Coca-Cola — it’s almost as American as apple pie.
I never thought I’d see the day when it was banned, but now I have.
As I covered in February, the soft drink giant made a bold move: It decided to convince employees to be less white.
Assistance in the effort was found via “Confronting Racism with Robin DiAngelo,” a virtual training course.
- Racism is the foundation of Western society; we are socialized into a racial hierarchy
- All of us are shaped by the forces of racism; no one is exempt
- All white people benefit from the racial hierarchy, regardless of intentions
- No one chose to be socialized into racism (so no one is “bad”)
- Racism must be continually identified, analyzed and challenged; no one is ever done
- The question is not if racism is at play, but how is it at play?
- The racial hierarchy is invisible and taken for granted for most white people
Coke provided ways to be “less white,” meaning the following:
- Be less oppressive
- Be less arrogant
- Be less certain
- Be less defensive
- Be less ignorant
- Be more humble
- Break with apathy
- Break with solidarity
— Christina Sommers (@CHSommers) February 19, 2021
As some might expect, not everyone appreciated the soda’s social consciousness. That led to a bit of a walkback, as told to Newsweek:
The video in question was accessible on a third-party platform and was not part of the company’s curriculum, so it was not required. Our overall diversity, equity and inclusion training is required and received input from employees reflecting a wide range of backgrounds, views and expertise.
In April, the drink company got sudsy again, this time — in the words of RedState’s Brandon Morse — by publicly denouncing “Georgia’s election reform bill that made elections more secure and even [joining] a conference call to brainstorm on how to combat Republicans from instituting further voting reforms.”
Coke later issued a conciliatory statement to the tune of staying “open to productive conversations with advocacy groups and lawmakers who may have differing views.”
In the end, it all was too much for Surry County.
Following the Georgia situation, commissioners voted to ban all Coca-Cola vending machines from county buildings.
As relayed by WXII, County Commissioner Eddie Harris fired off a letter to Coke CEO James Quincey.
Here’s part of it:
“Recently, you as CEO of the Coca-Cola corporation, released a statement speaking out against Georgia SB 202. This bill is the result of the chaos that transpired during the 2020 election. Specifically the bill expands early voting opportunities, provides changes to ensure shorter voting lines, ensure the drop boxes are secure and allows greater access to fast, secure and transparent elections. Your company’s position on this is wrong on many levels. Millions of Americans believe that the last presidential election was not held in a fair manner and that more voter fraud will occur in the future if elections are not more closely monitored and regulated.”
The commissioner called the electoral process “such a mess,” and he asserted the nation needs better laws in place to ensure “the right people” are voting.
So how do Surry residents feel about the ban? As stated by NBC12, Eddie “says the response to the Coke boycott has been mostly positive.”
Speaking to the outlet, he lashed the American Left:
“The left wing in America, they defund, they boycott, they cancel, they tear down statues — all sorts of egregious actions. And the expectation from them is the opposing political side will cower in the corner. And we’re supposed to accept that, and it’s supposed to be okay. And it’s not okay.”
Putting Coke wholly aside, it seems to me that generally, people don’t want the businesses they patron to take political positions.
I’m surprised that any companies ever do, given that — much of the time — they’re only ostracizing half their potential customer base.
Maybe in taking a stand that divides their customers, they’re all trying to break with solidarity — you know, be less white.
Meanwhile, per Channel 12‘s report, it seems the cola king may convince Surry to be less surly:
For now, the Coke machines remain in county office buildings in Surry County. A spokesman for Coca-Cola Consolidated, a bottling company separate from Coca-Cola, says the company has reached out to commissioners in hopes of setting up a meeting.
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