Democratic Donor Calls for Affirmative Racism in Aspen Ski Resorts

Rich white lib tells employees it's racist to tell black guests 'You can't park there' or 'My restaurant isn't open now'

February 8, 2022

The CEO of a winter resort complex in Aspen, Colo., urged his employees to practice affirmative racism this week during the annual summit of the country's largest organization of black skiers and snowboarders.

Mike Kaplan, a rich white liberal who has donated thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and committees, outlined his bizarre demands in a memo to employees of the Aspen Skiing Company, which operates the Aspen Snowmass resort complex where the National Brotherhood of Skiers is gathering this week.

The memo, as reported by the Aspen Beat, is a masterpiece of élite liberal derangement. First of all, you're probably wondering if Kaplan has any black friends. Answer: You bet he does, and thanks for asking. The memo was actually inspired by conversations he's had with "friends who are black." Apparently, these conversations helped him realize that saying "no" to a black guest—under any circumstances—is probably racist.

For example, employees should avoid telling a black customer "You can't park there," "That parking spot is just for hotel guests," or "My restaurant isn't open now, come back at 5." These are some of the actual examples Kaplan provided in the memo, the practical implications of which are patently absurd. Does the CEO really expect his employees to serve black guests, and only black guests, outside of normal operating hours, or to let them park illegally?

Maybe. Kaplan is certainly asking his workers to treat the black guests differently because they are black. "In a sense, I'm asking you to see color, to both celebrate our visitors and to recognize their lived experience, not to be color blind," he wrote in the memo.

Employees should greet the black guests "lovingly and intentionally," Kaplan instructed, which doesn't sound creepy at all. Employees are always nice to the guests, he conceded, but urged them to "make an even greater effort" with the black ones because "standard or even slightly bad service can easily be interpreted as bias."

It's not exactly surprising that Kaplan, the enlightened liberal executive, assumed that his working-class employees required special instructions for interacting with black guests. Like most rich white libs, he appears to enjoy taking part in public declarations of wokeness. For example, after Donald Trump's election in 2016, Kaplan wrote a defiant op-ed for the Aspen Times titled, "We're Still Here," in which he cited "a gay and happily married friend of ours [who] recently said, 'They're coming after us.'"

Perhaps Kaplan feels a bit defensive because Aspen, sometimes referred to as "the glitzy playground of the rich," is one of the whitest locations in the country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town's population is 90 percent white and less than 1 percent black. It hosts the Aspen Ideas Festival, a farcical gathering of wealth and privilege where woke corporate elites discuss their plans to catalyze equitable innovation through mutualistic public-private partnerships.

The Aspen Skiing Company is owned by the Democratic megadonor Lester Crown and other descendants of billionaire industrialist Henry Crown. The family also holds major stakes in JPMorgan Chase and General Dynamics, the defense contractor that manufactures M1 Abrams tanks.