Grandfather Activism: Letter to Joseph A. Banks President Douglas Ewert
John Seel Consulting, LLC
English Village @ Erdenheim Farm
661 Thomas Road
Lafayette Hill, PA 19444
March 4, 2018
Mr. Douglas S. Ewert
CEO and President
Joseph A. Banks Clothiers, Inc.
6380 Rogerdale Road
Houston, Texas 77072
Dear Mr. Ewert:
Thank you for wisely responding to Laura Ingraham’s public criticism of David Hogg. My entire professional wardrobe has been purchased at Joseph A. Banks. In fact, I just bought a sports coat there last week. I am a member of your executive club.
I was greatly disheartened by Ms. Ingraham’s comments regarding David Hogg’s college admissions process. It is one thing to disagree on gun control policy, but to make snarky comments about where one has been rejected in one’s college admissions process is way over the line. I have served as the headmaster of a college prep school and also as a college admissions counselor. Few matters are more sensitive to young people than this process, particularly if one is as academically promising as David. To make such comments is to allow one’s ideological frame to trump one’s basic concern for people. What is at stake here is basic human decency.
It does not serve your brand to be so associated with such a person. It is not what you expect of your employees. And it is not the lasting image you want to promote in the minds of a powerful emerging consumer cohort.
Thank you for breaking off your advertising to the Laura Ingraham Angle. There are far better ways to reflect your commitment to the next generation and the common good. Many of the companies that have already abandoned the show have a business model dependent on social media and thus most probably have a younger workforce. It is doubly important for older and more traditional companies to also provide leadership in this debate. You are in your fifties and I’m in my sixties. We owe it to our children to stand up with and for the Parkland shooting survivors. Thank you for your continued leadership. I love my new sport coat.
John Seel, Ph.D.