Is delta airlines The latest corporation to get stuck in the abyss of America’s growing politics. On Saturday, Delta Joined More than a dozen companies in severing their partnership with the National Rifle Association after the Parkland School Massacre and the subsequent #NeverAgain movement. In response, the Republican lieutenant governor of Georgia, where Delta is headquartered, took to Twitter Threats to kill Pending tax law that benefits the company. As he explained, “Corporations cannot attack traditionalists and expect us not to fight back.”
Pressure to revise or retain corporations – their relationship with the controversial gun organization has only been faced by the latest political minefield businesses. Whether it is Chick-Film-A’s opposition to gay rights, corporate support for illegal laws, Hobby Lobby’s fight over the contraceptive mandate, or the campaign to end advertising on Breitbart, companies have joined – some curiously, some Reluctantly – some of the hottest political fights of the past few years.
This may seem like more evidence of politicization, and polarization of everything. As Derek Thompson keep this In the Atlantic, “corporations are no longer going to understand the culture wars. They are on the front lines.” But from that conclusion we need to agree that companies were ever going to understand in politics. In fact, they have been at the forefront for a very long time.
Take another Atlanta-based company, Coca-Cola. Although by 1960 Atlanta had styled itself as “too busy to hate the city” – an attempt to cultivate a business-friendly climate in an era of civil rights and mass resistance – the city’s white elites made their most famous Resident, hired Martin Luther King Jr. In disdain. When King won the Nobel Prize in 1964, white social conservatives in Atlanta Refused to buy tickets Unified banquet to be held in honor of the king.
The story threatened to become an international embarrassment for Atlanta. So the chief of Coca-Cola pacified the business leaders of the city by sniffing the king and risking the city’s reputation. “The Coca-Cola Company does not need Atlanta,” he said. “You all have to decide whether Atlanta needs a Coca-Cola company.” The financial threat worked. Within two hours, dinner was sold outside. Raja Bhoj had a packed house and positive coverage in the international press.
Political cartoon on economy
Pressure on apartheid to force partition into South Africa forced companies to take sides. At the start of the division campaign, more than 300 US companies did business in the country. The campaign forced him to choose: withdraw and support the anti-apartheid movement, or remain and signal support for the apartheid government. Under economic pressure as universities Withdrew your investment And as Congress moved to curb business opportunities in the country, major corporations such as General Motors and IBM opted for anti-apartheid.
And Coca-Cola? The corporation dominated cola sales in South Africa and was one of the country’s largest US employers. its Declaration in 1986 This was notable for two major reasons for withdrawing from South Africa: It was the first corporation to announce its withdrawal that was acting as a political protest against apartheid, and it promised to sell its remaining operations in the country to black investors did.
By the 1990s and 2000s, gay rights would replace segregation and apartheid as major ethical and political issues on which companies decided to take a stand. But those corporations were already building on a vibrant tradition of corporate activism. Some corporate leaders eagerly entered the fray, others were more reluctantly dragged into it, but they were injured on the front lines.
This is not to say that there is nothing new in today’s corporate activism. A changed media environment has greatly accelerated the speed with which corporations are expected to react, activists are able to develop their networks and indeed exert their pressure on Pace, who surprisingly surprises Huh. Sleeping Giants campaign cost Breitbart 90 percent To its advertisers in just two months. The Parkland shooting was less than two weeks ago, and already 20 companies have cut ties with the NRA. Increasingly, corporations feel the need to act – and act quickly.
But the underlying dynamics remain the same. Corporations may not be people (sorry, mitt), but they are surprised. They have owners and boards and employees and customers. As a result, they are part of our politics in ways that go far beyond issues of taxation and zoning and regulations. They are part of our social as well as our economic lives, and as such, they are on the front lines of our political battles, whether they like it or not.