Every Brand Under the Sun Supports Black Lives Matter. Why?

It’s low cost and high reward. And it has given big business and its managers a new moral mission

It can’t have escaped people’s notice that the Black Lives Matter protests which erupted in the wake of the brutal killing of George Floyd have had the overwhelming backing of the capitalist elites.

Social media were awash with black squares as every brand under the sun took part in #BlackOutTuesday in favour of the protests. Apple – the world’s wealthiest tech company – replaced all of the radio stations on its music app with a single stream playing NWA’s ‘Fuck Tha Police’. Lego – the world’s largest toy company – pulled advertising for its police-related toys. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – owned by Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer-goods producers – made a solemn promise to ‘dismantle white supremacy’. The very few companies that didn’t take part were loudly denounced and heads were made to roll.

Fox News was widely criticised for producing a tasteless graphic which highlighted the stock-market gains in the immediate aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. It also compared them to the gains made following similar racist atrocities in the US. It showed that the S&P rose by 3.4 per cent following Floyd’s killing. This was compared to a rise of just 2.9 per cent following Martin Luther King’s assassination (which sparked the riots of 1968), and 1.2 per cent after both the acquittal of the police officers who brutalised Rodney King (leading to the LA riots of 1992) and the police killing of Michael Brown (which sparked the Ferguson uprising of 2014).

The Fox graphic said the quiet part out loud – that the brutal execution of an innocent black man would be a good opportunity for business. Why? Because it would offer every brand the opportunity to restate its commitment to the vaguely defined values of persity and inclusion and to present itself as a force for progress in a cruel, heartless and reactionary world. This is surely what Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase (America’s largest bank), was communicating when he ‘took the knee’ in front of a giant open bank vault.

On the whole, wokeness is good for business. According to an Edelman survey of 35 countries, 64 per cent of customers say they would reward firms for taking a stand on social issues. This isn’t a foolproof strategy. Gillette showed it was posible to ‘go woke and go broke’ when it insulted its male consumer base by deriding ‘toxic masculinity’ in one of its adverts. But in general, the risks are low and ‘taking a stand’ is inexpensive, while the rewards are potentially high. When Nike launched an advertising campaign with NFL player Colin Kaepernick – who had been sacked for taking the knee – its sales were boosted by billions.

Some have questioned whether companies are as committed to social-justice causes as they claim. The BBC, for instance, notes that many of the firms that have praised Black Lives Matter have very few black people in leadership positions. Others have noted that the employment practices of those who supply the likes of Nike and Apple in the developing world are not all that unlike slavery. But overwhelmingly, it seems that woke gestures are enough to burnish a brand’s reputation.

Consider Dow Chemical, a company which made napalm for the US military during the Vietnam War. It is also considered to be liable for the world’s worst industrial disaster – the Bhopal gas tragedy, which killed at least 3,000 people. Last year, Bloomberg Businessweek devoted a feature to how ‘Dow Chemical got woke’. The standfirst featured the following astonishing sentence, which seemed to imply that the second half cancelled out the first: ‘The big conservative chemical company with a legacy of making napalm during the Vietnam War has a gay CEO.’ Wokeness absolves all sins, it seems.

It is easy to portray these moves as mere cynicism or ‘wokewashing’. But the embrace of these values by the corporate world is very real. Capitalism has struggled to justify its existence for decades, especially since the dawn of the Long Depression from the 1970s onwards. It has stagnated and struggled to provide Westerners with the growing abundance we once expected, though it has managed to coast in the knowledge that there is no serious alternative. Wokeness offers the capitalist class a new sense of mission and moral purpose. There is a similar dynamic at play with ‘sustainability’ and green capitalism.

And it’s not just brands who are benefitting. A whole diversity-and-inclusion industry has emerged. According to Iris Bohnet, in an interview with McKinsey consultants, US companies spend an estimated $8 billion on diversity training alone – though Bohnet could not find any evidence that this has led to increased diversity. Yet corporate enthusiasm for diversity remains undiminished. It is a mission without end.

