Solidaritea: the companies taking a stand against racism

4 mins read

Since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the international human rights movement Black Lives Matter (BLM) has surged across the world.

BLM is fighting to eradicate white supremacy, to stop systemic racism, and to combat acts of violence, whilst creating space for black imagination and innovation.

People all over have been sharing information, educating themselves, speaking up and joining protests. The majority are doing their bit. This includes large corporate companies, well some of them.

Massive corporations have a platform and a responsibility to use that platform properly. Many global firms have altered their marketing, branding and products to stand up against racism and embrace the movement.

Earlier this week a tweet went viral when Laura Towler, a right-wing vlogger based in Yorkshire tweeted Yorkshire Tea saying she was pleased they had not voiced their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Credit: Twitter

This was an assumption, and Yorkshire Tea quickly corrected her. Soon PG Tips joined in, telling the racists straight to find their teabags elsewhere because racism will not be tolerated.

This issue goes much further than the UK and buying tea. Companies across the world have an opportunity to step up and join the fight for what is right.

Giant corporations need to do more, they need to speak up, use their platform to share information and let every racist in the world know that it is not okay, it never has been, and it ends now.

Ben and Jerrys issued a strong statement and have been vocal throughout.

They released a flavour last year teaming up a multi-racial civil rights organisation, to raise awareness about criminal justice reform and structural racism.

On Wednesday, Lego took to Twitter with the announcement of a $4-million donation to “organizations dedicated to supporting Black children and educating all children about racial equality.”

Lego also took steps to remove advertising for any of their police related products due to police brutality and systematic racism.

Sainsbury’s are the latest to come under fire online for their position on the removal of a statue of a slave trader.

The removal of statues of prominent slave traders is happening across the U.K right now, since many cities are built on the slave trade including Edinburgh and Glasgow.

This has left slave traders names engrained across our cities in street names, schools and monuments.

Lord Sainsbury, whose great-grandfather founded supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, has been blamed for the removal of the Robert Milligan statue in West India Quay after claims emerged that the family fund the Museum of London, which reportedly made the decision.

This prompted, #Boycottsainsburys to trend on Twitter. It is still unclear if Lord Sainsbury has made a direct quote yet.

People will not forget the companies who kept quiet, the ones who did not take a stand with the rest of the world against racism.

It has never been okay to simply be complacent, to just not be racist. People need to step up and be against racism.

It is up to us to do our research and boycott the companies who choose not to take a stand. Focus on spending and supporting the ones who do.

Film Media and Journalism student at the University of Stirling. Film and comment editor at Brig Newspaper. Edinburgh / Stirling

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