Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer talked about the importance of diversity in corporate management, and of course white male wingnuts went berserk…. (More)

“The entire other side of the table was all Caucasian males”

Squirrels don’t worry about coloring. There are fox squirrels, grey squirrels, red squirrels, two varieties of flying squirrels, and a whole host of ground squirrels including chipmunks, groundhogs, and gophers. And that’s just in the U.S. Worldwide there are over 200 species of squirrels, and when we meet we usually get along.

So I wasn’t upset when Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer said this on CNN:

Just today we met with a supplier and the entire other side of the table was all Caucasian males. That was interesting. I decided not to talk about it directly with [the supplier’s] folks in the room because there were actually no female, like, levels down. So I’m going to place a call to him.

She didn’t refuse to hire or do business with white men. Indeed white men comprise half of her senior management team. But given a choice between a supplier whose senior management team are exclusively white men – and a similar supplier with a diverse management team – she would rather deal with the diverse team.

“As a white male I’m deeply offended by the remarks of your employee”

Cue the wingnut white male outrage:

Critics are claiming that Brewer’s remarks are evidence that she advocates against employing and hiring white men — even though four of the eight people on her executive team are white men. Some customers are now accusing Brewer of being “racist” toward white men and are threatening to boycott Sam’s Club.

The interview has since been shared widely by right-wing sites, including RedState, BizPac Review, and TeaParty.org, prompting some customers to criticize the company online.

“As a white male I’m deeply offended by the remarks of your employee,” one person wrote on Sam’s Club’s Facebook page. “We will not be patronizing Sam’s Club until this is corrected.”

Let’s pause for a moment. If the Sam’s Club CEO were a white male, would white guys call him “your employee” or “your CEO?” If I were Sam’s Club, I would reply that I’d rather that guy stopped patronizing both the business … and the CEO.

“I support that important ideal”

And that’s pretty much what Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in response:

For years, we’ve asked our suppliers to prioritize the talent and diversity of their sales teams calling on our company. Roz was simply trying to reiterate that we believe diverse and inclusive teams make for a stronger business. That’s all there is to it and I support that important ideal.

Cue even more wingnut white male outrage:

[In response to McMillon’s comment] Edward Martins invoked Martin Luther King, Jr., without a note of irony.

“‘Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.’ – Martin Luther King, Jr. As a white male I am deeply offended by the CEO of Sam’s club clearly racist attitudes towards white males. My family and I will be shopping at Costco. Thank you.”

Get that? Apparently white men deserve an exclusive lock on corporate management, and anything less than all-white-men is “injustice.”

“The Left is pushing for over-representation of minorities”

RedState wingnut Steve Berman’s reply was even more bizarre:

Nobody argues against the fact that there needs to be diversity at the top of large companies, but the Left is pushing for over-representation of minorities, and they make no bones about it.

Maybe the population of Berman’s world is 91% white men, because that’s the percentage of white male Fortune 500 CEOs. But in the real U.S., white men are only 36% of the population. So if there were eight people on a management team – three white men and five women and people of color, the ratios in the population at large – would that be “over-representation of minorities?”

I guess so, because Berman is upset that Brewer was offended by a management team of exclusively white men. And he says Brewer is a hypocrite because her team is really almost all-white too:

Brewer said that it has to start at the top, adding that she “has to live it.” The hypocrisy starts at the top, too, beginning with CNN’s own graphic showing Sam’s Club’s executive team. According to the graphic, three of eight are white males, but that’s a gerrymandered figure. Walmart’s corporate website (Sam’s Club being a division) paints with a different color – and gender – palette.

Notice how he ignores Brewer’s management team at Sam’s Club and instead critiques the management team at Walmart. But Brewer doesn’t hire the Walmart management team. She hires the Sam’s Club team, and her comment that she “has to live it” shows in the team she hired.

He goes on to critique Walmart’s poor diversity record and their reliance on overseas suppliers, as if Brewer should answer for the parent corporation and not her own. That makes no sense … unless really he’s just furious that she dared to question the all-white-guys team across the table in a meeting.

Because wingnut white men think white men deserve everything, and anything less is “injustice.”

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Photo Credit: Associated Press

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Good day and good nuts