Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of an out-of-control Minneapolis police officer, and demonstrations mixed with riots across the country, many American corporations weighed in with official statements or financial support for causes – or both.
Unfortunately the involvement of some put them more on the side of divisiveness than unity, at a time when the country needs the latter the most.
Ultimately many of the companies and/or their top-ranking officers got behind (again) the dubious narrative that there is “systemic racism” in law enforcement, and that minorities are disproportionately treated as suspects – or singled out for violent police tactics – more than whites. As Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald and former US Attorney Andrew McCarthy explained earlier this week, citing very convincing statistics, the idea there is structural bias in policing is a myth.
“However sickening the video of Floyd’s arrest,” Mac Donald wrote, “it isn’t representative of the 375 million annual contacts that police officers have with civilians.” She adds, “A police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”
Millions of Americans understand this, as the history and motivation of the militant #BlackLivesMatter movement has been to undermine, dismantle and even attack law enforcement. Some officers have paid the price with their lives in the wake of the Floyd unrest, including retired police captain David Dorn, who died while trying to protect his friend’s store in St. Louis.
Yet many corporations and their CEOs firmly planted themselves on the sides of the race-baiters and false narrative peddlers.
Big Tech chiefs led the way, as familiar virtue-signaler Jack Dorsey of Twitter channeled $3 million of his own money to a legal defense fund managed by NFL pariah Colin Kaepernick, to pay legal expenses of protesters who get arrested. The fund falls under the former quarterback’s “Know Your Rights Camp,” which one conservative website characterized as “Rioter Training Camps.”
“Our mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders,” the Know Your Rights Camp website says.
As for Dorsey’s major social media counterpart, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, he announced he would donate $10 million to “groups working on racial justice.” He also noted in a post that the foundation run by he and his wife have been donating approximately $40 million annually “in organizations working to overcome racial injustice.”
Apple and its CEO Tim Cook said it would donate an unspecified amount to the Equal Justice Initiative, and would match 2-for-1 employee donations to the cause. Apple Music also joined a nationwide “Blackout Tuesday” online demonstration by blocking its browse function, and creating a special playlist by black artists that included rap group N.W.A.’s song “F*** tha Police.”
A donation from liberal billionaire CEO Jeff Bezos is undoubtedly forthcoming, but in the meantime Amazon tweeted, “The inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people in our country must stop. Together we stand in solidarity with the Black community — our employees, customers, and partners — in the fight against systematic racism and injustice.”Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins pledged $5 million from the company for a list of far-left racial justice groups including BlackLivesMatter and Color of Change.
As I've said, we need ACTION to eradicate racism, inequality, and injustice. The first step for @Cisco is committing $5M to @eji_org, @NAACP_LDF, @colorofchange, @blklivesmatter & our own fund for Fighting Racism and Discrimination. This is just the beginning. #BlackLivesMatter— Chuck Robbins (@ChuckRobbins) June 1, 2020
In addition to the Cisco donation, CNBC also reported, “Google’s YouTube committed $1 million for the Center for Policing Equity, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced $1 million to that organization and Equal Justice Initiative, and Intel CEO Bob Swan said the chipmaker was pledging $1 million ‘in support of efforts to address social injustice and anti-racism across various nonprofits and community organizations.’” Also, Airbnb promised a $500,000 donation to the NAACP and the BlackLivesMatter Foundation, and that it would match employee donations to similar groups.
“We stand with #BlackLivesMatter,” Airbnb tweeted on Monday.
Another left-leaning tech/Hollywood CEO, Reed Hastings of Netflix, donated $1 million to the Center for Policing Equity, a group that says it can “measure bias in policing” and “stop it.” CPE is financed by mostly leftist foundations, including billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundations.
Similarly other entertainment companies weighed in support of #BlackLivesMatter, including AT&T-owned properties HBO, TBS and TNT; Disney-owned Hulu; and ViacomCBS, among others.
Outside of tech and entertainment, others in the corporate world joined the virtue-signaling. Nike, now tied at the chinstrap with Kaepernick as the face of the company, posted a video ad that stated, “For once, don’t do it.” A twist on its “just do it” slogan, the ad urged viewers not to “pretend there’s not a problem in America.”
Cosmetics company L’Oreal tweeted, “Speaking out is worth it,” and pledged to donate to the NAACP. Levi Strauss & Co., a dependable participant in the progressive agenda, also promised to send $100,000 to the ACLU. Citigroup CFO Mark Mason, who is black, said he and his wife plan to give to NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Advancement Project, and Color of Change.
And Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s largest investment fund, BlackRock, said, “As a firm committed to racial equality, we must also consider where racial disparity exists in our own organizations and not tolerate our shortcomings…I often talk about taking emotional ownership—taking responsibility for the success of BlackRock and its clients. It also means that we are responsible for each other. Now is the time to embrace that responsibility. Please take an active role in that effort. We all must work together to build a more fair and just society—that is part of BlackRock’s purpose.”
Of course if you dig deeper on the conduct of these CEOs and their companies, you will find plenty of business practices that undermine their lip service and money buy-offs of left-wing activist groups. Examples include the use by Apple, Amazon and Nike of forced Chinese labor for their products, as well as the investments by BlackRock in Chinese companies that work against the interests of the United States. National Legal and Policy Center has called for Fink to divest funds from those companies.
In at least two cases the buy-offs didn’t help the companies much: Amazon trucks and Nike stores were attacked and looted last week. So much for pursuit of good will.