Posted on December 13, 2023

Trump Allies Attack Corporate ‘Bigotry’ Against White Men

Emily Birnbaum, Bloomberg, December 11, 2023

One complaint accuses Macy’s Inc. of discriminating against White men. Another levels that allegation against BlackRock Inc.

A third points a finger at, of all things, NASCAR – a largely White sport where Confederate flags were prevalent until they were banned in 2020.

Those three legal actions, and some 20 more like them, have one person in common: Stephen Miller.

Miller, the architect of anti-immigration policies under former President Donald Trump, is emerging as a key figure in preparing a hardline conservative agenda in the event Trump returns to the White House.

And Miller is clear: Now that the US Supreme Court has rejected affirmative action at the nation’s colleges, he’s bent on eradicating diversity initiatives in American business as well.

“We are going to completely transform the legal architecture in this country,” Miller says.

No company or workplace will be left untouched, he vows. Racial-bias training, inclusive hiring practices, efforts to promote women and narrow the gender pay gap: All of that and more is on the line.

The prospect is rippling through corporate America and prompting companies to rethink diversity initiatives. If sustained, the push will inevitably set back the already-slow progress in leveling the playing field for millions of women and minorities.

Trump himself went after corporate diversity before. He issued an executive order in 2020 banning the federal government, as well as its contractors, from offering certain training on gender and race, instruction the order called “malign.” President Joe Biden promptly rescinded it.

Now, the Trump administration-in-waiting is laying the groundwork for the next battle. The legal advocacy group behind the recent equal-opportunity complaints, Miller’s America First Legal, is part of a well-financed network that aims to populate a second Trump administration with arch conservatives. Their goal is to remove legal restraints that held Trump back and enable a new administration to pursue a sweeping agenda that would upend core elements of US governance.

If Trump is reelected, Miller and other allies hope to mobilize the Justice Department to prosecute its efforts. The new administration could direct the DOJ and other agencies to stamp out diversity initiatives, which many corporations embraced with new urgency following the murder of George Floyd.

The threat of civil action will hang over every boardroom. Miller doesn’t rule out criminal charges.

The goal: “To completely invert the risk calculus corporations have assumed they’ve had for many years,” Miller says.


Miller says affirmative action and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives – efforts rooted in the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s – are in fact forms of prejudice. He wants to usher in a new era in which no one will get a leg up because of race, gender, identity or background, even if the goal is to rectify historical inequalities.


Miller says a second Trump administration would bring to bear the power of the federal government to challenge companies that embrace social justice. He predicts the issue will reach the Supreme Court, where Trump appointed three justices, for a six-member conservative majority.

Miller says his aim is to launch “a full legal civil rights movement.”

The prospect has already prompted some companies to reconsider diversity-in-hiring programs, particularly those offering extra resources to women and minorities.

In April, AFL went after BlackRock for supposedly favoring Black, Hispanic, LGBTQ+ and disabled students for a scholarship program. Last month, the asset-management giant eliminated online references to those cohorts for the program. It now says it seeks students who have demonstrated leadership and exemplified “BlackRock principles in their communities.”


PriceWaterhouseCoopers made similar changes to its descriptions for entry-level jobs following a complaint by AFL. PwC didn’t respond to requests for comment. The changes at the two firms have not been reported previously.