The Intentions of Business Claiming to Support the Black Lives Matter movement
A month later after the murder of an unarmed black man, anti-racists protests continue to rage through America. Protestors all over the country, organize and march the streets everyday calling for justice, police reforms and even demanding the take down of racist statues that have littered the nation.
In a sweeping wave of support celebrities and notable figures have lent their voices to the cause, drawing feelings of unity with protestors in and outside America.
Brands are joining the movement, turning to their social media platforms to take a stand and release statements on the happenings around the country. The general sentiment of protestors has for a time been that contributions mean more than words or social media posts. Business were tracked and dragged online by their financial contributions or lack thereof to the affected demographic. So now, the act of solidarity by big businesses has taking a more intentional turn.
Walmart committed to $100m over 5 years to create a new centre for equality, while technological brands like Google and Apple are set to contribute $10m and $100m respectively to the fight against racial injustice.
Some businesses are also contributing more than just green paper and are finding more meaningful ways to encourage the historical times we are living in as a people.
One such business is the Aunt Jemima brand of syrup and pancake mix that has its origins in Racial stereotypes. Just recently, the 130-year-old brand announced it is working on updating its brand to be appropriate in these charged up times.
Hours after this, owners of the Uncle Ben rice brand, Mars Inc. also took the stage to announce their decision to evolve the brand. For years, the product has featured a black man on its packaging, which has been very offensive.
This is a huge step for a business and shows its level of commitment to contributing the change the world wants to see and one can only hope other brands follow suit in changing the way their modules affect black lives. It goes without saying that brands have a huge role to play in these moments.
However, one can’t help but wonder if these are genuine actions made to change the narrative or genius performative action by brands to sway consumers into brand loyalty.
It seems only time will tell the true intentions of business who claim to support the Black Lives Matter movement. In the end, it’s less about the action than it is about the sincerity of it.