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Brilliant twitter thread calls out the 'woke' companies trying to profit from police protests
via AOC / Twitter

Republican candidate Mitt Romney was chastised during the 2012 presidential race for having the audacity to exclaim, "Corporations are people." Yes, technically corporations are made of people, but they're allowed to do a lot of things that people can't.

Corporations can get away with murder, profit from child labor laws and destroy the environment with impunity. Most people cannot.

However, corporate brands want you to think of them as people. Carefully curated brands give people a sense of identity when they use their products so they'll pay $150 for a $20 shirt. Branding gives people an emotional connection to inanimate objects simply via a logo backed up by an ad campaign they saw on TV.

A brand means something because a corporation told you it does.



The hypocrisy of corporate branding was on full display this week as many participated in #BlackoutTuesday by posting all-black images on their social media feeds. The movement was originally started by two black women in the music industry to call attention to racism and inequality.

However, the movement grew and evolved into #BlackoutTuesday and people everywhere began sharing blacked out social media posts to show their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and protest police brutality.

Some criticized the effort because the overwhelming number of people who used #BLM or #BlackLivesMatter made it difficult for protest coordination. It also smacked of "clicktivism" a lazy form of activism where people signal their support on social media for a cause instead of actually doing something.

Corporate brands got into the act by posting black boxes or condemning police brutality for #BlackoutTuesday. Of course, any brand that may offend large swaths of their customer base by blacking out their social media feeds refrained from doing so.

One of the most glaring signs of hypocrisy was called out by Democratic Representative Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez. She called out the Washington Redskins, a team named after a racial slur, for missing the point in its entirety.

#BlackoutTuesday posts give brands the luster of having done something, when in reality, all they did was ask an intern to post a black box for free on their social meida pages.

"If you look at marketing in broad terms as attitudes versus behavior, the general view is that attitude drives behavior," JP Hanson, CEO of Stockholm-based Rouser, a self-proclaimed advertising "un-agency," told The Guardian. "It's actually the other way round in psychological behavior. People will think: 'If I say I believe in certain things, I've given the correct answer, and I've done my bit.'"

But many of these bands haven't done their fair share.

A Twitter user who goes by the handle @RespectableLaw called out brands who signed their belief in justice for people of color while their business practices say otherwise.


As a society, its important for all of us to distinguish activism on social media from activism in real life. Simply tweeting your support for a cause is nice and probably doesn't hurt anyone. But doing so instead of taking real action is harmful. All tweet, no action is just as bad as all talk no action.









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