Private consultancy on race and diversity can be a good money spinner, too. The book White Fragilty recently rocketed back to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Its (white) author, Robin DiAngelo, is a corporate consultant, and much of her book reads like an advert for her consultancy. It was recently discovered that one of her unlikely clients for her race-awareness training was the Trump administration.

Industries and sectors which are already diverse still insist on finding more diversity. For instance, the UK TV industry’s latest Creative Diversity Network report finds that ‘those who identify as female, transgender, BAME and lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) are all represented at levels comparable with (or above) national population estimates’. The BAME population is actually more prevalent on screen than in the country as a whole – making up nearly 23 per cent of screen contributions but just 14 per cent of the population. The job of diversity seems to be largely done, but there is a lot of money available which depends on people pretending otherwise.

In the public sector, diversity and inclusion is practically a religion. Even the NHS, which everyone knows has a disproportionate number of BAME doctors and nurses, is engaged in a bizarre drive for more diversity. One in five NHS staff is BAME and a whopping 30 per cent of doctors have an Asian background. Most normal people couldn’t care less about the skin colour of the people saving their lives. Nevertheless, hospital trusts across the country are employing diversity managers, some of whom are earning around £70,000 per year from the taxpayer.

Ultimately, the questions we should ask about all political movements is who benefits. Whether Black Lives Matter and the cultural revolution unfolding in its wake has any benefit for black people on the poverty line or facing police violence is yet to be seen.

The capitalist class and the public-sector middle classes, on the other hand, have found an unparalleled opportunity for moral and spiritual renewal. They will be the guardians and facilitators of the new woke morality, and therefore its chief beneficiaries – both financially and reputationally.

Source: Spiked

  1. geo says

    If the author decided that it was “a brutal killing”, I am wondering why he dose not understand the “pain” and feels not empathetic with the victim, like the companies he is criticizing!
    The black guy opposing arrest was under overdose of Fentanyl and cocaine, drunk and had chronic diseases – coronary something and hypertension; manifested fatal crisis before being coughed and died from own condition development – pulmonary and cardiac arrest.

  2. restless94110 says

    Because they are Whores of Satan? Just guessing.

  3. newestbeginning says

    Talk about stating the obvious.

    Of COURSE capitalist enterprises seek to capitalize and take advantage of everything under the sun. Given their SOLE motivation is profit, and they grab as much as they can as cheaply as possible, it is to be expected that they jump on and try to hijack every social issue. It costs them little or nothing and is an attempt to avoid being called out for failing to support whatever cause.

    This in no way diminishes the BLM cause; it is just corporations doing what corporations do.

  4. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

    Why not?

  5. Mike says

    The vast majority of Black people being murdered are done by Blacks and yet, no one says a word about it…not a single word!

    Black Lives Matters is nothing more than a propaganda tool to keep the people divided and the
    moronic liberals jumped into that train. It also gives a free pass for criminals to rob businesses. Let’s not forget that even though there’s nearly 5 times more Whites than Blacks in the US, Blacks surpasses all other races, including Whites in regards to “Murder and non negligent manslaughter” and “Robbery”. That’s not racism but fact.

    The cop that killed the Black man was charged with murder. What the hell more do you liberals
    want? Justice is being done. Stop being tools and hypocrites! By the way, cops kill more Whites than Blacks every year.

    What fuels the problem is, once again, the Jewish lead media. That’s what they want and the same goes for the governments. As long as people remain divided, they will fight each other and completely overlook the crimes committed by those governments and how they slowly remove your rights.

    The very worse scenario for the US is to see citizens being united. If that ever happens, those crooks at the government are finished.

    1. g says

      You’re so good in seeing the Americans through Marxist eyes/quotes/teaching…
      So, you do like to use their criticized characteristics, as defined by the leftists and described so extensively by you…
      Is anything that impresses you to be good and found.seen to them?

