If you’ve been paying even a modicum of attention to the world at large, you’ve noticed that white supremacists constitute a bit of a problem in America. They led an insurrection at our Capitol recently. They’ve been involved in many mass shootings. I, along with many others, was nearly killed by one a few years ago in Charlottesville, Va.after he tried to murder as many peaceful protesters as possible. Our police forces are brimming with white supremacist assholes. And I think they had a popular TV show about ducks and beards not too long ago.
So I believe we can all admit that there are large groups of racist pricks wandering around our country — usually armed, rarely friendly. Everyone knows it. I bet even the racist parents of a 32-year-old white supremacist know he’s a dick. At Thanksgiving dinner they probably tell him, “Listen, Robbie. We’re very proud of you. We love what you’ve done with hating Black people online. But the thing is — you’re kinda a dick. Can you just be more polite? Just approach people slowly and kindly ask if they would like to be racist with you. You don’t have to make such a scene — with all the guns and the camo.”
We all know that this country will not heal without further efforts from the gummy candy community. I mean, you remember when they solved racist policing in this country, don’t you? In the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, Gushers literally tweeted, “Gushers wouldn’t be Gushers without the Black community and your voices. We’re working with Fruit by the Foot on creating space to amplify that. We see you. We stand with you.”
It just brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it? Gushers was there for Black lives. (Although this tweet does raise the question, “If Gushers wouldn’t be Gushers without the Black Community” then what would it be? Do gummy candies taste different if there aren’t Black people around? What would be the point of that? Why invent a racist candy like that?)
Point being, after Gushers’ unprecedented alliance with Fruit by the Foot (both of which are owned by General Mills), racist police brutality in America ceased to exist (one assumes). And so, building on that success, I think we clearly need another gummy-based Manhattan Project to tackle the unnerving prevalence of extremist hate groups and racist ideology. Perhaps if they made a statement that only good little Proud Boys get Fruit by the Foot? That might do it.
Or perhaps (he writes knowingly) this could be just one of the countless examples of corporate America trying to act like they aren’t an actual negative force on community, sustainability, fairness, and equality.
Chevron and ExxonMobil and banks and credit card companies and franchise restaurants all often tell us they care about Black Lives or care about the LGBTQ+ community or are working to create a safe space for folks with disabilities or they tell us we’re all in this together.
No. We. Aren’t.
Corporations only care about you as far as they can extract profit from you. That is their only goal. The moment Black lives or white lives or Asian lives don’t make them a profit, they no longer give a shit. The moment people try to demand something from them that will benefit the community and world but not improve their bottom line, those companies are not there to listen — just look at the current fight for unionization at Amazon. Or try going up to Wells Fargo and saying, “Hey, I saw your ad that we’re all in this together. I was so glad to hear that. Really made me feel blisstastic. Seeing as we’re all in this together, I would like to ask you to stop funding oil pipelines that are killing, um, everything. Oh, and also can you stop working with weapons contractors, too? They like to kill children and stuff. So what do ya say? ….Hello? Hello? I thought we were in this together? …Does this mean you also won’t babysit my cockatoo next week?”
Corporate America does not care about you or me or any of us outside of what they can extract from us, and that’s as true for Betty Crocker as it is for ExxonMobil. For example, it has become a problem in America that workers (the ones lucky enough to still have a job or three) are working themselves to the bone. People literally fall asleep or collapse on the job. They’re trying to work non-stop in order to afford meaningless consumer goods like, well, health care. And it’s kind of common sense that if we raised the minimum wage or gave workers free child care and more paid time off then they wouldn’t be suffering so much. So Ford Motor Company saw this problem and said, “Hold my beer.”
The good people at Ford have come out with a new answer to this tragic issue. It’s a hat that keeps you awake while you’re collapsing on the job. No, really. The commercial writes itself — “Just strap this thing to your fucking head while your subconscious brain is telling you that if you don’t sleep soon you’ll DIE, and the hat will tell your conscious brain, “NO! Fight the urge to give in to your urgent biological needs!”
I’m hopeful Ford will soon come out with a version of this dystopian headgear that connects to a long tube which you just place up your backdoor so it can vacuum out any waste your body needs to expel. Once you have that device bolted into your skull and secured up your rear, you’ll actually be able to drive for upwards of 56 hours without hitting the brake pedal once. There is a small chance brain matter will ooze out your ears and your heart will explode. But if that happens — guess who’s getting Employee of the Month?!
Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed. These corporations have become largely decoupled from reality, from humanity, from sustainability, and from the environment. Any time they take a breather from their rapacious, glutinous greed to belch out some tired exclamation of care for social justice or care for environmental rejuvenation or care for ending inequality and hate — those moments are beyond meaningless. In fact, those moments are actually harmful due to the number of people who honestly believe they mean something, who think the corporate world can ever be a force for good rather than the center of our own waltz off the cliff.
If we want to end oppression, we must end inequality. If we want to end inequality, we must evolve beyond our rancid exploitative socioeconomic system and the corporations that thrive in it.
This piece first appeared at ScheerPost.