An anti-woke activist group launched a $500,000 campaign against "antiracism" programs at American Express, calling the company's so-called racial equity efforts "antithetical" to American values.
Color Us United, a nonprofit that advocates for a "race-blind America," on Monday announced the public relations effort to expose the credit card company's "harmful woke policies"—including hiring and promoting employees based on race and instituting critical race theory training that teaches employees that "capitalism is racist." The group is calling on American Express to rescind the "un-American" policies, such as giving bonuses to managers who hire minorities, and plans to place television and radio advertisements, along with a social media campaign and petition, to draw attention to its racist practices.
Corporate giants in recent years have pushed progressive race and gender ideology through hiring practices and mandatory training sessions, prompting backlash over the racially discriminatory policies. Coca-Cola, for example, came under fire in April 2021 for implementing a racial quota for hiring outside legal counsel, the Washington Free Beacon reported at the time.
Following a summer of riots and Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, American Express created an "Anti-Racism Initiative" and hired a consultant to conduct training sessions on privilege and race for employees, Manhattan Institute senior fellow and Color Us United board member Christopher Rufo reported last year in the New York Post. Among other exercises, employees were asked to determine their own privilege by analyzing factors such as race, sexual orientation, faith, and citizenship. The corporation, which made $42.2 billion in profits last year, also invited a speaker to discuss the inherent racism of a capitalist economy.
Several past and present employees told the Daily Mail last year that the company's top leadership discriminates against white employees during its hiring process and when considering workers for promotions. One employee said it would be "very rare" for a white man to be tapped for a senior leadership position.
"How can a company like American Express claim the ‘American' part of its name if it consistently drives policies that are incredibly un-American—like promoting the idea that ‘capitalism is racist' and offering bonuses for people to hire by race?" Kenny Xu, president of Color Us United, said in a statement. "Our choice to brand the company Un-American Express is designed to be a wake-up call to the company: Most Americans oppose politics and divisive worldviews in the workplace."
Color Us United launched last year to counter racially divisive policies and "cancel culture" at corporations. The organization has no official membership, though roughly 10,000 subscribers have signed up to its email list, spokesman Christian Watson told the Free Beacon. The group hopes to reach 10,000 signatures on the petition campaign against American Express and tallied more than 5,000 by Tuesday. The group's goal is to change not only the policies at the credit card company but to expose "divisive policies running rampant" at other corporations as well.
"No individual should be judged on the color of their skin or their group status," Watson told the Free Beacon. "Not only does this create a toxic workplace, but it also rejects everything America stands upon."
American Express did not respond to a request for comment.