Raises Intolerance to a New Level
| The two news
accounts below clearly portray the clash between a conservative Christian Kodak employee's
closely held beliefs, and Kodak's wide-open "support any non-white, non-hetero,
non-male" diversity regime.
The case of Rolf
Szabo vs. Kodak superficially involves an employee's polite objection to Kodak's
enthusiastic promotion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered lifestyles in the
At a deeper level, however, Szabo vs. Kodak clearly depicts Kodak's totalitarian
suppression (NOT inclusion) of all things which are conservative, Caucasian,
male, heterosexual, European, and Christian.
Adversity.Net has excerpted two excellent reports about the Rolf Szabo vs. Kodak incident,
below. WorldNetDaily and FrontPageMag both present valuable insights into the
Kodaquota Culture of Exclusion.
Opinion NOT Allowed
Based in part on the Joe Kovacs
article "Kodak fires man over 'gay' stance"
in WorldNetDaily.com Oct. 24, 2002
Street entrance at Kodak Park
|Rolf Szabo has worked as a millwright for Kodak for 23 years.
He is straight, white, male and a
He is also over 40 years old.
Can you say endangered species?
Rolf Szabo was fired for politely objecting to a Kodak memo promoting a gay and
lesbian "Coming Out Day" at Kodak's Rochester, NY headquarters.
Kodak calls their program for imposing politically correct thought upon its employees
their "Winning & Inclusive Culture" program. The alleged
purpose is to foster a certain type of diversity in the Kodak workplace. As you will
see, Kodak's "Winning & Inclusive Culture" program does not
tolerate diversity of opinions or viewpoints.
Immediately below is the emailed memo from Kodak to which Mr. Szabo objected in the
of Kodak Memo, re: "Coming Out Day"
Today, Oct. 11, is the Human Rights Campaign's 15th annual National Coming Out Day for
people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered. If one of your employees
elects to "come out" at work, there are several things you can do to help that
person feel comfortable in sharing his/her orientation in the workplace:
- Be supportive of the individual who wishes
to share this information.
- Acknowledge his/her courage to publicly
share this personal information.
- Respect the individual's privacy. Understand
how broadly he/she wishes the information to be shared.
- Acknowledge your level of awareness of this
topic, and share your personal willingness to understand.
What can supervisors do in the work environment to support their gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transgendered employees who wish to be "out" to their supervisor or
- Be sensitive to the employee's language in
defining their personal orientation.
- Support the employee in displaying
appropriate personal photos in the work setting.
- Recognize and respect that not all (gay,
lesbian, bisexual or transgendered) employees find it OK to be out at work. They should
not be questioned or harassed about their sexual orientation.
- Act quickly and responsibly if any anti-gay
humor or negative comments are made in the workplace.
[Referring to the last two bullets, above,
the memo continues]:
Keep in mind that such behaviors violate Kodak's Values as well as Kodak's Equal
Opportunity Employment Policy, which all supervisors are responsible for maintaining in
their areas. Specific examples are cited in your "Call to
Action" training materials. Reported violations of this policy
are to be thoroughly investigated. If verified, disciplinary action is to be taken.
Since the Kodak memo had been emailed, and since it included all the recipients' email
addresses, Mr. Szabo was able to immediately send an emailed reply to all recipients (over
1,000 employees). Mr. Szabo's memo was short, direct, and inoffensive:
of employee Ralph Szabo's emailed response:
"Please do not send this type of information to me anymore, as I find it disgusting
and offensive. Thank you."
-- Rolf Szabo
Szabo didn't use any anti-gay epithets or slurs. Many, many Americans share Mr.
Szabo's distaste for the particular lifestyle that Kodak was promoting. Many others
don't. But there isn't room at Kodak for people who don't approve of these
According to the WorldNetDaily report, Kodak manager Randy Bakel quickly responded by
sending another email to all the recipients in which he let it be known officially
that Mr. Szabo was not getting with the "Winning & Inclusive"
spirit of things, and that Kodak did not support Mr. Szabo's right to a different
of Kodak manager Randy Bakel's memo
apologizing for Szabo's "insensitive" remarks:
As you all know, our strategic thrust to build a Winning & Inclusive Culture
drives us to behave in ways that value everyone regardless of differences. While I
understand that we are all free to have our own personal beliefs, when we come to the
Kodak workplace, our behaviors must align with the Kodak Values.
I apologize for the e-mail sent to all of you from Rolf Szabo this morning. Rolf's
comments are hurtful to our employees, friends and family members who are gay, lesbian,
bisexual or transgendered. This behavior is not aligned with the Kodak Values and,
therefore, is not acceptable.
Being a "Winning & Inclusive" kind of place, Kodak just happened to
have a contingency plan in place for dealing with dissidents such as Rolf Szabo.
Kodak Park offices and manufacturing
| Kodak has a nifty
little device they call an Employee Commitment Plan -- ECP in Kodak-speak --
under which employees who exhibit such troubling diversity of thought are
required to state, in writing, (a) that they are sorry; (b) they won't do it again; and
(c) that they will essentially submit to Kodak's political re-education camp in order to
eliminate their improper thoughts and attitudes.
