The Coca-Cola Company recently announced a pause on its controversial diversity plan after former general counsel Bradley Gayton abruptly resigned last month after less than a year on the job. He took a strategic consulting job to CEO James Quincey and was replaced by Monica Howard Douglas.
This isn’t the first time Coca-Cola has stumbled into the spotlight over being ‘too woke.’ The Atlanta-based company has come under fire over the last few months after opposing Georgia’s election reform, attempting to censor former President Donald Trump, and requiring employees to take a “Confronting Racism” course offered by LinkedIn Education.
The training seminar includes PowerPoint slides that encourage employees to be “less white” and claimed that white people are socialized to feel “inherently superior” to others because they are white. Some of the PowerPoint slides were leaked online by an employee and social media critics sparked a storm.
“If a corporate company sent around a training kit instructing black people how to ‘be less black’, the world would implode and lawsuits would follow. I genuinely hope these employees sue @CocaCola for blatant racism and discrimination,” conservative commentator Candace Owens tweeted.
In January, Gayton unveiled his plans about penalizing outside law firms working for the company unless a certain percentage of their billed associates are “diverse attorneys.” He said they would slash fees or cut ties with them altogether and that it is not their job to treat diversity and inclusion issues as a “business imperative.” He said Coca-Cola will commit to any specific actions that accelerate the “diversity of the legal profession.”
Under the plan, the racial quotas include at least 30% of Coca-Cola law firm attorneys being minorities and at least half of the minority attorneys be black. The law partners would face a 30% reduction in payment unless 30% of the firm’s associates came from diverse backgrounds. Critics questioned whether or not Gayton’s policies violated the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C Section 1981, which says you can’t treat employers differently based on race.
Project on Fair Representation D.C attorney Boyden Gray called the racial quotas “illegal” and said the company should publicly withdraw them immediately.
“Coke’s outside counsel policy may be well-intentioned, but racial quotas and the notion of group rights perpetuate pernicious racial categories and rest on a false, offensive, and racist notion that blacks and other racial minorities cannot compete. Federal law prohibits this kind of racially discriminatory balancing. It is not enough for Coke to pause this policy; it needs to publicly revoke it. Coke should disavow race-based contracting, period,” Gray said.
The company announced Douglas’ promotion minutes after Gayton publicized his resignation and that has thrown the plan into doubt. Douglas said that the plan is “taking a pause for now” but that they would likely salvage some parts of Gayton’s diversity plan in the future.
Coca-Cola recently failed to appear on a published list of hundreds of corporations and individuals that were denouncing Georgia’s new voting laws. When questioned by the woke mob on why their company name wasn’t on the list, Coca-Cola released a statement that they believe the best progress to make now is to come together, listen respectfully, and remain open and productive to those with opposing views. “In the end, we all want the same thing – free and fair elections, the cornerstone of our democracy,” they wrote.
Between taking a pause on their controversial diversity plan and making plans to remain open to differing views, Coca-Cola seems to be moving further away from the ‘woke mob’ every day. The American people are standing up against Big Business and Big Government by making a difference with their voices.