The pose of wokeness is a costume that the left liberal elite puts on to virtue signal that they care about social justice and to hide their greed and corruption, said the former executive of major brand-name apparel manufacturer, Levi Strauss & Co.
Jennifer Sey, former chief marketing officer and brand president of Levi, told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program that she had “pushed back” on the public school closures due to COVID-19 for two years, and in the end, she was pushed out of the company for her advocacy.
Sey, who was sending her children to public schools, believed that prolonged school lockdowns were harmful to children and started speaking out against them at the beginning of the pandemic.
Sey said she and her husband were reading the data that was coming out of Italy at the start of the pandemic, a country heavily hit by the disease, and the data showed that the median age of death due to the disease was over 80.
“Nobody was bothering to look at actual data or adhere to the pre-pandemic playbook, which said you never shut schools down for more than a couple of weeks,” Sey pointed out. “It was from day one that me and my husband, we both said, ‘Hell no, this is wrong. People are going to be harmed.’”
In September 2020, Sey’s company warned her that her advocacy against school closures could be considered speaking on behalf of the company, “the implication being, there would be reputational harm to the company caused,” she said.
At the same time, her peers began sending their kids back to private in-person schools, Sey continued.
“I was so angry that these people would dare to say to me while sending their own kids to in-person school: ‘You can’t advocate for poor children to be in school.’”
Sey said it was atypical for her peers—and even for employees two or three levels below her in the corporate hierarchy—to send their kids to public school in her city of San Francisco.
“I thought the lightbulb would go off, and people would see the hypocrisy if I just made it clear in a calm, nice way. But they didn’t, because the hypocrisy, in a sense, is the point.”
“This pose of wokeness, it’s a cloak they wrap themselves in to signal virtue … to hide greed, corruption, keeping all the good stuff for themselves,” she said.
“It’s this costume that the left, liberal elite wraps around themselves to say, ‘I care about social justice. I care about all these causes. I am a good person.’ If you threaten to expose that, you need to be banished.”
Around the time of the new year in 2022, Sey was told that there was no longer a place for her at the company.
“You can’t be the CEO because of the things you’ve been saying and doing. Therefore, you can’t sit in your current chair because that is the role that ultimately becomes the CEO, so you need to leave,” Sey said she was told.
Sey said the illiberalism that has traveled from college campuses into companies and taken hold of corporations across the country is “incredibly dangerous.”
“If you insist on a culture where free speech is not tolerated, not only is it non-inclusive, which is problematic in and of itself, but I actually think it’s fraught and rife with the potential for corruption and fraud, like we’ve seen with Theranos and FTX and Enron,” she said.