    2. g says

      Sorry Mike, this is for cechas vodobenikov…

    3. cechas vodobenikov says

      not possible—Tocqueville (any amerikan that has not read Tocqueville is a twerp”. Kurt Vonnegut…admired by Alan Bloom, numerous liberals and at least 10 Marxists that I am aware of, observed that individualism (amerikans the most individualistic society on the planet per Hofstede..followed closely by other anglophone nations, produces a self doubting (ontologically insecure per RD Laing), conformist,(over-conformist semi-automatons per Riesman) antagonistic and anxious (neurotic) people. This is obvious for those that have lived in civilized nations…narcissim researchers are explicit in this regard—in only 20 years empathy has disappeared entirely except for pockets in the rural south…long observed by many
      “the amerikan soul is hard, isolate, a killer”. DH Lawrence. “amerikans do not remember, amerikans do not feel; amerikans live in a materialist dream”. Moisede Ostrogorski
      “individuality has entirely decayed in amerika”. Horkheimer/Adorno…also from the Frankfurt ‘school’ “amerikans have lost the capacity for spontaneous feeling”. Erich Fromm
      of course any one that has read Lenin, Plekanov, Stalin, the French marxist, Alain Badiou, is fully aware that this precludes the capacity of any revolutionary movement….amerikan anxiety (fear) is obvious—so alienated and fearful they are afraid to look at each other —of course in all Europe and south amerikan nations I’ve lived/live, strangers all stare at each other…as Thomas de Zengodita wrote 5 years ago, “busy busy numb–amerikans cannot feel themselves alive unless they feel themselves busy. amerika is a vast goo of meaningless stimulation” Don’t expect puritans (idleness is the devil’s handmaiden) to produce social change—amerikans so puritanical that they resort to this peculiar cult of dating where they r required to meet in public spaces numerous times before sex–now even more alienated—hookups, friends w benefits…Freud, admired by all European feminists and Marxists wrote, “amerikans are the most prudish people in western civilization—they sublimate their desire by chasing the dollar”. Tocqueville and Gore Vidal observed that amerikans worship money as do marxists–the Hungarian Marxist, Meszaros observed that the authority of money destroys the authority of the father…”only in amerika is the dignity of the father ceased to exist”. Horkheimer/Adorno….the British anthropologist Geoffrey Gorer trained at the Sorbonne and Univ of Berlin observed the childish “antiauthoritarian ” nature of amerikans—“only in amerika compared to all European and Asian societies is the father vestigial—the amerikan mind and conscience is feminine”. it is worth noting that prior to his examination of all the peculiarities amongst amerikans, he wrote an ethnography ‘the great Russian people’ where he found that Russians naturally think dialectically while amerikans do not make connections—“they only comprehend discreet disconected facts”. More recently the Marxian sociologist, Richard Sennet, fluent in French and Russian, wrote, “amerikans only particularize and decontextualize”….even Masha Gessem observes that amerikan fake news is decontextualized—this explains the silly stupidity one confronts when speaking with an amerikan “marxist”—they believe any ruling class slogan they are required to believe (historical materialism/progress, etc)….as Talleyrand wrote, “since the masses are eager to believe in something nothing is so easy as to arrange facts for their benefit”—this explains why these idiots protest for ruling class ideologies —science, etc. these alienated robots now clutch mobile phones more tightly than their girlfriends

      1. Mike says

        Having a post based on opinions of many (no matter who they where or are today) is quite alright but it remains opinions. The fact of the matter is, Americans are constantly brainwashed from birth. You just need to go for a car ride in suburbs to realize just how bad it is as a large portion of Americans have their flag hanging on their houses or poles. It’s fine to be a patriot but to wrap yourself in a flag is insanity at best.

        Why do you think the government and media constantly push to keep people divided? You just need to go back 20 years (since 911) to see how many rights were removed while the population were fighting about something else.

        But, like all other empires before them, once things go bad, really bad, the people’s mindset changes rapidly to adapt to a new reality. No more money and the lost of easy credit will provoke a war between the government and citizens. As the older generations die, the younger ones quickly adapt to a new life and one that will not resemble what it use to be. The empire is dead…time to move on.

