Coffee megagiant Starbucks hired ex-Attorney General Eric Holder to review its civil rights policies, and then got sued using what he endorsed, according to a new report.
The Free Beacon says the situation started developing two years before the "diversity" ideology exploded in popularity following the death of George Floyd.
"Starbucks needed a public relations win. The coffee giant was under fire after an employee at one of its stores mistakenly called the police on two black men, prompting the company to announce a 'multiphase effort' to become 'more diverse, equitable, and inclusive,'" the report said.
Part of that agenda included an assessment of "civil rights" issues, done by Covington & Burling, the Washington law firm whose work is orchestrated by Holder.
"Holder – who has charged as much as $2,295 an hour for such work – issued a final report in 2021 that outlined the steps Starbucks had taken to promote 'equity,'" the report said.
Those were discriminatory practices like tying executive pay to diversity targets, directing spending to "diverse suppliers," mentoring more "BIPOC" workers and such.
The result was a lawsuit by the National Center for Public Policy Research, which is a Starbucks shareholder. That case, charging that the company's policies are directly in violation of non-discrimination laws as well as the company's legal fiduciary obligations, is ongoing.
The report pointed out that Covington, representing some of the largest companies in the world, continued "rubber stamping" those "race-based initiatives" for companies like BlackRock, Citigroup and Verizon.
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The report noted those "civil rights audits" are common offerings by heavyweight legal teams, like those at WilmerHale, Skadden Arps, and Paul Weiss.
But, the report noted, critics have revealed the assessments "have exposed clients to the very risks they’re meant to alleviate. Covington’s audits alone endorse a plethora of programs many lawyers, including current and former government officials, say are illegal, from a minorities-only scholarship at BlackRock to a bonus scheme linking executive pay to diversity targets at Verizon."
The ideology being followed by the companies creates lawsuits "waiting to happen," charged Noah Peters, formerly of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, in the Free Beacon report.
Other complaints that already have developed target BlackRock.
Andrea Lucas, of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said race-restricted internships and other programs generally are "unlawful."
"It’s been surreal to see law firms encouraging clients to pursue these policies, often in what seems like open defiance of the Civil Rights Act," Jonathan Berry, the managing partner at Boyden Gray & Associates, told the Free Beacon.
On top, the Supreme Court just recently ruled that race-based admissions to colleges are unconstitutional.
One result, the report noted, is that Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has warned dozens of legal teams that Congress could investigation their endorsements of "illegal diversity programs." The result there could be accountability for their actions, he said.
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