In emails and official statements, companies and organizations across the country, some of which have been looted, are capitulating to the angry mob by apologizing and vowing to do more for race relations though they had nothing to do with the death of George Floyd. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to address racism within their own organizations, but the idea that corporations should apologize for a situation that they had nothing to do with is a bit bizarre.
Lin Manuel Miranda, creator of the much-lauded play Hamilton, took to social media to apologize for not responding fast enough regarding the protests and death of George Floyd.
In a statement, Miranda said, “We spoke out on the day of the Pulse shooting. We spoke out when Vice President Mike Pence came to our show 10 days after the election. That we have not yet firmly spoken the inarguable truth that Black Lives Matter and denounced systematic racism and white supremacy from our official Hamilton channels is a moral failure on our part. As the writer of the show, I take responsibility and apologize for my part in this moral failure.”
It’s unclear how Miranda’s lack of comment had any impact whatsoever on the current situation.
The CEO of Best Buy, an electronics store, sent a letter to all its customers, entitled ‘A Note from Best Buy’s CEO: We Will Do Better,’ which said in part, “We are, I believe, in one of the toughest times in our country’s history, as we continue to battle a deadly pandemic and the resulting economic havoc while, once again, coming face-to-face with the long-term effects of racial injustice. Watching tens of thousands take to the streets to speak out against fear and inhumanity is, on one hand, inspiring for the commitment it represents and, on the other, heartbreaking for its profound need.”
In response, “protester” used two forklifts in order to damage and rob one of its stores in Fairfield, California. It’s also questionable how a lack of training or a Best Buy employee contributed to the death of George Floyd.
The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, which houses artwork mostly from ancient Greece and Rome to 20th century Europe, also issued a statement via Instagram after an initial response received backlash online for not doing enough. “We heard you. Thank you. We learned that we can do much better expressing our Getty values than we did yesterday, and we apologize.”
Again, it’s questionable how European artwork could have in any way prevented the death of George Floyd.
Even Chick-fil-A is jumping on this bandwagon. In a statement, attributed to CEO Dan Cathy, the organization said, “Words are not enough, and they sometimes aren’t the right words, but we want to say something. Racism should have no place in society. Not now, not ever. It cannot be tolerated…We will listen. We will be intentional. We will share.”
While the sentiment behind the statement is something we can all agree with, what did a Chick-fil-A sandwich do to incite racial tensions?
It’s understandable that companies and organizations feel pressure to respond to national crises, but it’s ridiculous to submit to the whims of the social media mob and issue these baseless apologies. All of these companies and organizations had nothing to do with the death of George Floyd. There is no reason why they had to grovel for these minute and perceived slights.
Photo from Justin Berken / Shutterstock.com