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Legal Nonprofit Files Complaint Against BlackRock’s ‘Racist’ Hiring Practices

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America First Legal Foundation (AFL) filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to ask them to open an investigation into BlackRock for engaging in what they called “unlawful” and “racist” employment practices.

Vice President and General Counsel at AFL Gene P. Hamilton sent a letter to the EEOC Director of New York District Office Judy Keenan requesting her office investigate BlackRock for a variety of their employment policies that appear to violate federal laws, including with BlackRock Founders Scholarship.

As a part of their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts, BlackRock gives out what they call the “Founder Scholarship,” which is given to undergraduate or master’s students “who self-identify as Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native American, LGBTQ+ or disabled.” The scholarship provides the recipient with an internship at BlackRock and $17,500.

AFL—a national nonprofit whose mission is to protect the rule of law, due process, and equal protection for all U.S. citizens—says BlackRock is violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with their current employment practices, including the company’s scholarship program.

“This program is just one piece of a long-term practice of BlackRock to use unlawful discriminatory employment practices to build its workforce. Indeed, BlackRock has affirmatively and repeatedly represented to its shareholders, to its investors, and to the Securities and Exchange Commission, that its employment practices are infused with facially unlawful considerations of race, color, sex, and/or national origin,” Hamilton said in the letter (pdf).

Larry Fink
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink attends a session at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, on Jan. 23, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

AFL also sent a letter (pdf) to BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, advising him to end all discriminatory hiring policies.

However, a spokesperson for BlackRock said the company’s hiring practices are not discriminatory.

“BlackRock’s hiring and promotion decisions are driven entirely by merit. We hire over a thousand graduates and interns each year representing hundreds of universities. The Founders Scholarship is just one of several channels we offer to access the outstanding talent the firm needs to meet the evolving demands of our clients,” a BlackRock spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement to The Epoch Times.

According to the BlackRock employment goals for 2021, the company is committed to “increasing employees who identify as Black and Latinx by 30% on their U.S. team,” and to “doubling the number of Black and Latinx senior leaders.”

BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, which provides investment management and technology services to institutions and retail clients across the world and is estimated to have about 19,800 employees in more than 30 countries.

AFL denounced DEI as unlawful.

“Decades of case law holds that—no matter how well-intentioned—such policies are prohibited,” Hamilton wrote.

New Model of Capitalism

The DEI model is part of what is called “stakeholder capitalism,” which progressives have praised as the solution to issues like economic disparities between whites and non-whites, while conservatives have criticized the model as “woke capitalism” and irresponsible to shareholders.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) laid out the four pillars of stakeholder capitalism (pdf), which are Principles of Governance, Planet, People, and Prosperity. DEI is covered under the umbrella of the “People” pillar.

The WEF promotes stakeholder capitalism as a system in which corporations seek long-term value creation by considering the requirements of all its stakeholders and society at large. However, opponents criticize these trends, stating that they’re politicizing investment decisions and creating an expensive deviation from basic financial investing principles.

In a 2022 letter to fellow heads of corporations, Fink defended this new form of capitalism.

“Stakeholder capitalism is not about politics. It is not a social or ideological agenda. It is not ‘woke.’ It is capitalism, driven by mutually beneficial relationships between you and the employees, customers, suppliers, and communities your company relies on to prosper,” wrote Fink.



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