The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the NASDAQ stock exchange are the latest American institutions to go woke. On August 6, 2021, the SEC, which regulates American stock exchanges, approved the plan submitted by NASDAQ to require companies listed on that exchange to choose their board members using racial, sexual, ethnic, and sexual identity quotas. Under the NASDAQ plan, companies on the exchange will be required to have “at least one director who self identifies as a female” and “at least one director who self identifies as Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Asian, Native American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, two or more races or ethnicities, or LGBTQ+,” or to explain why they have not met these quotas. (Ironically, NASDAQ may have undermined itself by using the term “self identifies.” If, as has already happened in America, a white person “self identifies” as Black, or a man “self identifies” as a woman, the quota rules will be circumvented. Details, details….)
Once again identity politics has trumped merit. Rather than requiring companies to choose directors based on competence and character—the most important qualities of a good director—companies on the NASDAQ exchange are now being pressured to lower their standards in order to hire board members based on sex, race, ethnicity, and sexual identity. Indeed, according to the world of wokeism, if a person supports policies that are color-blind, sex-blind, etc.—that is, you support choosing people for jobs, contracts, or university admissions based on merit—this only proves that you are in fact racist, sexist, etc. According to the woke mobs, to be anti-racist or anti-sexist, you have to support policies that openly discriminate based on race, sex, ethnicity, etc. The best thing about being a radical leftist is that you get to ignore reason and logic in your arguments. And to think that the Left accuses the Right of being against reason and science.
Significantly, this action by the SEC and NASDAQ is a clear violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. According to this landmark legislation: “It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer…to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, sex, or national origin….” If ever there were a case that violated this law, this one is it. Indeed, the SEC and NASDAQ are openly pressuring companies to hire people specifically based on these prohibited characteristics.
Once again, more American institutions have jumped on the woke bandwagon. Rather than letting businesses–who know their customers and markets best and have a strong profit incentive to hire the best people–choose their own directors, the SEC and NASDAQ have decided they know best about whom a company should hire. To the SEC and NASDAQ, competence and character are not as important as a person’s identity. It is time for American businesses—in fact, all Americans—to stand up against this blatant discrimination. It is anathema to our belief in equal opportunities—not equal outcomes—for all.