The Other McCain

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‘Stockholm Syndrome’? SVB, BLM and the Toxic Plague of Liberal White Guilt

Posted on | March 18, 2023 | No Comments

Bert the Samoan Lawyer sent this story to me with the dry remark, “Basically, this means the taxpayers are picking up the tab for BLM”:

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank New York (SBNY) donated a combined sum of $71.5 million to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, according to a new database released by the Claremont Institute.
SVB forked over a whopping $70,650,000 to BLM while, while SBNY gave $850,000 according to the records gathered by the conservative think tank.
Claremont’s database cited several “social impact reports” that recorded the transactions and highlighted SVB’s pledge from early last year, to give $5 billion to companies aiming to assist with “the transition to a sustainable, low carbon, net zero emissions economy.”
They were criticized following their collapse, for taking their eye off the ball by prioritizing eco-conscious environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing over sound investment principles, while also focusing on diversity and social justice in hiring over strict merit.
One of SVB’s LinkedIn posts in 2022 celebrated the “diversity” hire of Jay Ersapah as the head of Financial Risk and Model Risk Management, highlighting how she helped “establish and is the lead for the LGBTQ+ network at Silicon Valley Bank; where she works closely with Stonewall to create and promote a culture where all can bring their authentic selves to work.”
That same year, Ersapah hosted an “exclusive fireside chat with Suki Sandhu, the author of “How To Get Your Act Together: A Judgement-Free Guide to Diversity and Inclusion for Straight White Men.” The topics discussed included “How to get started with LGBTQ+ inclusion” and “Global best practice in LGBTQ+ inclusion ā€” what great looks like.”
Other big-name corporations listed in the BLM donor database included: CitiGroup and Facebook, which each gave over $1 billion, Amazon (almost $170 million), Apple ($100 million), and American Express ($50 million), among dozens of others.

Let us pause briefly to scrutinize the “intersectional” logic behind SVB’s hiring of a risk management executive who hit all the “diversity” quota marks — brown, female, and gay. A three-fer!

While her resume shows extensive financial-sector experience, that wasn’t why Jay Ersapah got hired at SVB, as their publicity surrounding her hiring focused almost entirely on her identity-politics qualifications “to create and promote a culture” for “LGBTQ+ inclusion” — as if this is why banks exist? When did the banking industry become obsessed with “inclusion” and why? The simple answer is, White Guilt, which happens to the be the title of an excellent book by Shelby Steele.

“Inclusion” is about cashing in on White Guilt. Jay Ersapah cashed in, and then brought in Suki Sandhu, a brown gay man from England, to have a “fireside chat” to preach the Gospel of Inclusion to the (presumed-to-be-defective) “Straight White Men” working at SVB. The bank probably paid Sandhu a lucrative fee, and there’s an international syndicate of these “diversity” specialists who get paid to promote this nonsense. They have no other skills, no other service to vend, beyond their status as experts in diversity and inclusion, and Corporate America pays out untold millions in consulting fees and salaries for such people.

Why is this happening? On the one hand, I’m prone to suspect that this is a completely cynical gesture on the part of bigtime financiers, who understand perfectly well the shakedown aspect of “diversity” — you don’t want to get sued for discrimination, and the price you pay for protection against such claims is to engage in a lot of virtue-signalling, which takes the form of quota hiring, publicity campaigns with lots of rainbow-flag themes, and of course, giving money to support whatever trendy “social justice” cause is The Current Thing.

From such a cynical perspective, it doesn’t even matter whether an outfit like Black Lives Matter is legitimate. BLM turned out to be a fraudulent racket, but so what? From the perspective of a banking executive trying to purchase protection against claims of racial discrimination, it’s the symbolic value of the contribution that really matters.

Explaining the “inclusion” craze in Corporate America as a function of cynicism is, to me, much preferable to considering the alternative, i.e., that CEOs actually believe all this crap. How could it be that an executive makes it through a top university MBA program, claws his way up the company ladder, lands himself a seven-figure gig as the Big Cheese and then, having reached the summit of success, surrenders to a psychopathology of self-hatred? Because let’s be honest about what White Guilt really is — an irrational impulse, symptomatic of mental illness.

Debutante-turned-terrorist Patty Hearst

“Stockholm Syndrome” was the popular diagnosis in the case of the young heiress Patty Hearst who, after being kidnapped and held for ransom by a radical ultra-Maoist cult calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army, began to identify with her captors and joined their campaign of “revolutionary” violence. That could be understood as a metaphor for what has happened to “woke” corporations.

For the past 10 or 15 years, companies have been more or less compelled to signify their allegiance to various “progressive” causes for fear of being bombarded with online harassment campaigns. Some have traced this back to the campaign of terroristic intimidation against contributors to the Prop 8 campaign in California in 2008. Perhaps as a result of such intimidation, which threatens the targets with destruction of their careers and livelihoods, business leaders became so accustomed to repeating the mantras of “social justice” that they actually internalized this preposterous radical belief system, in much the same way Patty Heart eventually internalized the SLA’s absurd slogan: “Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people!”

In this interpretation of why companies “get woke and go broke,” they are helpless victims of a psyops campaign, coercively brainwashed to adopt the worldview of their enemies until they actually believe the rainbow-flag nonsense they promote in their publicity. As I say, I’d prefer to think otherwise; it makes me uncomfortable to think anyone could really believe that bullshit. Much better to suppose that corporate executives are just cynically repeating these slogans for the sake of making a buck.

Either way, however, there’s no danger that I could be deceived by their sloganeering. My survival depends upon keeping a firm grip on my own sanity amid this swirling carnival of 21st-century madness.

Bert the Samoan Lawyer knows this as well as anybody. He first met me in the aftermath of my disastrous 1979 experiment with psilocybin mushroom tea and Bolivian flake cocaine. Having descended into the psychotic vortex of drug-induced lunacy and managed somehow to escape, I’ve since dedicated myself to a life of respectable bourgeois stability. Given my early experience of pure Gonzo insanity, I consider that being normal is my greatest achievement. So there is no danger of my succumbing to the masochistic neurosis of White Guilt, or the clearly abnormal behavior of corporate executives promoting bizarre causes like Drag Queen Story Hour. Not enough psilocybin on the planet to make me fall for delusions like that. Just going to sit here sanely drinking my coffee and reminding you: Crazy People Are Dangerous.



 

 

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