During the madness of our times there have been protests around the world. In response to the video that surfaced of the brutal treatment of George Floyd, who ended up dying during his arrest. The results of these protests have led to a profound movement with anti-racism as its core message around the world, particularly in America. Polarizing messages have come out of politics, mainstream, and alternative media organizations. Many politicians and corporate leaders speaking out against racism in our society. All very important messages. Racism should not exist in our society. So Aunt J must also go!?
My only concern is these are messages that have no obtainable actions nor get to the root of the problem, which is gross systemic failure in our societies politically and economically. Politicians are more liars than leaders who deflect deeper conversations to appease the mob. Corporate leaders rush to damage control to appeal to the mob and keep their business, and shareholders feeling good about themselves. For example, Quaker Oats has decided to completely change their Aunt Jemima brand because of its historical ties to racism. Personally, I don’t care what a company does with its brand. What I care about is the hollow intent to feel good about themselves. To appease the masses and be praised then quietly disappear out of the spotlight of the 24-hour outrage news cycle.
Here’s a deeper look at what I am trying to keep in the spotlight.
Pepsico is a corporation that profits billions of dollars a year, year after year.
It is one of the most profitable and successful companies of all time. This is just one example of the many successful companies that exist in the world. PepsiCo’s supply chains also have connections to child slave labour although they have released statements like, “The company takes these commitments and any labor and human rights concerns raised very seriously” (1). But these are all just words. Removing Aunt Jemima is a PR campaign. I’m not trying to dig too deep into all of the ethical dilemmas that PepsiCo or other multinational corporations deal with today. My point is that there are a whole variety of ethical dilemmas.
Nearly half the world’s population – more than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty
The systemic issues we face locally and globally are still happening. It’s easy for a corporation to change a logo. It would not put a dent in their profit margin. Yet According to dosomething.org “Nearly half the world’s population – more than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty”(2). If we the people want a real revolution we need to hold ourselves accountable and especially those who control the majority of the wealth accountable. Billions of dollars of profits are being made day after day, year after year. Communities in 1st world countries are living in poverty let alone extreme poverty in 3rd world countries. Instead of keeping our focus on the real financial and physical resources of the world. How we are going to direct them at the people and communities in need. We are distracted by symbols and words.
Imagine if of the 29 billion dollars of profit PepsiCo alone made in 2019, we devised a comprehensive plan and requested 10 billion of that respectively. Split it in half billion-dollar pieces and spread it in 20 different directions. To put it in the hands of respectable trustworthy community leaders locally who knew the specific challenges of the community. Who already had sustainable self-income and offered their time for free. What if we did this with every multi-national corporation that profits more than 20 billion dollars a year? Is there anyone out there who would be up for the challenge? If so let’s work together. Let’s plan. Communicate. Not lose focus and truly fix the system.