Justin Danhof
Justin Danhof is an anti-LGBTQ activist who attempts to cloak his bigotry as viewpoint diversity.

via YouTube

The anti-LGBTQ warrior, Justin Danhof, doesn’t get it. Justin Danhof will never get it. Also, Danhof will never make any sense.

Tuesday, Heritage Foundation’s Virginia Allen writes: How Far Left Infiltrated Corporate America and What Can Be Done About It. Swifty is laughably stupid. Aside from Allen’s ridiculous premise, she is relying upon Justin Danhof for expertise. “Infiltrated?”

Justin Danhof is whining again about “corporate tyranny.” Danhof will buy a share of stock in order to show up at a stockholders meeting to make himself look like an idiot. Indulge me in retelling some history and I’ll get back to Mr. Danhof.

In January, 2012 Starbucks announced support for Washington State’s marriage equality amendment. Two months later National Organization for Marriage organized a boycott. It was ineffective. For the fiscal years ended September 30, 2011, 2012 and 2013 total revenues were $11.7 billion, $13.3  billion and $14.9 billion.

A religious conservative (I cannot recall which wingnut) showed up at the shareholders meeting and attempted to bully then CEO Howard Schultz. Schultz essentially told him to go fuck himself and to sell his stock if he was unhappy. Shareholders roared with approval for Mr. Schultz. Schultz pointed out that the company employed over 200,000 people and that diversity was a key component of the company’s success.

Last year Justin Danhof organized a boycott of Amazon.com because Amazon relies upon the Southern Poverty Law Center to identity hate groups ineligible to participate in the Amazon SMILE program. Amazon policy has not changed and Amazon profits have soared. Amazon said the same thing. The company employs hundreds of thousands of people (about 600,000) and diversity is a key component of its success.

What these so-called conservatives never get is that there is a very limited pool of talent at all levels. The competition for that talent is fierce. Diversity attracts everyone. Many straight-cis-white-protestant people prefer to work for a company that values diversity because the policies demonstrate that the company values its employees.

When Virginia Allen refers to liberals-run-amok having “infiltrated” corporate America she is being spectacularly stupid. Successful companies hire the very best people they can attract for every position. Elevator assets are a vital element of prosperity. The best people have diverse ideologies and managers are unaware of those opinions in the hiring process

I write “so-called conservatives” because they are religious conservatives. While they might still have sway over the GOP (for now), they are anathema to corporate America. I would remind Danhof that the Koch Brothers were robust supporters of marriage equality.

Corporate CEOs are ideology agnostic. Their primary interest is earnings-per-share. It is a fiduciary interest and most CEOs hold stock and stock options in the companies they lead. So do board members.

I defy Allen to identify a “radical” lefty running any decent sized enterprise. Jeff Bezos, for example, is still the CEO of Amazon.com and the company just won an NLRB election. Amazon vigorously persuaded the majority of employees not to certify a bargaining unit. Exactly who are these “radicals?”

Ms. Allen is interviewing Danhof for a podcast. Enter Justin Danhof — stage right and behold:

Directing the Free Enterprise Project for the last 10-plus years, we’ve been screaming from the rooftops to conservatives largely that: Pay attention, big business is no longer with us. Big business is advocating against traditional values, conservative values at a record pace.

Well, fast forward to last year for the very first time in the Gallup polling, Gallup does polling on cultural lanes every year, for the very first time ever big business was underwater with conservatives.

Danhof is often full of crap. I have no idea what Gallup poll he is referring to. Nor can I find one that might fit Danhof’s narrative. Furthermore, and I know that I am being repetitive, Danhof is not a conservative. Danhof is a religious conservative.

The Human Rights Campaign identifies the best places for LGBTQ people to work. Sure Ben & Jerry’s is on the list but so is Walmart. Would anyone be stupid enough to claim that Walmart is run by radical liberals? Fox Corporation is on that list!

Diversity is not limited to hiring opportunities. Corporations serve a diverse customer base as well. Later on Danhof is quoted in all his abysmal idiocy:

So we’ve been working for about a year-plus to try and build a coalition of conservatives that are willing to engage with big business and fight back against woke capital, fight back against companies that are taking actions that are anathema to conservative and traditional values. So, that’s how we’ve gotten to the point that conservatives are awake now.

“Traditional values” translates to anti-LGBTQ prejudice and opposition to reproductive rights.

