Zac Kriegman had the ideal résumé for the professional-managerial class: a bachelors in economics from Michigan and a J.D. from Harvard and years of experience with high-tech startups, a white-shoe law firm, and an econometrics research consultancy. He then spent six years at Thomson Reuters Corporation, the international media conglomerate, spearheading the company’s efforts on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced software engineering. By the beginning of 2020, Kriegman had assumed the title of Director of Data Science and was leading a team tasked with implementing deep learning throughout the organization.
But within a few months, this would all collapse. A chain of events—beginning with the death of George Floyd and culminating with a statistical analysis of Black Lives Matter’s claims—would turn the 44-year-old data scientist’s life upside-down. By June 2021, Kriegman would be locked out of Reuters’s servers, denounced by his colleagues, and fired by email. Kriegman had committed an unpardonable offense: he directly criticized the Black Lives Matter movement in the company’s internal communications forum, debunked Reuters’s own biased reporting, and violated a corporate taboo. Driven by what he called a “moral obligation” to speak out, Kriegman refused to celebrate unquestioningly the BLM narrative and his company’s “diversity and inclusion” programming; to the contrary, he argued that Reuters was exhibiting significant left-wing bias in the newsroom and that the ongoing BLM protests, riots, and calls to “defund the police” would wreak havoc on minority communities. Week after week, Kriegman felt increasingly disillusioned by the Thomson Reuters line. Finally, on the first Tuesday in May 2021, he posted a long, data-intensive critique of BLM’s and his company’s hypocrisy. He was sent to Human Resources and Diversity & Inclusion for the chance to reform his thoughts.
He refused—so they fired him.
I spoke with Kriegman just before Thanksgiving via Zoom. He dialed in from a small, cluttered room in his Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts home, where he lives with his wife and three children. He described his feeling of alienation, then frustration, then moral outrage, as he watched his Reuters colleagues’ behavior following the death of George Floyd. He described the company as a “blue bubble,” where “people were constantly celebrating Black Lives Matter, where it was assumed that everyone was on board.”
Like many corporations in the United States in 2020, Reuters went through a quiet revolution in human resources and “diversity and inclusion.” The company launched a series of lectures and training programs, ranging from a study of Kimberlé Crenshaw’s intersectionality theory to an interactive panel called “Let’s Talk About Race” to a keynote presentation on “unlocking the power of diversity.” In honor of Floyd, the company asked employees to participate in a “21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge,” which promoted race-based reparations payments, academic articles on critical race theory, and instructions on “how to be a better white person.”
Some of the materials were patronizing and outright racist. One resource told Reuters employees that their “black colleagues” are “confused and scared,” barely able to show up to work, and feel pressured to “take the personal trauma we all know to be true and tuck it away to protect white people,” who cannot understand anything beyond their own whiteness. The proper etiquette, according to a subsequent lesson, is for white employees to let themselves get “called out” by their minority colleagues and then respond with automatic contrition: “I believe you”; “I recognize that I have work to do”; “I apologize, I’m going to do better.” The ultimate solution is for whites to admit complicity in systemic racism and repent for their collective guilt. “White people built this system. White people control this system,” reads a module from self-described “wypipologist” Michael Harriot. “It is white people who have tacitly agreed to perpetuate white supremacy throughout America’s history. It is you who must confront your racist friends, coworkers, and relatives. You have to cure your country of this disease. The sickness is not ours.”
……The company’s data reporting consistently re-contextualized accurate information about racial violence and policing in order to align with Black Lives Matter rhetoric. In a “fact check” of a social media post that claimed whites are more likely to be killed by blacks than blacks are to be killed by whites, Reuters concedes that this is factually accurate but labels the post “misleading”—in part because it doesn’t show that police kill black people at a higher rate than their share of the overall population, a completely unrelated claim. Likewise, when President Donald Trump accurately pointed out that police officers kill “more white people” than black people each year, Reuters immediately published a story reframing the narrative. Though the report admitted that “half of people killed by police are white,” the writers pushed the line that “Black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate” and then used a quotation from the American Civil Liberties Union to paint the president as a “racist.”
Kriegman’s decision to question his company’s narrative wasn’t sudden or impulsive. As he watched the riots and the news coverage unfold, he found himself increasingly filled with doubt and anxiety. He decided to take two months’ leave from Thomson Reuters in order to grapple with the statistical and ethical implications of the company’s reporting on the riots and the Black Lives Matter movement. “I did look through Reuters’s news, and it was concerning to me that a lot of the same issues that I was seeing in other media outlets seemed to be replicated in Reuters’s news, where they were reporting favorably about Black Lives Matter protests without giving any context to the claims that were being made at those protests [and] without giving any context about the ‘Ferguson effect’ and how police pulling back on their proactive policing has been pretty clearly linked to a dramatic increase in murders,” Kriegman told me. “At a certain point, it just feels like a moral obligation to speak out when something that’s having such a devastating impact is being celebrated so widely, especially in a news company where the perspective that’s celebrated is having such a big impact externally.”
During his leave, Kriegman used his skills as a data scientist to conduct a careful statistical investigation comparing BLM’s claims on race, violence, and policing with the hard evidence from a range of academic and governmental sources. The result: a 12,000-word essay, titled “BLM is Anti-Black Systemic Racism,” that called into question the entire sequence of claims by the Black Lives Matter movement and echoed by the Reuters news team.
……Kriegman hoped that his essay would help his colleagues move beyond “the blue bubble” and see “how devastating Black Lives Matter has been to black communities,” which would in turn help them to do more accurate and responsible journalism. Returning from leave, he was ready to share his research with his colleagues at Thomson Reuters. “I didn’t know what to expect going into it, but I expected the reaction to be intense,” Kriegman says. “And it was.” The essay dropped like a bomb on Reuters’s internal discussion forum, called The Hub. According to Kriegman, content moderators immediately took down the post and called in a “team of HR and communications professionals” to manage the situation. They told Kriegman that they were “reviewing” the document but, according to Kriegman, failed to provide specific objections to what he wrote. The essay, while challenging the dominant left-wing culture at Thomson Reuters, made a reasoned, dispassionate case based on rigorous evidence—precisely what a hard news organization should prioritize internally. Finally, after Kriegman inquired multiple times about the company’s decision to remove the post, senior human resources director Melissa Budde told him that the post was too “antagonistic” and “provocative” and that he needed to work with Cristina Juvier, head of diversity and inclusion, if he wanted to pursue the matter further.
Read the entire article. His essay was briefly reposted to Reuters’ internal social media site under a different title, but was permanently removed when the hierarchy bowed to the rancid backlash.
“Black Lives Matter” is a violent organization founded by radical black militants, which appeals to leftwing corporate ideologues who have integrated their political indoctrination into their structure.
The cancel culture fascists have invaded every aspect of American life, including the workplace. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted that conservative employees at the big tech company “don’t feel safe” to freely express their political opinions at work. Google is run like a leftwing religious cult where everyone is expected to conform. Anyone who dissents is threatened with termination.
I laugh every time black or white radicals try to extort guilt out of white people—working class or wealthy. They want to drag everyone down to their level; the bigotry of low expectations.
Newsflash, I have no white guilt or fucks to give.