Elon Musk is in the news nearly every day for some act of philanthropy, scientific discovery, providing aid to war-torn Ukraine, and his electric car. However, this week the billionaire, co-founder of Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company is experiencing a different kind of publicity – the negative kind – as black employees have publicly declared Tesla is a hot mess of racial discrimination. News stories have started popping up that paint a sordid tale of white and non-white Hispanics treating their Tesla co-workers as if they were enslaved people on the plantation.
The public flogging splashed across media outlets comes on the heels of a complaint filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing on behalf of 4,000 current and former black employees of Tesla’s Freemont factory. Citing a “modern-day slavery” workspace, the lawsuit is the most significant racial discrimination complaint in the state’s history.
Of course, Tesla adamantly denies the allegations. In a statement from the car company’s attorneys, they seemed quite flabbergasted: “Race plays no role in any of Tesla’s work assignments, promotions, pay or discipline. Tesla prohibits discrimination, in any form.”
So, what are the facts?
She Said, They Said
Those suing the automaker have alleged black employees were given the most menial and labor-intensive tasks without much opportunity for advancement. And Monica Chatman says it was a different message than the one she received at Tesla’s orientation. The former employee spoke on the record with The Los Angeles Times: “They said if you do the work, you can succeed, and this is the best job you’ll ever have.” Others claim they were segregated from folks of a lighter hue, with racial slurs mercilessly flung at co-workers.
Tesla says Chatman’s claims are basically bunk. But again, 4,000 people are telling similar stories on the record. The next logical question? If all this was going on under the Tesla brand, who the heck was in charge of the HR department?
That would be Valerie Capers Workman, the recently former VP of People, and Tesla’s most prominent black executive, who held two other prestigious positions in the company: Associate General Counsel of Compliance and North America Human Resources. She’s no dummy and touted the company in a 2020 diversity report, saying, “My promotions are illustrative of one of the things I love most about Tesla; here, you are never typecast into doing just one thing.” During her time, Workman steered the ship through several discrimination lawsuits – which seems to plague the giants of industry in the corporate woke era.
Is Corporate America Woke, or Not?
Black employees make up 10% of Tesla’s US workforce, including 4% of management and executive positions. The company has around 99,000 full-time staffers. But how does that compare to the other billionaire endeavors on the block?
Amazon, for instance, boasts that 26.5% of 1.2 million employees are black. They also tout that 11% of their management is black, and they pay 99 cents for every dollar the white employees make in hourly and salaried wages.
Of Microsoft’s 124,000 or so wage earners, 4% are black. They are proud of the accomplishments and inclusivity, boasting in the official blog: “3.9% of managers, 3.2% of directors, and 3.8% of partners/executives” are black. However, they fail to mention the black demographic is behind women, Hispanic, Caucasian, and Asian.
And Nike? The company gushed over mediocre quarterback without a team, Colin Kaepernick – but perhaps they should “just do it” and hire more black people – and not as pandering spokesmodels. Although they boast that minorities are the majority, the devil is in the details: 48% are Caucasian, 21% black, 18% Hispanic, 7% Asian, with some randomly mixed races filling the gap.
Is Tesla the latest victim of the far left’s mission to use a minority demographic to shore up political power? How does the American progressive come to grips with the alleged abuse happening in one of their green energy powerhouses? It might even be a tad ironic if it’s true. But, let’s face it: horrible things happen to all sorts of people who work for big corporations.
America’s black people make up 13 percent of the population. And for the past few years, corporate America has assaulted the dickens out of us to follow their lead and be better people. So are the big corporate folks woke or simply capitalizing off a minority population? If woke is the way to go, then channel Elvis and let’s see a “little less talk and a lot more action.”
~ Read more from Sarah Cowgill.
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