Why Are Corporations Really Supporting the George Floyd Protests?


4 years ago



Krystal Ball

3 appearances

Krystal Ball is a political commentator and host of the YouTube show and podcast "Breaking Points." http://www.youtube.com/@breakingpoints

Sagar Enjeti

3 appearances

Saagar Enjeti is a political commentator and host of the YouTube show and podcast "Breaking Points." http://www.youtube.com/@breakingpoints


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That is what, why conservatives have to care more about government. That's something like one of my pet causes is, look, we are living in a society where the culture is against you. We are living in a society where, you know, the cultural elite, the commanding heights of American culture, and you're living in a society where you don't have real power there. And you're also living in a society where you have corporate America. Look at these protests right now. Amazon supports the protests, right? Like, Amazon supports the protests. Citibank's CEO. It's the people with the most accumulated capital in America are also on the side of this protest. Why? Because in my view, they use identity politics and racial politics. They want to split the country along those lines. Every single day that we're talking about identity politics and having debates about race, we're not talking about that. Do you think they really want to split the country along the lines? I think they just want support for their company. So they think that it's a good PR move. It's a good brand. It's a brand new move. And here's the thing is, and this goes back to the coalitions of the parties, right? So the Democratic Party caters largely to these like white affluent women, basically, is like the base that they mostly, right? I know the space well, I'm closely affiliated with the space. I want to see Joe Biden do the job. The yoga base. I'll pay for that. And so, you know, for those for people who are more or less doing well, as things are, right, they've got their health insurance, they've got a job where they're treated like a human being with humanity, they can get their Uber Eats, they can get whatever they want on demand, right? Their way of virtue signaling is on identity issues. And if you only confine the conversation on policing to like, let's deal with this, let's have more body cameras, like if you keep it in that lane, that's very comfortable for that, right? And so, you have a broader conversation about a society that, you know, has decimated unions, has decimated working class power, about who has power in the society and why, like that's more of a threat to them. So yes, for corporate brands, it's very comfortable to have like, let's have a diversity initiative. It's less comfortable to say, no, no, let's actually value the worth of everyone. Let's actually have a different set of power. Let's actually not have corporations able to give unlimited money and buy off our politicians and be able to go work on your boards, etc, etc. Like, that's a very non-threatening conversation. That's how you end up with, was a Bank of America who sponsored the movement continues? Yes, like a Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter, the movement continues with DeRay Mckesson, who's a prominent activist. To be cynical, is there another reason why Amazon would support this protest? This is kind of the death of retail. I mean, this is one of the final nails in the coffin of retail. When you think about investing your money in a brick and mortar store with a glass window, after all this horseshit. Look, I won't cite who told me this was a very prominent person in the field of economics and was like, my conspiracy theory is that Jeff Bezos wants 10 to 15% unemployment because then what's the best job in the world, Joe, in rural place? Amazon warehouse. He's the guy dropping off those bricks. Who's better at delivering shit than Amazon? There you go. But there you go. Amazon Prime delivering pallets of bricks. You should be more cynical because that, I mean, look, how else do we get to a point where the Shell Gas Company sponsors a 1619 project event with Nicole Hannah Jones? I don't know what that is. So the 1619 project, oh man, this is a real rabbit hole. So this is the New York Times put out this thing. The 1619 project is the year that the first slaves were brought to America and it was about reforming the way that we talk about race and slavery in America. So the very first essay which she wrote, which is very controversial, is when she claimed that the reason for the American Revolution was because people wanted to keep their slaves, not because of control from England and all that. What happened is that a bunch of very prominent historians, the American Revolution, the Civil War and much more panned the essay. They said this thing needs to be corrected. They corrected it. Even then, she still won the Pulitzer Prize for journalism or for commentary, I want to say, for that specific essay which was there. And they partnered, I think it was with the Pulitzer Center in order to create curriculum that schools are now using to teach. Now this was attacked, the 1619 project, not at first by conservatives. Of course conservatives were pissed off. It was attacked by the world socialist website, by Trotskyites, by Marxists and socialists. And the reason why is because they saw it for what I see it, which is that it's a cynical attempt in order to say America is an irredeemably racist nation, that that is the only single and most pressing problem that we have in our society. And if you hold that frame, then you