It took President Trump two days to call protesters in Charlottesville racist. (To say nothing about his comments before or afterward.) It only took him a few hours after CEOs on his business advisory councils met to discuss how they could best respond to his actions to send a tweet that eliminated the business advisory councils.
In other words, two things happened last week: A leadership vacuum was created by the President of the United States. And that vacuum was filled by what may be to some a surprising group: business leaders.
There’s no need to rehash what happened in Charlottesville and President Trump’s response. These have been well-covered already. What is beginning to receive coverage (such as by the NYTimes here) is the response from business leaders around the country: a clear message that for them, every person matters, regardless of race, religion, gender, or any other personal trait.
As a direct result of the president’s failure to unambiguously condemn racism, fascism, and hate-mongering, members of the president’s American Manufacturing Council and Strategic and Policy Forum began to both publicly condemn the president and resign from their posts. Leaders from some of our nation’s largest and most well-respected businesses chose not only to speak out, but they made a mindful decision to stand up to the most powerful political individual in the country by refusing to advise him because of his lack of leadership. They displayed a true moral compass for all to see and established themselves to be keenly aware of their potential impact on the larger situation. Continue reading…