During the height of everything going on right now, businesses are trying to show their support and win over the public. Following suit in trying to show their respect for BLM, Taco Bell joined the wave.
On June 2, Taco Bell posted this up on Twitter:
Read the full letter from our CEO, Mark King.
We're muting our channels for the rest of the week to reflect, learn, and listen.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) June 2, 2020
Then Taco Bell fudged up
Except, like some other businesses, it seemed to be all talk and no show. On June 8, an ex-employee, Denzel Skinner, took to Facebook to drop a live video.
Saying my life as a black person matter is political BLACK MAN FIRED FOR WEARING BLM MASK
Taco Bell Employee Fired for Wearing a "Black Lives Matter" Mask at Work. pic.twitter.com/TkhBHnXILy
— Brother tyrone X (@tyrone_brother) June 11, 2020
In it, he explains that after working, a whopping eight years, he was fired…for wearing a Black Lives Matter face mask at Taco Bell in Youngstown, Ohio.
A lady, presumed to be the manager, even tells him during the video that he “cannot bring politics into the building.” Yeah.
The public reaction was definitely not on Taco Bell’s side on this one. Many people took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction at the news and at Taco Bell in general.
anyways buy from your local family-run mexican restaurants its 100% better #riptacobell
— eli (@zachviIla) June 18, 2020
Taco Bell is not the first company to get caught doing this. Actually, that would be Starbucks.
After they got busted not allowing their employees to wear pins in support of BLM. Despite making multiple tweets about changing the discourse that pervades the issue.
Ya know, because it goes against their policy to have employees wearing anything inherently political or that could possibly incite violence. Apparently.
hi I’m a former barista & if you’re avoiding Starbucks because BLM & you miss your favorite drink just ask & I’ll tell you how to make it at home but better because fuck Starbucks
— loafie (@sophiewanken0bi) June 13, 2020
Of course, Starbucks released a statement, changing this policy afterward. In light of the backlash, employees are now able to wear whatever pins they would like, in support of BLM.
Corporations or not, there is something kinda sick about pretending to support human rights while people are getting shot up.
As Skinner said in his video, these issues should not be considered strictly political—how can three words be so political?
This issue isn’t just about the politics of resolution, it’s about people who, ideally, would like to stop dying or being fearful in front of people supposed to protect them.
And the number one performer Is…
Though Taco Bell released another statement about the issue to USA Today, stating they discussed this with Skinner afterward, it seemed to be a bit too late for that.
#RIPTACOBELL ended up trending on Twitter for a bit, as the controversy spread. I don’t think I have to explain WHY people don’t want to see this, especially from beloved places.
Fuck Starbucks for initially saying no; to their credit we just got notified we can wear BLM stuff and they are sending us official shirts soon. They listened because partners spoke up. Proud of the people I work with. https://t.co/crigVJ1IGZ
— Gavin Stamper (@stamper_gavin) June 12, 2020
Thing is, places like Starbucks, Taco Bell, and Chik-Fil-A are not our friends—they’re corporations, with their number one motivator being profit, from YOUR wallet.
Performative acts like posts on social media are just not enough, and they shouldn’t be enough for you or your wallet, regardless of how much you like those frappes, or crunchy wraps (I don’t actually eat Taco Bell, ok, stop yelling at me, now it’s a good thing).
These acts are truly performative in nature and do not do much to further the cause. And if we can’t get these corporations to care, we can at least make them pretend to, with our dollar.