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As corporations bow to left's agenda, conservatives eye mass boycotts of woke brands

"We are going to make sure that our dollars and our votes are not going their way," said Pastor Aubrey Shines, the CEO of Conservative Clergy of Color. "Enough is enough."

Updated: April 17, 2021 - 10:59am

With some of the most familiar names in corporate America lining up with the Democrats against Republican election integrity bills moving through statehouses — and Major League Baseball even pulling its All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia's election reform law — a growing chorus on the right is demanding that conservatives marshall their own collective market power to fight the left's successful use of economic pressure to force corporate compliance with the progressive agenda.

On Monday, the Conservative Clergy of Color, a group of black ministers and pastors, ran a full-page ad in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as part of an effort to "correct the lies" they say President Joe Biden, progressive activist Stacey Abrams and corporate leaders like the CEOs of Delta Airlines and Coca Cola have been spreading about the Georgia Election Integrity Act of 2021.

We are "seeing a grassroots movement ... against Coca-Cola, against Delta, and any other organization that at wants to participate" in the Democrats' offensive against the Georgia voting bill, Pastor Aubrey Shines, the CEO of the Conservative Clergy of Color, told "Just the News AM" earlier this week. "We are going to make sure that our dollars and our votes are not going their way. Enough is enough."

More than 100 of the nation’s top corporate leaders met virtually on Saturday to discuss ways their companies might mobilize against a wave of Republican-backed election reform bills sweeping through state legislatures across the nation. The election reforms — centered around measures like signature-matching and voter ID — were prompted by widespread allegations of voting irregularities in the 2020 election cycle associated with the shift to mass mail-in voting and the privately funded partisan outsourcing of traditionally neutral and public election administration functions. Democrats have decried such reforms as racially discriminatory ploys to suppress minority votes, with Biden even likening Georgia's new law to "Jim Crow in the 21st century."

In retaliation against corporate genuflection to the Democrats' line, former President Donald Trump has urged a boycott of Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Citigroup, Viacom, CBS, JPMorgan Chase, Cisco, UPS, Merck, and Major League Baseball. 

"For years the Radical Left Democrats have played dirty by boycotting products when anything from that company is done or states in any way that offends them," Trump said in a statement released in early April by his Save America PAC. "Now they are going big time with the WOKE CANCEL CULTURE and our sacred elections/ It is finally time for Republicans and Conservatives to fight back ... Don't go back to their products until they relent."

In a sign of the backlash building against organized, woke left political power in the marketplace, information resources like InvestingAdviceWatchDog.com have emerged to guide spending and investing choices of conservative consumers ready to pivot away from financially supporting businesses that the site says are "choosing to alienate half of the country by taking sides against Donald Trump, against Republicans, by attacking voting integrity laws, by pushing for censorship of conservative speech, and/or by reinforcing the Democrats' toxic culture war."  

"A lot of sleeping Republicans were awakened by social media banning president Trump," William Foster, of InvestingAdviceWatchDog.com told Just the News. "This whole Georgia incident has also driven a spike in traffic to our boycott page as well. At the very least, I think more and more people are starting to just tune out these left-wing CEOs. The attitude is like, 'Oh, there's that loudmouth Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan once again telling us that the theater is on fire. He needs to get off the stage.'"

A similar site, 2ndVote.com, says its mission is to defend "traditional Judeo-Christian values and the principles of America" by stopping "companies and organizations from funding the attack on traditional American values." The site's goal is to educate consumers about how companies misuse their consumer dollars by rating organizations based on the causes they back. Consumers are able to research companies based on specific issues as well, prioritizing their corporate stances toward, say, the First Amendment, Second Amendment, or right to life. 

It's time to "change the way conservatives have done things in the past," 2ndVote Executive Director, Amy Wilhite said recently on the John Solomon Reports podcast. "It's time that we step up and we make our voices heard. We don't have to riot and do crazy stuff to do that, but we can start taking action on our own, and we believe the first way to do that is with our money."

Not all conservatives are on board with the boycott strategy. Justin Danhof, general counsel for the National Center for Public Policy Research, is one such skeptic. He questions both the practicability and sufficiency of conservative consumer boycotts

There are over 300 corporations supporting the Democratic opposition to the Georgia bill and another 400 major American companies pushing Congress to pass the Equality Act, Danhof noted in an interview on Just the News AM

"From a practicality standpoint, before I go shopping, I need to check a list of close to 1,000 companies before I add anything to my cart," said Danhof. "We can't really do it." 

Historically, conservative boycotts have not fared well, according to Danhof. "When is the first and last time a conservative boycott worked?" he asked. "Our threats are so hollow that boards and CEOs know they can laugh them off ... Let's maybe stop threatening something we're not going to follow through on."

Moreover, Danhof argues, there is currently "a huge financial incentive for companies to get woke." In a planned campaign sustained over the last decade and a half or so, Danhof explained, major corporate boards have been seeded with politically progressive members as the left "bought up the search firms that identify board member candidates."  Among the companies affected are some of the most popular consumer brands, like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nike, etc., in addition to virtually all Big Tech companies.

"Conservatives ceded the corporate cultural lane to the left," said Danhof. "We just weren't paying attention."

In turn, these newly woke boards churn out policies like what came from Nasdaq late last year, when the exchange sought federal authority to require more diversity in the boardrooms of companies listed on the exchange, or be subject to delisting. Or, to take another example, when Goldman Sachs announced last year that it will no longer provide backing for companies seeking an initial public offering if its board is not sufficiently diverse.

Due to what Danhof describes as the successful "slow march of the left through corporate America," boycotts alone are not enough. Instead, he urges conservative consumers to get directly involved as stakeholders.

"Boycott Coca-Cola for a month, and at the end of the month use the $53 bucks to buy one share of Coca-Cola," he suggests, "which will gain you access to the CEO, the board, and the company shareholders meeting, where a room full of conservatives can make their voices heard."

In the meantime, however, Foster plans to keep the spotlight trained on corporate recruits to the cancel culture left.

"We're going to report on who these companies are no matter what," he told Just the News. "If large numbers of people don't boycott all of these companies, hopefully they'll boycott the companies that we have selectively picked off.

"Make an example out of one company in each of several categories in order to strike fear in other companies. This is the strategy that PETA used when they selectively went after KFC instead of going after all restaurant chains serving chickens raised in poor living conditions."

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