Enjoy a Coke With the KKK: Ties to a Trump-Led RNC Threaten Company's Reputation as a Champion of Diversity

You may not know it, but Coca-Cola has been sponsoring the Republican National Convention. And even with Trump refusing to disavow the support of the Ku Klux Klan this weekend and declaring “All Lives Matter” at his Radford, Virginia rally, Coca-Cola still has not canceled their sponsorship of the RNC. Coca-Cola, a company ubiquiously associated with inclusion and diversity still manages to fund a platform for a presidential nominee with notoriously divisive rhetoric. "When corporate dollars are used to fund a platform for a demagogue who promotes a violently anti-Black message that company is just as culpable as the person shouting," said Brandi Collins, Media Justice Director of ColorOfChange.org, who encourages Demand Coca-Cola stop providing a platform for hate speech. 
[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"608191","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"240","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"320"}}]]
Trump’s violent political rhetoric has very real consequences for Black, Mexican and Muslim Americans. His use of racially charged imagery, and paranoid conspiracy theories dehumanizes minorities and encourages hate crimes, white terrorist attacks, and daily violence.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"608192","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"180","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"320"}}]]


In fact, the rise in white supremacist groups and white terror militia groups has been influenced by Trump's campaign. And by funding a Trump-led RNC, Coca-Cola will be funding all of Trump’s damaging messages.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"608194","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"180","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"320"}}]]

Coca-Cola executives responded to these claims in a letter to ColorOfChange. The company said they have a “civic responsibility” to support a Trump-led RNC to “encourage more Americans to participate in the political process." However, "If Coca-Cola truly believes in corporate civic responsibility, than funding a platform for an anti-democratic demagogue preaching violently anti-Black, anti-Latino, anti-Muslim, and anti-women bigotry should be the last thing they would ever want to sponsor," confirmed Collins. 

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"608198","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"180","style":"width: 320px; height: 180px;","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"320"}}]]

Coca-Cola, Xerox, Adobe, Cisco, AT&T and Google are all RNC sponsors, an alliance which could threaten their multi-million dollar diversity marketing campaigns.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close