North Texas Daily

Putting your money where your mouth is

Putting your money where your mouth is

Putting your money where your mouth is
July 15
13:17 2020

Recently, the public has been made more aware of problematic companies and their distribution of funds to different organizations, specifically ones that represent hate. Most of this may have already been public information, but since the influx of support for the Black Lives Matter movement this year, companies have become more pressured to be more upfront about where their consumer’s dollars are being forwarded to. They are also being compelled into being more open about where they receive money from.

Many popular brands, celebrities and food chains have been outed for being donors or associated with groups that promote hate against other groups. There has been much controversy surrounding this issue because most of them involved are not small companies or brands, but major ones.

While some consumers (after finding out) have no issue removing their coin from the pockets of these problematic brands, others are having a hard time letting go. They remain expressive in their support for the groups that are being oppressed by the hate groups that these companies continue to fund. By continuing to give these brands, celebrities, and companies their money, they are, in turn, supporting their stances and not truly taking a stand with the groups they allegedly “support.”

What exactly does it take these days to be labeled by society as being problematic? For one, finding out the CEO of a brand has a racist history, is associated with another racist being or been making racist remarks. The former CEO of Papa John’s, John Schnatter, is an example of this.

Another one is a company abusing its employees, whether it be with low wages for demanding labor, a harsh work environment or sometimes both. Fashion Nova, a fast-fashion company, was found guilty of this back in 2019, yet they are still one of the most popular clothing brands promoted on social media.

Lastly, a celebrity’s ugly past being the root of their fame, and they continue to profit from it. The biggest instance of this one, as of recently, is Shane Dawson. His old videos were recently reposted across the internet, and they are more disturbing than words can describe. His racist and homophobic past has caught up to him and due to social media being what it is today, he is finally being held accountable.

While there are so many more reasons a company can be deemed “problematic,” these are some of the most frequent I have seen in recent news.

The argument of, “well, they didn’t do anything to me,” is completely invalid and one of the worst ways a person can try to defend their stance. People continue to back these brands or celebrities by continuing to invest in them. They proceed to purchase goods and services from these companies or give their time and energy to celebrities.

“Their bigoted remarks did not offend me, so why would I have a problem with them?  I will continue to support them despite what they have said to others because it did not directly affect me.” This is what it sounds like when someone tries to use this statement to their defense.

In all honesty, it took me a bit too long to realize the issue with continuing to support companies or celebrities who supported things I stood against. Investing in companies who share your beliefs and do not associate with negative organizations is so important. Not only because it is the right thing to do, but it puts your conscience at ease.

“I support BLM, LGBTQ+, etc. so how does me continuing to support _____ make me culpable? I am only one person.” It is the same as “you may be one vote, but your one vote counts.” There is power in numbers, and by continuing to shop, support or even give your views to these problematic brands/people, it is showing that their participation in being associated with hateful organizations means nothing because everyone will continue their support of them anyway.

There is no way to disassociate a brand from its problematic actions. If you invest in a problematic brand, you are in turn, supporting their actions. I understand that it hurts to find out that some of your favorite places to shop, eat or even receive entertainment from are involved in problematic events.

I have had to stop going to quite a few of my favorite fast-food places because of this information, but it is worth it. I can support the brands I currently do because I am confident that, behind the scenes, my money is not going towards organizations that I stand against and that is important to me.

Unbeknownst to me, this may not be true and the brands/people I support could be just as problematic as the ones I have named previously. There is a difference between unknowingly and knowingly supporting. The difference between the two is what you do when you become aware.

There is always another option. Consumers have just fallen in love with the convenience of these brands and the convenience of their products, as well as the celebrities and the entertainment they provide us. I can assure you there is an alternative to the problematic company you continue to give your money to, you just have to look for it. There is also another influencer out there making similar content to your favorite creator, they just have not made it to mainstream status yet.

Put your money where your mouth is. If you are going to claim to be a part of the movement, then be a part of the movement. Picking and choosing when to be an ally is not a thing. There is no in-between, and the sooner more people realize this, the sooner we can begin to de-platform these celebrities/influencers and force these businesses to shut down.

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

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Peyton Jones

Peyton Jones

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