John Derbyshire: Woke Capitalism (And A Nigerian Immigrant) At Goldman Sachs
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[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through]

Here’s a peek into Woke Capitalism. I shall tread carefully in this segment. I am working from inside information, and I don't want anyone to lose his job for being associated with an outlet as hatefully hateful as

The particular corner of capitalism featured in this story is the fine old financial-services firm of Goldman Sachs. You may recall Goldman Sachs signaling their virtue to the world back in in January when they announced that they'd only do business with firms that had at least one diverse board member, which I think means not a straight white male.

Well, a friend of mine is employed at Goldman Sachs, and he's been passing stuff on to me: stuff like this, which I reproduce with my friend's permission, some names redacted

It's a memo that was prominently featured on the main page of the internal Goldman Sachs web site August 27th, for the edification of all employees. The title of the memo is: Why Language Can Be One of Our Biggest Allies at Goldman Sachs. The main text is over seven hundred words, too long for me to read out in its entirety, so I'll just cherry-pick a few representative quotes, with links added.

I guess you could say that at least the competitive spirit of capitalism is visible there. Gotta be better than the next guy; gotta stay ahead of the market; hey, look—we did the capital-"B" thing two weeks before AP!

  • In Engineering, our colleagues…[have] collaborated with others in the financial services industry to address racially insensitive terminology in computer security terms. This work included eliminating the use of "blacklist" and "whitelist," as well as of "master" and "slave," when describing the relationship between hardware components.

Perhaps the use of those words "master" and "slave" in the computer department just get people thinking a bit too much about the power relation between the Indian project manager and his legacy-American subordinate who's being kept on for three months to train his replacement, an H-1B also from India—in fact the project manager's nephew.

  • Another example of a phrase that can have harmful impact is "All Lives Matter."…The death of George Floyd, and, as recently as this week, the shooting of Jacob Blake multiple times in the back, demonstrate that until the deadly violent acts against unarmed Black people subside, all lives will not matter until Black Lives Matter.

You didn't think we were going to get through this without a reference to the Holy Blessed Martyr Floyd, did you?

Although I'll give a smidgen of credit here to Goldman Sachs: They merely wrote "the death of George Floyd." It's routine in Mainstream media outlets now to see "the killing of George Floyd," or even "the murder of George Floyd." The Economist, for example, has used both in straight reportage. It has of course not yet been established to any good evidentiary standard that Floyd was killed, let alone murdered.

  • It's … not accurate to refer to someone's "sexual preference," which would imply a choice that can be changed, instead we refer to an individual's "sexual orientation."

That's a bit hair-splitty, isn't it? A bit dubious, actually. An orientation may be voluntary, mayn't it? I can orient myself to the north, south, east, or west, according to my…preference.

Goldman Sachs doesn't just rely on memos to keep its workforce up-to-date on the Party line. Conversations!—gotta have conversations. To give employees the right idea, the firm records the kind of conversations it wants them to have and puts them on YouTube so they can watch at home.

I'm not sure what the rule is for watching in office hours, but I'd guess it's OK…ah, heck, probably compulsory.

Here's a wee clip of one of those conversations from early June. The speaker here is Frederick Baba, a Managing Director in the Global Markets division of the firm. Mr. Baba is black. In fact he's an immigrant from Nigeria, dragged here in chains across the Middle Passage as a youngster thirty years ago. Hearken to his pain:

I think for me personally and for a lot of the members of the black community here at Goldman Sachs, these things are just extremely difficult for us to process. And so you'll be here trying to show up, trying to be your best work self, and then at times you don't even know if it matters, right? You're sitting in a Zoom call-in, you're talking about the thing you're talking about, you're trying to service your clients, but then … There's this backdrop and this, like, cloud hanging over you about all of the other things that are happening in the world, and you just don't know if you really care about bonds at that moment in time.

A Goldman Executive Has Advice for His White Colleagues

Expressions of solidarity are appreciated—Here’s what I would appreciate more.

By Frederick Baba, Bloomberg News, June 4, 2020

That's just a snippet. The thing drones on for half an hour. And yes, there's another participant in the conversation; but he's white, so of course he defers to Mr. Baba.

So there's a glimpse into the heart of Woke Capitalism. It makes the point that this poisonous gibberish is now universal among our ruling elites. I mean, it makes the point because if a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs doesn't belong to the ruling elite, nobody does.

It's like this throughout the Establishment: Wall Street, Big Tech, Hollywood, the universities…this is the reigning ideology. White Supremacy and Systemic Racism are in the air we breathe, tormenting the soul even of a Wall Street MD on a high six-figure salary and a seven-figure annual bonus.

And no, I didn't make those numbers up. In the matter of executive compensation, there is nothing niggardly (so to speak) about Goldman Sachs.

This is the reigning ideology. Yes, it's crazy and stupid and bears no relation to any actual facts in the world. You'd better pretend to believe it, though. Bend the knee and bow the head, or you'll get nowhere in life.

Certainly not at Goldman Sachs.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire's writings at can do so here.




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