Corporations Have Appropriated 'Pride Month'
Ironically, socialists don't mind shaking down capitalists if it suits their cultural agenda.
We’ve been witnessing an all-out assault on Western culture, including our system of free-market capitalism. But some on the Left are using that same “oppressive” system to push their agenda. Case in point: The “LGBTQ” movement, which is raking in the riches.
NBC’s Dain Evans writes about “how LGBTQ Pride Month went from movement to marketing.” For example, he notes last summer’s World Pride event in New York City saturated the city’s hotel space and generated profits “estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.” That’s just the beginning.
The LGBTQ community and Corporate America are odd bedfellows indeed. Or at least they used to be. Yet, to many leftists, it really doesn’t matter if you support them in principle as long as you pay lip service to their cause and put money in their coffers.
Mere acceptance of the movement is clearly not enough. Instead, American businesses are now expected to fund the cause in much the same way they began doing for Je$$e Jackson’s Rainbow/Push Coalition more than a decade ago. (Black Lives Matter has taken note of this shakedown approach.)
Evans adds that “organizations like the Reclaim Pride Coalition are trying to make sure these corporations are really walking the walk for the LGBTQ community.”
John Paul Brammer of The Washington Post writes, “Every year, debate erupts anew over the corporatization of Pride. It’s become its own tradition, in a way. That debate tends to center the battle over the soul of Pride: Should it be a protest, or a party? Should we really let a weapons manufacturer slap a rainbow over their logo and march in the parade? We question whether it’s ethical, and we wonder what the criteria ought to be for corporate allyship.”
For some in the Rainbow Mafia, the money will never be enough.
Another issue is whether some businesses hang pride flags and cater to the gender-disoriented simply because they feel the immense social pressure to do so. The “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” mantra weighs heavily on individuals, organizations, and businesses as a way to avoid the backlash.
Imagine being the lone ice-cream shop on Main Street without a pride sticker in the window or without a specially crafted Pride Month flavor. That’s where we’re heading.
The enforcement arm of the Rainbow Mafia is also involved. For example, the Human Rights Campaign publishes an annual Corporate Equality Index. The index rates companies on a range of factors and further shows how corporate America, often the bane of the Left, has now become a champion of LGBTQ causes. As the list grows, businesses not on the list will certainly feel pressure to join in.
Nice business ya got there. It’d be a shame if anything happened to it.
But this isn’t as simple as it appears.
Vox’s Alex Abad-Santos wrote two years ago that Adidas, a big supporter of LGBTQ causes, “is also one of the major sponsors for [the 2018] World Cup, which takes place in Russia, a country with anti-LGBTQ laws that make it unsafe for fans and athletes.” Abad-Santos argues, “That contradiction throws into sharp relief the emptiness that can lie at the center of corporate gestures of ‘support’ for the LGBTQ community.”
It can also place businesses in a difficult situation. For example, just this week we learned that Starbucks has banned employees from wearing any pro-Black Lives Matter merchandise, yet the company allows employees to show support for LGBTQ causes.
Once the business world dives into the murky waters of politics, contradictions and controversies are bound to emerge. But as long as the money keeps coming in, small businesses and corporations seem willing to walk a political tightrope.
Still, it’s a little ironic when left-wing movements that frequently attack our capitalist system for its oppression gladly take its money. Suddenly, Big Business is the Left’s best friend.