Donald Trump‘s xenophobic comments against Mexicans and Muslims is starting to leave a bad taste in the mouths of some donors to the Republican National Convention.
The New York Times is reporting that Coca-Cola decided against matching the $660,000 it gave the RNC for the 2012 Republican convention, “deciding to donate only $75,000 for this year and indicating that it does not plan to provide more.”
While Kent Landers, a Coca-Cola spokesman, declined to explain the reduction to The Times, company officials worked quietly to disarm a campaign organized by the civil rights advocacy group Color of Change.
The group has collected more than 100,000 signatures on a petition calling on Coca-Cola and other companies not to sponsor the convention. A donation, the petition states, is the same as endorsing Mr. Trump’s “hateful and racist rhetoric.”
Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change spoke with Roland Martin on NewsOne Now about pressuring Fortune 500 companies not to participate in this year’s Republican convention. Watch their discussion in the video clip below.
“We have said from the beginning that this isn’t about left or right, but about right and wrong,” Robinson said in a news release to NewsOne. “Donald Trump’s violent rhetoric has inflamed a national atmosphere already hostile to Latino, Muslim, and Black communities, as well as women and people with disabilities. He has inspired violent attacks on peaceful protesters and journalists, and all the while has continued to be given a free pass by much of mainstream media and corporate sponsors.”
Further, Robinson said in the statement, “This is not ‘business as usual’ and corporations should not continue to treat it as such. We are glad that Coca-Cola is choosing to do the right thing, by rethinking what will surely be a international platform for more hate and intolerance. We demand that Coca-Cola and other current sponsors stop the promotion of their products and airing of commercials during the convention, that they agree that they will not make in-kind donations and that they withdraw any initial pledges.“
Speaking to The Times, Emily Lauer, a spokeswoman for the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, downplayed worries about fund-raising. She said “corporations and other donors had already pledged $54 million of the $64 million needed,” the report says.
Still, Robinson praised Coca-Cola’s decision.
“Like Coca-Cola, other companies have a history-making choice in front of them right now,” he said in the statement. “Our questions to them are: are you willing to attach your branding to someone so belligerent that they have threatened riots at the convention? Someone whose campaign manager has no qualms about physically attacking journalists and who has offered to pay the legal fees of anyone who attacks peaceful protesters? The choice should be obvious and it’s disappointing this even has to be debated. We will continue to publicly pressure any company who takes our money by day and still pledges to sponsor hateful, violent rhetoric and policies at night.”
What do you think about Coca-Cola’s decision? Sound off in comments.
SOURCE: The New York Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: Inform