After a leaked slide from an employee training course at the Goodyear Topeka plant went viral, revealing a discriminatory policy that allows “Black Lives Matter” and LGBT shirts and apparel but not Blue Lives Matter or All Lives Matter, the media has been scrambling to come up with some sort of excuse for their new favorite tire company. They are especially determined to defend Goodyear now that President Trump has stepped into the fray to voice his (entirely justified) objection to a company that allows expressions of support for a radical Marxist organization but no expressions of support for law enforcement, or all lives in general.
Goodyear has issued a clarification, which, after sifting through the obfuscating jargon, is actually not a clarification at all, even less is it an apology. Here’s the full statement:
Yesterday, Goodyear became the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions about our policies and our company. For those not aware, a widely circulated image sparked a strong reaction, and we wanted to take the opportunity to provide some important context to the visual and our policies.
First, the visual in question was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class. To be clear on our longstanding corporate policy, Goodyear has zero tolerance for any forms of harassment or discrimination. To enable a work environment free of those, we ask that associates refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party, as well as similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues.
Second, we appreciate the diverse viewpoints of all of our more than 60,000 associates, which are at the heart of many of the policies we establish. Fostering an inclusive, respectful workplace is important to establish teamwork and build culture, which is another reason we ask associates not to engage in political campaigning of any kind in the workplace – for any candidate, party or political organization.
Third and finally, Goodyear has always wholeheartedly supported both equality and law enforcement and will continue to do so. These are not mutually exclusive. We have heard from some of you that believe Goodyear is anti-police after reacting to the visual. Nothing could be further from the truth, and we have the utmost appreciation for the vital work police do on behalf of our shared communities. This can’t be said strongly enough.
So, the slide “was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate” and it’s “not part of a diversity training class.” That is a far cry from denying that it exists or that it accurately reflects their policy. The rest of the statement would only seem to confirm, in so many words, that employees are only permitted to voice certain approved views on certain approved issues.
Indeed, audio from the training session at the Topeka plant has been leaked to WIBW which would seem to put all doubt to rest. According to the audio, employees are instructed that they may “express their views on social justice or inequity or equity issues such as black lives matter or LGBTQ pride on their face coverings, shirts, or wristbands.” They are informed that such expression is “approved” and in accord with the “zero tolerance policy.” However, any associate who wears anything that says “all, blue, or white lives matter” will be deemed as having acted inappropriately. WIBW reports:
“Some people may wish to express their views on social justice or inequity or equity issues such as black lives matter or LGBTQ pride on their face coverings, shirts or wristbands. That will be deemed approved because it applies with a zero-tolerance stance,” the speaker said during the meeting. “However if any associate wears all, blue, white lives matter shirts or face coverings, that will be not appropriate.”
The unidentified speaker says the rules were created to make a better work environment.
“The rules around now what you can wear. Let’s try and comply with these so you know everybody feels good in this factory. I want to make sure guys, think about what we do in this factory, in this factory right. We all work together to make tires that’s what we do. That’s what we get paid to do. So, let’s continue to do that and do the right thing and keep this place what it has always been, a good place to work,” the speaker said.
Based on the audio, the policy is even worse than first reported. I doubt that it’s even legal for an employer to tell workers they may express pride in one race but not the other.
The shameless hypocrites in media, who have previously claimed that cancel culture is a myth, now insist that those of us who object to this grotesque discrimination are participating in cancel culture. CNN declared that President Trump has “embraced” cancel culture by speaking out. MSNBC liked that talking point and adopted it as well. Alleged news anchor Don Lemon lashed out at Trump, calling him “the biggest snowflake of them all” and a “hypocrite when it comes to cancel culture.” For good measure, he’s also a “bigot” and a “racist,” according to Lemon. Don’t worry, a news anchor can say all of this because, we are informed, these charges are “not opinions” but rather “facts.”
But speaking of hypocrisy, we don’t need to strain very hard to imagine how the likes of CNN, MSNBC, and everyone else on the Left would react if Goodyear or any other company instituted a policy in the reverse. If the rules allowed for “all lives matter” and “blue lives matter” but explicitly banned “black lives matter,” every single person currently defending Goodyear and mocking as “snowflakes” anyone who criticizes them, would be convulsing with rage. And if — I shudder to imagine — Goodyear had said that “white lives matter” is acceptable and “black lives matter” is not, all of these same people would be accusing the company of committing a hate crime and calling for it to be disbanded.
And those would be the most reasonable and measured responses. We can also assume that a few Goodyear locations would currently be lying in smoldering ruins and the looters would have a stash of tires to go with their burgeoning collection of stolen shoes and purses.
There is no denying this. We all know how it would go. Yet we are supposed to shrug at discrimination in the other direction, if not applaud it. I’m not going to play along with that game. One rule and one standard should be applied. Goodyear is guilty of both racial and ideological discrimination, and nothing will make that okay.