Last June, at the height of the Black Lives Matter matters riots, CEO Richard Johnson of Foot Locker penned a letter committing the company to $200 million over the next five years to fight racial injustice. But that woke commitment didn’t make it those who looted the Foot Locker stores on Sunday night in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota in the wake of another police shooting.
Several businesses around the Brooklyn Center Walmart are completely destroyed. Police rolled up and made some arrests as young men ran from buildings carrying stolen goods. Foot Locker, T Mobile, and a New York men’s clothing store all completely destroyed. pic.twitter.com/d9i9BfB6Yz
— Liz Sawyer (@ByLizSawyer) April 12, 2021
Tensions were already on edge because of the ongoing trial of ex Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is on trial for the murder of George Floyd while in his custody.
“We stand resolute in our commitment to fight racial inequality and injustice. This commitment extends beyond words. It is part of our culture and the way we operate as an inclusive and diverse organization.”
“We recognize that Black Culture plays a pivotal role in shaping Sneaker Culture – the foundation of our business at Foot Locker, Inc. We believe we have an obligation to add our voice and actions to drive meaningful and lasting change across our company and within the communities we serve.”
“Today, we are announcing that Foot Locker, Inc. is committing $200 million over the next five years towards enhancing the lives of our team members and our customers in the Black Community through Economic Development and Education. This commitment will manifest in many ways and across many parts of our business with plans built to have staying power long beyond five years.”
“We will hold ourselves accountable by pledging our transparency and by publishing an annual report card on our commitment and progress.”
“We stand with those who are working towards eliminating the deep racial inequities that exist today. We are committed to leveraging our platform to mobilize, unite, empower, and inspire our team members and customers across the globe.”
Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon also made a similar statement when he committed $100M towards the same cause.
Despite the obvious failure of these appeasement tactics, corporate heads are doubling down. The Wall Street Journal reported that over the weekend dozens of chief executives gathered on Zoom to plot what big businesses should do next about new voting laws under way in Texas and other states. According to several people who attended the virtual gathering. The former head of American Express and the CEO of Merck urged the leaders to call for greater voting access and asked them to sign a statement opposing what they view as discriminatory legislation on voting. A statement could come this week that would build on one that 72 black executives signed last month opposing Georgia’s new voter integrity laws.
Media strategist and Townhall freelance columnist Gabriella Hoffman warns that politicized corporations may pose an even greater threat to our freedoms than government. She is advising conservatives to stay engaged, but to adopt our own tactics, not mimic what the left has done.
“I think conservatives are going to be more conscientious about what companies we support, but we’re going to be more tactful about it than the left,” Hoffman said. “We’re not going to encourage the dissolution or destruction of businesses. In line with free-market principles, we just have to put our dollars where we think our interests are.
“These companies are delusional if they think they can appease the woke left by throwing them a bone. Those people are Marxists or at least anti-capitalist.”
With corporations paying more attention to stakeholders than to shareholders, Hoffman said we must all view ourselves as stakeholders.
“We need to because as consumers we also have a stake in the businesses. As stakeholders, we can really have a powerful impact beyond shareholders. We should each feel empowered to make noise, to take their business elsewhere, and to make these companies feel pain when they start to go beyond their intended goal of offering a product or service.”
Hoffman advises conservatives not to abandon the large social media giants of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. “While there are a lot of different alternatives popping up, I believe that you shouldn’t abandon the big social media platforms because that is still where most people are. We cannot retreat to our echo chambers of Parler or MeWe. And let’s not forget traditional news either. People are still relying on newspapers, and those people are not necessarily swayed by few loud voices on Twitter.
“But when we do engage on social media, we have to be tactful and smart about it. We can’t go out with guns blazing, because you’re going to invite a lot of fire. We need to stay on message. We’re not necessarily going to win over people on the Left, but we can hold the line and let them know we’re here. We need to remember that it was Michael Jordan who said, ‘Republicans buy sneakers, too,’ and try to return to that tradition. Because the truth is, if companies become politicized in any fashion, they can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than the government.”
Catherine Mortensen is Vice President of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.
Cross-posted with The Daily Torch
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