Civil Liberties.” In June news broke that the litigation colossus — founded on the constitutional principle of defending all speech, no matter how odious — was facing an identity crisis. “There are a lot of organizations fighting eloquently for racial justice and immigrant rights,” former ACLU head Ira Glasser said. “But there’s only one ACLU that is a content-neutral defender of free speech. I fear we’re in danger of losing that.”
Award Winner: Amazon & Southern Poverty Law Center
Reason: Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world; the Southern Poverty Law Center is one of the most well-funded nonprofits in the country — if they teamed up, what could go wrong? The answer: a lot. The SPLC’s “Hate List” was once a broadly respected objective resource, pointing out groups actually fomenting racial violence such as the Ku Klux Klan; today, it’s become a catchall for organizations that include nonprofits advocating for religious freedom, groups questioning LGBTQ policy, and individuals combating Islamic extremism. What’s worse: Amazon has adopted the SPLC’s list as the one-and-only determinant of which nonprofits are barred from raising funds on its AmazonSmile giving portal. Amazon can do better — and so can the SPLC.
In a year filled with double-standards, one organization chose principles over profits
Award Winner: Women’s Tennis Association
Reason: As professional sports leagues from the NBA to the MLB bent over backwards not to offend the oppressive government of China while pursuing the highly lucrative Chinese market, the Women’s Tennis Association took a stance against the notoriously despotic regime. Following the disappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai in November after a post on social media accusing a former CCP official of sexual assault, WTA Chairman & CEO Steve Simon stated he was willing to end all WTA business with China until and unless Peng’s safety and well-being were accounted for, and her allegations of sexual impropriety investigated. In December, the WTA announced it would suspend all tournaments in China — a bold move in support of human rights that could cost the WTA tens of millions of dollars in revenue. In an increasingly hypocritical world filled with institutions failing to live up to their stated values, it’s refreshing to see a global sports league acting consistent with its principles. The WTA deserves credit — and thanks.