American Express has recently distributed handouts to its employees which described such things as “microaggressions,” “understanding one’s privilege,” “being an ally,” and similar sentiments.
Christopher Rufo, who has been at the forefront of the push against things like critical race theory in schools and general “wokeness” from major corporations, has obtained some of these materials.
The handouts tell employees at the credit card company to “identify the privileges and advantages” they have before speaking. It suggests that the value of what one says or does is, in part, dependent on which racial, sexual or other identity categories that one belongs to. Traditional beliefs in meritocracy being based on how hard you work should take into account the challenges that employees must face due to being a minority, from a different culture, their gender and their sexuality.
The handouts try to explain how you may be dismissing the ideas from someone due to the fact that they don’t come from the same kind of background that you do without realizing it.
Another handout tells white employees not to speak over black employees, provide them with “unsolicited advice” or make unwarranted assumptions. No pamphlets are given to black employees with respect to white employees.
The handouts also condemn the use of certain phrases, like “I don’t see color,” “We’re all human beings,” “Everyone can succeed in this society if they work hard enough,” and even, “You’re so articulate.”
These kinds of statements can assume that someone should be less than what they are and that it’s a surprise that they’re doing well or minimize the issue of race when it is only apparent to one party.