The Sham Of Corporate Moral Preening

This past week, numerous corporations have been releasing statements in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Stemming from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, protests have been occurring all over the nation, interspersed with rioting and looting. The rationale for these actions is the notion that Floyd’s death wasn’t an independent incident. People believe there is a a problem with police killing black people at higher rates than white people. Statistics prove otherwise.

According to a 2019 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, there is no pattern of racial disparity connected to fatal police shootings. Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement like to claim that even though more white people die at the hands of police overall, the per capita statistics prove that black people are more likely to be shot and incarcerated. That belies the unfortunate fact that there are vast racial disparities in crime per capita. It is unfortunate, and it is of course criminal behavior does not simply occur because people happen to be a certain race, and many factors are involved, but that’s still how it is.

This leads us to the statements countless corporations have been making recently. They’re like form letters. Yesteday, lots of these companies engaged in “Blackout Tuesday,” posting a black picture on social media and closing business as to pay respect to the cause. In similar manner, some businesses have been writing messages of support on their boarded up windows, in hope that it will grant them immunity from the wanton destruction and looting. This is a hollow endeavor. Too many corporations have been rolling over and pledging support for leftwing political causes because they think the mob will then leave them alone. This is not the case. Repeating nostrums and apologizing only shows weakness, but it also means these companies will be able to manipulate you some more.

Jimmy Fallon got in some hot water a few weeks ago because social justice warriors found a clip of him impersonating his friend Chris Rock, with black makeup, on SNL, twenty years ago. Fallon immediately apologized on Twitter and made a formal apology on his show, then ceding his time to the president of the NAACP to talk about the Black Lives Matter movement. They did not go after Jimmy Kimmel. Even though he dressed up as Karl Malone in black makeup, in far more insulting impersonations on The Man Show, many times during the early 2000’s. That’s because Kimmel isn’t even a comedian anymore. He just parrots leftwing talking points every night. No jokes anymore. They also knew Fallon was the weakest in the herd because he has repeatedly caved to the mob. From apologizing after ruffling President Trump’s hair, to cancelling Norm MacDonald’s appearance on The Tonight Show because he mentioned people going overboard with the #MeToo movement, and Fallon’s producers were upset. There is no longer an apolitical culture we can share with people we disgree with.

It is demanded that entertainment companies make political statements in support of leftwing causes. Or else they get lambasted on Twitter. Thus, companies release the safest possible statement. Showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement, but not daring to condemn the rioting or looting. They have been leveraged into supporting a political stance and alienating all of their customers who disgree. Most of these statements throw out broad generalizations, as well. We still don’t know enough to conclude that what happened to Floyd was racism, rather than Derek Chauvin just being very bad cop. We all agree that what happened is bad, but you lose people when you chalk it up to all police or all white people. It would be different if the protesters were specific in their messaging that more people would agree with, like calling to break up police unions that protect bad cops. Though from what I’ve seen, they believe it’s a much broader problem about race in America. It’s like saying that historical revisionism, like The New York Times’ 1619 Project with the thesis that “the American Revolution only occurred because the founders wanted to preserve slavery,” is accurate. So the destruction becomes justified in the minds of many people. Then the companies endorse the message to avoid any whiff of blame.

It is also important to state that Black Lives Matter, as a slogan, purports to prove that there are people who object to such a notion. While there are certainly real racists, as I have mentioned in prior articles, it isn’t an endemic or uniquely American problem. Black Lives Matter also has an official platform with radical positions, such as slavery reparations, ending all deportations, defunding police, and endorsing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel.

Corporations are comfortable in making these hasty placating statements because they know that the right isn’t as likely to stop consuming on a whim like the left is. The right isn’t as choosy in who it purchases from. So companies can afford to poke the bear. They know we’ll stick with them. Perhaps that needs to change. We need to stop arenas of entertainment and public consumption from getting enveloped in politics.

Make sure to make your voices heard. Too many companies are folding to the pressure of leftist agitators. Some of these pressures go further than politically sympathetic branding that doesn’t have anything to do with the product. That is still poisonous, but it is even worse when it infiltrates the product itself. That is especially the case with entertainment. Never mind that the people involved are putting out the message not to bother patronizing such a company if you don’t agree with their position, they let it stifle the product, and think about the politics before entertaining people.

We have become so divided that we can’t agree on certain truths; and the longer we don’t talk to each other, the more it exasperates. It’s time we talk to each other and try our best not to impugn ill motives to the people we disagree with. Try not to escalate the situation. Especially if you have a large platform. And I’m afraid that is just what these corporations are doing in tacitly stating their approval of the cause. It is damn near universal in that people agree that what happened to George Floyd was wrong. Nevertheless, you will start to lose people when you chalk it up to a racist system in the United States with faulty evidence and anecdotes that vary wildly.

Constitutional conservative. Fiscal conservative. Social conservative. Always opinionated. https://twitter.com/ajglickson