The Republican National Convention has more problems than the mass outrage expected to erupt after the party bigwigs screw front-runner Donald Trump out of the nomination. While the establishment has been wringing it’s hands over the potential for civil unrest – primarily by claiming that Trump supporters will riot – there is an effort underway to rock the RNC economically as well. A conglomeration of identity based activist groups led by Color of Change are putting increasing pressure on corporate sponsors to refrain from financially backing the big event in Cleveland. Now with social justice warriors on a roll with their boycott threats it is highly likely that image conscious corporations will cave in rather than be risk being associated with a party that has been successfully branded as racist.
The New York Times reports that “Corporations Grow Nervous About Participating in Republican Convention”:
Some of the country’s best-known corporations are nervously grappling with what role they should play at the Republican National Convention, given the likely nomination of Donald J. Trump, whose divisive candidacy has alienated many women, African-Americans and Hispanics.
An array of activist groups is organizing a campaign to pressure the companies to refuse to sponsor the gathering, which many of the corporations have done for both the Republican and Democratic parties for decades.
The pressure is emerging as some businesses and trade groups are already privately debating whether to scale back their participation, according to interviews with more than a dozen lobbyists, consultants and fund-raisers directly involved in the conversations.
Apple, Google and Walmart are among the companies assessing their plans for the convention, which will be held in Cleveland from July 18 through July 21.
In addition to Mr. Trump’s divisive politics, there is the possibility that protests, or even violence, will become a focus of attention at the convention. Mr. Trump has suggested that there will be “riots” if he is not chosen as the party’s nominee, and the city of Cleveland recently sought bids for about 2,000 sets of riot gear for its police force.
The Times piece goes on to state that 800 pound retail gorilla Walmart is on the fence over whether to invest the corporation’s name and dough into an event that could be used to further fuel the fire with activists who have already caused the company much trouble. Corporate affairs executive Dan Bartlett – a former George W. Bush administration apparatchik – is quoted as stating that “We haven’t made any decisions” on the convention. The Arkansas based chain would seem to be better suited to plow their money into the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrat’s convention, her husband was the governor in the Razorback State and both still have powerful connections there – Mrs. Clinton is also a former Walmart board member.
A major coup has already been scored by keeping Coca Cola’s contribution to a minimum out of concerns that sales would suffer from boycotts. As the NYT story details:
Coca-Cola has already declined to match the $660,000 it provided to the 2012 Republican convention, donating only $75,000 to this year’s gathering and indicating that it does not plan to provide more.
Kent Landers, a Coca-Cola spokesman, declined to explain the reduction in support. But officials at the company are trying to quietly defuse a campaign organized by the civil rights advocacy group Color of Change, which says it has collected more than 100,000 signatures on a petition demanding that Coca-Cola, Google, Xerox and other companies decline to sponsor the convention. Donating to the event, the petition states, is akin to endorsing Mr. Trump’s “hateful and racist rhetoric.’’
“These companies have a choice right now, a history-making choice,” said Rashad Robinson, the executive director of Color of Change. “Once they start writing checks, they are essentially making a commitment to support the platform of somebody who has threatened riots at the convention. Do they want riots brought to us by Coca-Cola?”
The situation is especially delicate for Coca-Cola, which is based in Atlanta and has devoted significant resources for decades to efforts to appeal to minority groups.
In a letter sent to Coke last month, Color of Change implored the company to withdraw its support for the Republican convention, saying such a move would be “a sign of corporate leadership.’’
That letter was followed by a provocative online petition with an image of a Coke bottle labeled “Share a Coke with the KKK,” an apparent reference to Mr. Trump having initially declined to disavow support from the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
The push by Color of Change got the attention of the Coca-Cola executives, who quietly reached out to Mr. Robinson, the group’s executive director, and, in a series of previously undisclosed telephone calls and email exchanges, sought to mollify the activist group.
“We walked them through what a public campaign would look like,” Mr. Robinson recalled, explaining that he described possible protests outside Coca-Cola headquarters and similar protests in Cleveland against the company.
With all of the stigma now attached to Trump thanks to months of solidly negative media coverage as well as his own party’s smearing of their best chance to keep the Clinton crime family out of the White House, it should be easy to convince cowardly corporations to stay away out of fear of lost revenue. The success in getting Coke to knuckle-under will only embolden the blacktivists when it comes to strong-arming other big name companies. The drive has been largely bolstered by the media’s months long campaign to demonize Trump and his supporters as violent bigots, racists and even Nazis which has done a good deal of the heavy lifting already. Combine the media influence with the GOP party bosses and their decision to destroy the chances of the only candidate who can keep the Clinton crime family out of the White House come next January and the rest of the job should be relatively easy for the increasingly emboldened SJW’s.