“Woke” is the most overused and most absurd pejorative in Christendom. Mr. Danhof doesn’t get the simple arithmetic associated with corporate profitability. He also doesn’t get the futility of essentially asking companies to make less money to satisfy “traditional values” boobs who are a diminishing breed.

“Tyranny” — Oh, please:

I like to say we’re awakened to the woke and we want to do something about it. So, that’s what stopcorporatetyranny.org is all about. It’s a one-stop shop for a couple things.

The website is actually amusing in its inability to define anything in specific terms. “Weaponize” is another one of those overused clichés:

But we’re not just going to grouse about the problems, we are an engagement coalition and we want to engage the grassroots of America, the citizens out there who feel helpless to do anything about the cancel culture. They feel helpless against the woke mob, because it’s like trying to drink out of a water hose.

On the subject of clichés, “cancel culture” ranks among the most used by the dimmest bulbs:

But we’re not just going to grouse about the problems, we are an engagement coalition and we want to engage the grassroots of America, the citizens out there who feel helpless to do anything about the cancel culture. They feel helpless against the woke mob, because it’s like trying to drink out of a water hose.

Seriously, what the fuck do these people propose to do? Does Mr. Danhof really believe that corporate boards and senior executives can be persuaded to change their policies?

… frankly, I pray that we’re just not too late. … The left’s march through the institutions obviously went through mainstream media, academia, Hollywood, many of our churches. Business is the most recent that they’ve been marching through. And let’s just hope that the closing gambit hasn’t closed.

People that Mr. Danhof disapproves of are not “marching”, infiltrating or permeating corporate America. Executives become executives based upon their workplace accomplishments. For sure there are other factors but at the core of every hire and promotion is performance.

The following is probably bullshit. I seriously doubt that senior executives are calling Danhof:

It’s gotten to the point that one year I was talking with the general counsel of one of the largest companies in America, because I filed a shareholder resolution, and I said, “Hey, my resolution was calling for diversity on their board of directors, but not diversity of skin surface characteristic, diversity of viewpoint.”

And the general council called me—and I never give away his name or the company that he works for—but he said, “Justin, you’re … over the target on a problem that you may not realize how big it is.”

Yeah, sure. And they discussed a nonexistent problem. Danhof doesn’t get it. Danhof will never get it. Corporate boards are comprised of accomplished people. A typical board member is a CEO or senior executive of a non-competing enterprise.

Viewpoint diversity already exists. Danhof doesn’t realize that because ideologies (other than profits) are irrelevant to corporate governance.

There are some companies that fill their boards and executive suites with conservative Christians. Publix comes to mind. It is their intention to do so. Whether or not Ben & Jerry’s (now owned by Unilever) goes out of its way to hire raging liberals is unknown. Historically, their approach was to hire the best people willing to work for a low wage in order to narrow the gap in compensation between management and employees. Now? Who knows?

The bottom line to all of this nonsense is the bottom line.

I will conclude with an anecdote. In May, 2020 Justin Danhof participated in the virtual shareholders meeting of Hershey Corp. Danhof demanded that Hershey cease its donations to the Human Rights Campaign. In doing so, Danhof used anti-LGBTQ talking points. He actually claimed that HRC is bigoted.

Michele Buck, CEO of the chocolate manufacturer politely told Danhof to go fuck himself (I realize that polite and “fuck you” provide a contradiction of terms). Ms. Buck explained:

Inclusion and diversity are incredibly important values to us here at the Hershey Company, They are important not only to our culture but also to our business.

Danhof responded with a press release on behalf of his employer, the National Center for Public Policy Research:

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is perhaps the most influential left-wing organization that most Americans have never heard of, and that needs to end. HRC staff spend their days trying to end religious freedom and marginalize all Americans of faith. HRC staff spend their days working to make sure that fully-grown adult males can use the same public and private restrooms and changing facilities as young girls. And HRC staff spend their days dedicated to defunding pro-life politicians and Christian nonprofit organizations. As long as it continues to fill HRC’s coffers with its investors’ hard-earned money, Hershey is 100 percent complicit in these vile, bigoted and reprehensible actions. If the company had any shame, it would end its funding of this extremist organization now.

As I said, Justin Danhof is never going to get it. He will never be a rational, critical thinking carbon life form. More importantly: Justin Danhof will never make any sense.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.