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ESG Is Dead, Long Live DEI?

It’s death by a thousand cuts for the progressive acronyms.

by | Apr 18, 2024 | Articles, Politics

Over the past two years, conservatives have been close to declaring victory against woke investing, also known as ESG (environment, social, and governance). Across the country, Republican-led states have successfully pummeled ESG disciples into submission as they refuse to engage in an indirect boycott of the fossil fuel industry that keeps the power on and millions employed. But while ESG is hanging on for dear life, is DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) next on the grim reaper’s list?

The ESG Brand Is Dead

West Virginia announced that it has restricted four major financial institutions from participating in multi-billion-dollar state contracts regarding these entities’ environmental positions. Riley Moore, the state treasurer, confirmed that Citigroup, HSBC, The Northern Trust Company, and TD Bank have been added to the Mountain State’s Restricted Financial Institution List. Officials determined that these banks engaged in oil and gas sector boycotts.

This means that the four organizations, in addition to the current crop of financial institutions, would be prohibited from bidding on approximately $22 billion worth of state transactions in the future. Moore recently told Fox Business:

“We are absolutely going to stand by our industries here in fossil fuels. Last year, the world burned more coal than any time in human history. The consumption of coal is not going down. That is a myth that is proliferated by the climate-activist left. So, why would we put ourselves in a position to not be part of that? I applaud both of these institutions for working with us in a cooperative way to ensure the free market remains free and our state’s critical industries are treated fairly.”

ESG, an attempt to wokify Corporate America, was born nearly a decade ago. The concept, according to the Corporate Finance Institute, was designed to serve “as a framework that helps stakeholders understand how an organization is managing risks and opportunities related to environmental, social, and governance criteria.” Up until recently, the idea captured the imaginations of Wall Street giants, a group desperate to bolster its reputation and attract capital by pretending to save the planet, fight racism, and carry rainbow flags.

But rather than generate good publicity, the ESG has generated immense financial backlash. As Liberty Nation has reported over the years, several states have resisted companies that have reduced investments in the sectors that are the backbone of their local economies. From Florida to Oklahoma to Texas, a large number of red states have divested from companies that desire to boycott traditional energy firms, for example.

While conservatives appear to be winning the war on ESG, the next target is the DEI initiative.

Die, DEI, Die?

DEI is another woke tool in the progressive arsenal. Like ESG, DEI has been marketed as a benevolent endeavor to foster a climate of diversity and inclusivity. Instead, it has transformed into a punchline that even left-leaning individuals have shrugged off. During his recent appearance on The Daily Show, host Charlamagne tha God called DEI efforts “mostly garbage,” asserting that they are merely for “good vibes” to enhance “corporate PR.”

Despite the plethora of evidence that DEI is a quota-based tool, many insist that it is for the greater good and is an excellent system to ensure equality. Billionaire Mark Cuban engaged in extensive arguments on X with various accounts, including Elon Musk. He was given proof that corporations and universities have embraced the dirty deeds of quotas, reverse racism, and incompetence. As the popular X account, The Rabbit Hole, recently noted, “If it weren’t for the double standards, DEI wouldn’t have standards at all and it often doesn’t.”

Because it has metastasized into a dirty acronym – Dilbert creator recommended calling the term “Didn’t Earn It” – corporations are scaling back their DEI campaign, be it slashing budgets or terminating chief diversity officers. This year, Bloomberg and CNBC reported that Alphabet, Meta Platforms, and Zoom Video Communications approved cuts to DEI programs. Meanwhile, at the governmental level, Texas is leading the charge in the crusade against DEI. This past summer, Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation prohibiting DEI and its clubs, organizations, and programs from involvement in the University of Texas ecosystem.

Leftists should not worry as the virtue signalers are trying to build a BRIDGE. Described as a social impact movement, it stands for benchmarking race, inclusion, and diversity in global engagement. It is still in its infancy period, but the conformists will rush to latch onto the next feel-good campaign. To paraphrase the Bard, wokeism by any other name would be just as rotten. ESG, DEI, or BRIDGE – it all derives from the epicenter of leftism.

Read More From Andrew Moran

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