aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Hail to the Whatsits

So, the Washington Redskins have finally announced that they will change their team name. Surveys have shown that 9 out of 10 Native Americans were satisfied with the name; indeed, saw it as honoring them. No matter. The Awokened have spoken. And they have succeeded by applying the Golden Rule: whoever has the gold makes the rules. The mega-corporate sponsors of the team have threatened to withhold their monetary support, which constitutes a near-existential threat to the franchise.

At bottom, I don't care what the Redskins call themselves. (Someone suggested the Washington Bureaucrats.) If it sells more tickets or produces a more winning team, well and good. If the people involved are happy, I'm happy. But I think the current wave of Woke Capitalism should give us all pause. We've been here before, and people didn't like it.

To take an example, the Ford Motor Company -- back when Henry Ford himself was in charge -- was the very example of a principled corporation that cared about the important things. Ford pioneered the 40-hour work week and the living wage (one that could support a family on its sole earnings). It also dabbled in company towns with affordable housing, convenient markets, etc. Ford sent all its employees its newspaper, too, with the founder's anti-semitic rants included for free. Well, the workers could wrap fish in the company rag, but they also found that they were subject to Ford's nosiness concerning their private lives. People who didn't live what Ford viewed to be the "family-friendly" way found their leases not renewed, which led to the end of their employment.

Other examples could be multiplied. There was also a time when the lives of schoolteachers were lived as in a fishbowl, and people were fired for what was deemed scandalous behavior (which no one would turn a hair over, now). Recently, a CEO somewhere (the name escapes me) was forced to resign from his own company -- which he founded, I think -- for innocuous opinions expressed in 1987. A reminder that you can never be woke enough and there is no forgiveness, ever, for those who are outed by the mob. We should also remember that all revolutions eat their own, eventually.

If you really want mega-corporations and other employers taking a direct interest in people's opinions, you should remember that there is no guarantee that they will always share your opinions. Already, it is common for employers to not only check references, but to also take a tour of applicants' public posts on social media. Some of the unhinged comments and doxing (done in the name of woke culture) I see on social media may seem otherwise than righteous to someone who wants a responsible, non-troublemaking employee.

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