Kodak informed Mr. Szabo that if he didn't sign an Employee Commitment Plan he
would be fired. Szabo refused to sign. He was fired.
According to WorldNetDaily's account, Mr. Szabo said "I would not submit and cave in
to their trying to browbeat me into a confession."
Also according to WordNetDaily's account, Jim Blamphin, Kodak media relations manager,
said: "The whole thing is true. This chap was asked to take part in a
program that fosters inclusion, and he refused. ... Every possible definition of diversity
is embraced by Kodak. This is a company that does not take these matters
[See Note 1 for links to the
[COMMENT: According to some surveys of Americans' attitudes toward homosexuality,
anywhere from 20% to 60% of the American population find some aspect of the gay, lesbian,
bisexual and/or transgendered lifestyles to be objectionable. Under Kodak's "Winning
and Inclusive Culture" regime, that means that 20% to 60% of the American
workforce is ineligible to work at Kodak. -- Tim Fay, editor]
Opinion NOT Allowed
Excerpted from the Ryan O'Donnel
"Corporate Diversity Scam"
which appeared in FrontPageMag.com Jan. 27, 2003
"Under the guise of "diversity training," the intolerance of the political
Left has penetrated corporate America. ... corporate diversity training has turned the
twenty-first century workplace into a war zone.
"Despite their stated purpose, corporate "diversity" departments have
demonstrated a fundamental lack of tolerance for any diversity in employee thought and
have made basic decency in the workplace a matter of swallowing political correctness.
"This attitude of ideological intolerance reveals the most fundamentally frightening
element of such diversity workshops: any opinion expressed that conflicts with the
workshop teachings is inherently invalid and indicates "confusion," an
unfortunate condition that requires further, more drastic indoctrination techniques. ...
"Back to the diversity programs: after any "confused" employees are
identified, the diversity facilitator launches a multi-faceted assault designed to force
the resisting individuals to conform. Tactics range from group pressure, in which the
facilitator encourages politically-correct employees to pressure non-conformist co-workers
into accepting the consensus view, to isolation in which the dissenting individual is
ostracized from the group. ...
"Forbes Magazine reports that U.S companies spend as much as ten billion dollars per
year on corporate diversity training. ...
"Has this vast industry improved conditions in the workplace? All signs say no.
Harassment and discrimination complaints continue to skyrocket and workplace tensions
increase. ... Worse, corporations have been intimidated to the point where an employee's
ability to navigate the corporate ladder seems to center around "diversity"
characteristics, as opposed to actual ability. This is a threat to the competitiveness of
American companies their Japanese and Chinese competitors certainly don't have to
deal with this nonsense in Tokyo and Hong Kong.
"... [D]iscrimination and harassment complaints have risen a whopping 231% since
1991. The spike in corporate sexual harassment and discrimination issues does not stem
from increased awareness, as those on the political Left would encourage us to believe.
Rather, the same manufactured tension and paranoia that left the workplace susceptible to
groupthink indoctrination has naturally led to an increase in harassment and
"Occasionally a brave individual simply refuses to bend before the pressures employed
by corporate diversity departments. On October 11th 2002, the Kodak Corporation, as part
of the company's continuing "Winning & Inclusive Culture" campaign, sent out
a memo to all employees regarding the Human Rights Campaign's annual "Coming Out
"Among other things, the memo ordered employees to: 'Acknowledge your level of
awareness of this topic, and share your personal willingness to understand. Acknowledge
his/her courage to publicly share this personal information.'
"One employee, 23-year Kodak veteran and devout Christian Rolf Szabo took offense to
the memo and emailed the company the following response: 'Please do not send this
type of information to me anymore, as I find it disgusting and offensive.'
"Mr. Szabo's right to express his religious beliefs in the workplace is protected by
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The act prohibits discrimination based on race,
color, sex, religion, or national origin. The "sex" mentioned in Title VII
refers to gender based discrimination against a person. It contains no legal reference to
"However, the corporate thought-police have little use for Federal Statutes. Szabo
was immediately reprimanded by his supervisor, who informed the entire company that,
"our behaviors must align to the Kodak values [as outlined in the Winning and
Inclusive Culture] campaign."
"Szabo was then asked to sign an employee commitment plan stating he regretted what
he had written and outlining steps to prevent a similar incident from reoccurring. When
Szabo refused to reconcile his Catholic faith with Kodak's Winning and Inclusive Program,
he was fired.
"What is truly terrifying about the Szabo - Kodak incident is that Szabo was fired
not because he violated any law or statute, but because he rejected the groupthink
mentality demanded by Kodak. No longer is job performance or company loyalty sufficient
for continued employment; an employee's core beliefs must now conform to a Leftist
[See Note 2 for links to the
References and Links:
Send Us Your
If you have specific, additional information about Kodak's racial preferences programs,
please send your confidential comments to email@example.com
Kodak Case 35: (4)
Intolerance of Diversity of Opinion