When someone applies for a job they do not think to question if they will have the right to express themselves while on the clock, but a lot of people are starting to see that maybe they should ask this question during the interview stage. While the movement was hot and in style, everyone spoke out and posted things on their social media saying that they stand in solidarity, but how much of that is true?
Everyone knows of Starbucks coffee, which is one of the largest coffeehouse chains in the world. The coffee chain stated on Twitter that “We stand in solidarity with our Black partners, customers, and communities.” While they talked about standing with the Black community it does not trickle down to their baristas and other employees. They would not allow their employees to wear anything pertaining to the BLM due to it violating their dress code policy.
In their dress code policy, it states that BLM attire was prohibited from the list of things employees can wear which also includes any type of politics, religious, personal accessories or clothing. While many store managers have been contacting senior leadership on behalf of their employees so they can express themselves on the topic. Management argued that wearing the clothing highlighting Black Lives Matter could be misunderstood and incite violence. When it comes to BLM, why is violence always in the same sentence? People are simply expressing themselves on the things that are happening to Black people in this world.
Let us pause for a second. How are they so against BLM but pro-LGBTQ+? They both fit in the same category going against their dress code policy. They are willing to support this community and even hand out buttons as well as shirts that show they support LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality. How are they different from one another? Each group protested to have equal rights just like everyone else in this world, but when we bring race into the subject it somehow changes the whole definition of protesting.
This shows that just because a company posted a statement on social media does not always mean they truly “stand” with you. The company is clearly working to protect their image and not disrupt their sales, but little did they know this would cause an uproar on social media and cause a boycott from the popular chain. The company later announces that they are partnering up with someone to create a BLM T-shirt so their employees will be able to express themselves on the subject.
Once again ladies and gentlemen we have someone who speaks hard on a topic but later changes their mind once they are tarnished in the media. The popular chain is not alone when it comes to standing against BLM. A Taco Bell in Youngstown, Ohio, fired an employee because he refused to take off his BLM mask. The employee shared a Facebook live video about him getting fired which caused people to speak out.
They then compared the movement with it being political, and that is why they do not want them wearing it at the workplace. The company later spoke out on how they never once prohibited its employees from wearing BLM masks and was working closely with the Ohio franchise after they fired an employee.
While these two companies took back their statements against their employees expressing themselves, we still have one that is standing with their decision on not allowing it. Publix supermarkets sent an employee home due to him having a mask with BLM written on it. The manager who sent the employee home did not know if the company was “Pro or Con.” In a statement sent to NBC News, Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous said the company does not accept racism, but the uniform policy will hold. The teen received calls from the district manager apologizing. The manager also stated that they don’t want to be a part of political views, but the thing is Black Lives Matter is not political it is about equality.
Can someone explain to me how this movement is always seen as political?
When people are speaking out on what they believe in politics, it’s always brought up in the conversation. This movement is about Black people having the same equal rights as others, but it seems no matter how hard we fight we are always knocked back down. We just want equality like everyone else.
Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas
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