Posted on December 14, 2021

Democrats Push ‘Racial Equity Audits’ To Cement Control of Tech Companies

Santi Ruiz, Washington Free Beacon, December 13, 2021

Democrats want to subject tech companies to mandatory “racial equity audits” conducted by their political allies {snip}

A small group of organizations with close ties to Democratic politicians and progressive donors conducts the majority of these audits, which advocates say are needed to promote racial justice. But in practice, equity auditors often push companies to hire more left-wing activists and former Democratic party officials, often from the auditing organizations themselves. The audits also call for the abolition of standards of “merit” and the ability for a special executive to veto any company project.


{snip} One proposal from House Democrats would fine companies $20,000 a day for not completing biennial, independent “racial equity audits.” In June, five Democratic senators called on Google parent company Alphabet to conduct an audit. The Democratic letter cited Color of Change, a left-wing nonprofit pushing for audits.

Last week, Color of Change president Rashad Robinson was invited to testify to Congress and called for “independent auditors” to vet new products from tech companies before they’re released. {snip}

In that hearing, Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) said Alphabet should “work with civil rights groups who have developed a framework to guide tech companies on how to conduct racial equity audits.”

Booker’s call appears to be a veiled reference to Color of Change, which released a “tech framework” explaining how companies should conduct audits. The framework calls for the destruction of an “objective definition of merit” in order to “attract Black talent.” It also requires that every tech company employ an executive with power to veto any product they believe has a disparate effect on black users. Among other powers, the executive should have “hiring and firing power, power over promotions, and power over the flow of people, product, and money.”

Color of Change also calls on tech companies to evaluate every employee in “anti-discrimination accountability systems” in performance reviews. According to Color of Change, tech companies should be required to avoid the use of any dataset that “is the product of real-world prejudice or further perpetuates discrimination,” a vague definition that could be used to shut down almost any machine-learning research.

Beyond “hiring underrepresented groups,” says Color of Change, organizations need to increase the “awareness” of all employees through “comprehensive racial justice trainings and initiatives.” These trainings from outside groups will create “a critical mass of employees that are aware of the origins and effects of white supremacy and anti-Blackness across all vertical and horizontal work streams.”