don't ask questions about corporate power in America. You don't ask questions even of leaders. A friend of our show, Zed Jilani, had a fantastic appearance on our show. I really encourage everybody to go watch it, where he talks about, if you look at the black community in America, which is what had the most pressing impact on their life economically and destroyed so much of their livelihood. It was the foreclosures under Barack Obama and it was the wipeout of black home ownership and black wealth, that the 1619 project and the framework of politics that that original sin, which of course is the original sin, is the be all end all for why we are where we are today, absolves current political leaders and recent political leaders like Barack Obama himself or like leaders in the city of Atlanta or leaders in the city of Baltimore and that it absolves public policy which is nonracial. And so when I say that, why does a shale gas company feel comfortable sponsoring an event in which the main message is that America is an irredeemably racist nation because that is one more event which is being talked about in the political zeitgeist by the cultural elite which is not talking about their own power in the marketplace. And if you look at what is the predominant control in your life in America, it is about capital. It's not about race. It's about class. But class disproportionately affects people of color in America. And so the way I look at it is that identity politics is so cynically grafted on by the billionaire and the corporate class. There's a reason they're all super woke. It's because they want it to be this way so that we don't talk about their power in our society. And I think this was a very, like the way this all happened is kind of crazy because it started out in the sociology departments in the 1970s of all of these crazy, you know, from the post, from the 60s era, they were, you know, in these sociology departments and they started cranking out all these absolutely crazy papers around, you know, feminism and identity politics, racial politics, all of that. And then what happened is, is that corporate America and other cultural elites, first of all, were being indoctrinated in the university system. They were going to go work at places like McKinsey and others and they brought their racial politics and their identity politics with them. But that there had to be recognition from the top from people like Goldman Sachs. If Goldman Sachs, if the pressure on them is to stop the way that they trade derivatives or to put a black person on their board while they continue to, you know, do the derivatives trading, they can choose that every single time. So they want to direct the conversation in that direction. It absolves them for the sins, both, you know, towards the economically disenfranchised in America. But it's also a very cynical tool, which is that why is it that you see all these corporations go, you know, tweeting out Black Lives Matter, Instagram blackout, all that stuff? How is it that you see like, you know, Nike, isn't this the great irony that Nike, you know, went and did the whole Colin Kaepernick thing, the ad campaign, and they still got all their shit looted in this in this mostly in Chicago, right? I mean, I think that is that's the perfect example of they try to cynically use identity politics in America, split people apart to protect their power. And if we start to understand that it's a lot more about class in America than it is about race, I'm not saying that there is not racial problems in America racism that, you know, all of this, but that if you focus on these class issues, it's the best way to help people to people who are disenfranchised, who are disproportionately people of color, but to help everybody that's a much more I just don't know how else we can live in a multifaceted multifaceted nation like this, which is, you know, economically heterogeneous, ethnically, people, you know, so many people of different ethnicities, so many people of different religions, so many, I mean, I am the son of Indian immigrants, I feel fully and completely American. That's an amazing thing. That didn't just happen. It was the product of a result of very specific political choices that we made over time. And it's moving towards that that we need to go towards. But by doing so, what you've talked about many times about economic, not just distribution, but about the power, who has power in society, working class or not, which is the corporate America can use the identity politics in order to make sure the working class doesn't continue to have power. And so you can't separate class and race because it's not an accident, of course, that black and brown people are disproportionately the lower income and poor and working class in society. I mean, I see it much more simply sort of like what you were saying. This is like a branding exercise, right? Yeah, I think so. And there's this whole idea, I always think it's hilarious on the right of Facebook and Twitter or Progressive or they're liberal companies or Amazon's a liberal company. I'm like, what are you talking about? Amazon treats their workers like shit. They bust you and it's like, this is not a left company, right? But because they use those sort of branding tools and tweet out Black Lives Matter, which is no threat to them. And in fact, as you're pointing out, may very much benefit their bottom line ultimately. They get all the benefits of being for progress and being for this rising coalition in America without actually having to do anything that's going to benefit their bottom line.