        The bottom line here is simple…you cannot control people if they are united…plain and simple. The day that happens, the government will fear the people, not the other way around. You just need to look at revolts in the US about the coronavirus moronic restrictions. Vast amount of people started to go out defying governments and their laws. What happened next? They immediately started to ease restrictions. The people went in the streets and challenged their States and they won. Suddenly from one state to another, everyone were easing restrictions and others around the globe were doing the same as they started to fear the people. That is 100% proof that when you stand together, you win…every time!

        The US is bound to fall and when it does, major things will happen including separation of many States, some joining Canada, it will be a total mess for a long time. But one thing is certain, Russia and China will never allow the US to get back on its feet.

        1. cechas vodobenikov says

          tocqueville observed that without an active correction in amerika, truth would be reduced to popular opinion….”the least reproach offends amerikans–the slightest sharp sting of truth turns them fierce”
          “popular opinion: the most perverted of trollops”. Balzac
          “nowhere in an American public education are the concepts of truth and falsity ever addressed, nor are ideas”. Neil Postman
          “the amerikan ethos is that my knowledge is as good as your ignorance”. Isaac Asimov
          “the amerikan world view is nihilism with a happy ending”. Alan Bloom
          “only in the US has nationalism carried with it the christian meaning of the sacred; the revelation of amerika serves to blight and ultimately preclude the possibility of fundamental social change”. Scan Bercovitch…the same position is taken by Hannah Arendt, Richard Sennet and Alexandr Kojeve

    4. Canosin says

      very true…thumbs up

  6. LS says

    BLM is not about helping blacks; it is about harming whites.

    1. Saint Jimmy (Russian American) says

      It’s about dividing the middle classes.

      1. cechas vodobenikov says

        far more complex—amerikan status anxiety precludes the possibility of social chang e and class consciousness—sociologists have found that 85% of amerikans, including poor blacks consider themselves middle class….of course monolingual amerikans have never lived in another nation…when I lived in Denmark in my 20’s the Danes immediately denied I could be an amerikan—you don’t speak like anamerikan: all amerikans say fuck….u don’t eat like an amerikan…in Simmel’s philosophy of the meal he found that only the lowest classes in the west could not manipulate eating utensils—if an amerikans isn’t eating w her fingers she is switching the knife and fork—something not observed in European/south amerikan nations where I have/now live—finally they said—you have never sought to rank your status: all amerikans ask you what u do for a living in the 1st 3 minutes….indeed amerikans are so status anxious they frequently wear clothing, bumper stickers—university of nothing–never observed in Europe or S. America….and in Europe/S. amerika only the rich possess expensive vehicles—obviously not true in the USA…my German friend in Bamburg refuses to wash his porch; he doesn’t want to be confused w a status anxious amerikan….as Philip Slater wrote, “amerikans love big, because they feel so small”

    2. Undecider says

      That’s the truth. Orwellian tactics.

  7. Follows TheWay says

    1-minute devastating video:

    Hospital Staff Protest Left Speechless When Asked if Unborn Black Lives Matter


    1. newestbeginning says

      Manipulative and ridiculous gotcha.

  8. cechas vodobenikov says

    cui bono=often difficult to ascertain; vandalism and the erasure of history is counter-revolutionaryBLM= 3 poverty pimps w a 100$ million grant from the ford foundation and credit card created with a US bank-…”anything that does not surrender itself to capitalism in America is considered old fashioned and anachronistic”. P Bourdieu–as Soros observed in 2014 in BILD, the race guilt in the USA is the easiest to manipulate….of course the US ruling class and especially the liberals despised the black panthers—how many US corporations supported them?…the idiot comments below demonstrates amerikan stupidity…..as Simmel wrote, “the monolingual inevitably confuses style with content”. “amerikan radicals both black and white, adopted radical style without any radical content”. Christopher Lasch…..even Chomsky observes that BLM and the current vandalism in the USA is devoid of any political content….something that an amerikan fake “marxist ” cannot comprehend

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