American Express Must Re-Acquaint Itself With American Capitalism
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File
American Express Must Re-Acquaint Itself With American Capitalism
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File
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American Express may need to change its name or risk the charge of false advertisement. The eminent American credit card company has not only somewhat abandoned America’s principles of individualism and free thought, it is actively working to uproot them from the hearts of their employees. 

American Express has fully endorsed anti-Americanism in all the worst ways. Among the more egregious items of American Express’s woke policies include a requirement for their employees to attend a capitalism-bashing seminar delivered by the great-grandson of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad. The Nation of Islam is infamous for its anti-Semitic personalities, such as Louis Farrakhan, and its hatred of free-market capitalism and America as a whole. 

Following the seminar, American Express implemented an employee ranking system, which asks workers to examine themselves through their race or sexual identity. The employees were given a company worksheet to determine how much privilege (or oppression) they faced due to their identities. Employees were then instructed to conform their behavior to their newfound privileged/marginalized status. 

Most insultingly, instructions from the financial services giant include rules for how to interact with Black, female, and LGBTQ employees based on their identity. These rules include deferring to members of these identity groups through “intersectional allyship.” White employees were advised to not “speak over members of the African-American community” and to disregard the intentions of their actions in favor of “impact.”

It boggles the mind that a major company, especially one that professes to be “American” in its operations, would embrace such neo-segregationist tactics. 

American Express has taken aim at America’s foundational values of individualism and free thought. The company ignores the fact that America produced great men and women like Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, and Harriet Tubman – not because of their race – but because their values aligned with America’s foundational principles. 

American Express appears to want to return to the days where skin tone should be thought of before merit. This isn’t just foolish. It is flatly un-American.

The founders understood that discourse, powered by the freedom to think, was necessary for a free society. When the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists squabbled over the best direction for the Constitution, they didn’t censor themselves to avoid offense. They challenged each other openly. 

But under American Express’s policies, debate is hate. Pointing out a weakness in a female colleague’s idea is oppression, not mentorship. There’s no telling how harmful this policy will be to the people it purports to help. 

As Henry David Thoreau correctly identified in Walden, every man has a genius towards a certain activity. American capitalism embraces this idea to the benefit of all – from the genius of Henry Ford’s assembly to the genius of Henry Wells, William Fargo, and John Butterfield – the three founders of what would become American Express. Today’s executives reject the genius of their employees by reducing them to their gender or race, rather than embracing their merits.

American Express seems to have forgotten that it is a bank, not a political boot camp. Its employees should be taught how to deliver for customers and shareholders, instead of sitting through Nation of Islam re-education courses. 

Martin Luther King Jr. and Susan B. Anthony did not fight for the insistence that race or gender must play a role in any American setting, especially a corporate one. They fought for the opposite – a country where men and women of any race are equals. This is the country we live in, if only the corporate executives of American Express would choose to see it. 

Perhaps the company ought to rebrand to “UnAmerican Express.” After all, words have meanings. Individualism, color blindness, capitalism, and free speech are all American values. If those principles are so offensive to American Express, the company should stop appropriating the name. 

And if customers don’t want to be seen embracing UnAmerican Express’s values, maybe they should start swiping another card. Maybe that will prompt UnAmerican Express to relearn the power of our free-market principles -- and possibly earn the right to be called American Express.

Christian Watson is the host of the Pensive Politics Podcast and a Spokesperson for Color Us United. He can be found on Twitter @OfficialCWatson and on the Youtube channel “Christian Watson.”

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