The Walt Disney Company: Dismayed by America, inspired by China

Leaked documents show that the Walt Disney Company has asked employees to complete a “white privilege checklist” and to “pivot away from “white dominant culture.” The documents, published by Christopher Rufo, state (falsely) that the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans are “part of a long history of systemic racism and transphobia.” The documents also cover such topics as “white privilege,” “white fragility,” “white saviors,” “microaggressions” and “antiracism.”

The documents suggest that employees reflect on the diversity of their personal and professional networks. Employees should also consider how other dimensions of their identities “give (or do not give) you access and advantage.” Furthermore, workers are encouraged to “work through feelings of guilt, shame, and defensiveness to understand what is beneath them and what needs to be healed.”

Employees are discouraged from questioning or debating the lived experiences of their black colleagues or from asking those colleagues to educate them about racism, since such discussions can be “emotionally taxing.” As if wallowing in unwarranted feelings of guilt and shame isn’t.

Disney has passed judgment on America. America has come up short — way short. We’re chronic racists and homophobes. We need to deal with our guilt and shame. If our racism prevents us from feeling guilty and ashamed, then we need to be pressured, and probably coerced, into experiencing these sentiments.

Disney seems like a tough grader. Is there any nation that meets its exacting standards?

Why, yes. China does.

Bob Iger, Chairman and former CEO of the Walt Disney Company, has said he’s “inspired by China’s vision.” In remarks at the National Committee on US-China Relations (NCUSCR) gala in 2011, Iger stated:

We’ve also worked hard to establish a number of mutually beneficial relationships with many officials throughout China. We’re inspired by their vision and we’re grateful that they share many of our beliefs, including one about the importance of intellectual property protection.

I’ve watched China emerge into a global economic force, an inspiring source of great innovation, offering opportunities that we see as virtually unlimited, and the Walt Disney company has certainly been increasing its presence in that vast country.

China is a ruthless dictatorship. It systematically oppresses its Uighur (Muslim) population, more than one million of whom are said to be held in concentration camps.

I very much doubt that any Disney employee has oppressed a minority group member. At worst, a few might have committed a “microaggression,” whatever that means.

Yet, Disney’s chairman is inspired by China and contemptuous of America and his white employees.

Is there a disconnect here? On the surface, yes.

But at a deeper level, maybe it hangs together. For one thing, Disney’s critique of America echoes China’s, as set forth recently in its recent confrontation with our Secretary of State.

More fundamentally, the Red Chinese are masters of reeducating members of the bourgeoisie. During its cultural revolution, China perfected the art of making them feel guilty and ashamed. Now, it is reeducating its Muslims.

In its own way, the Disney Company seems to be following suit.

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