Black History and Corporate Accountability
As Black History Month kicks off with the continued fallout from Governor DeSantis’ attack on Black History and the College Board’s changes in their AP African American Studies course, Equal Ground is using this moment to expose the hypocrisy from companies who “say they support Black History but fund Gov. Ron DeSantis who is dismantling Black History.”
Major US companies with statements celebrating Black History Month helped elect Ron DeSantis by donating directly and indirectly to his 2022 reelection campaign. Now, as DeSantis restricts the teaching of Black history in Florida schools, these companies claim to celebrate Black History Month.
The money trail reveals that three Republican 527 groups targeted their political spending over the past decade from cumulative funds of more than $800 million, with $388 million or almost half (46.6 percent) received from public company and trade association treasuries. This spending helped bring changes in control of state legislatures and the election of governors and attorneys general. In turn it helped drive new agendas that have transformed state and national policy. Among states where these 527s have had a major impact are North Carolina, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas.
In contrast, the Democratic groups’ take during this period was $475 million, a little over half the amount received by the Republican groups. Democrats early in the decade lost significant representation in elected offices at the state level.
This conflicted political spending creates serious risks for brands and their relationships with consumers, employees, and other stakeholders. Below, the Center for Political Accountability summarizes direct and indirect contributions to DeSantis’ reelection by companies that have made statements celebrating Black History Month.
These companies gave $375,000 to Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC supporting DeSantis reelection in 2022:
These companies gave 3,3816,990 to The Republican Party in 2022. The Republican Party then funneled over $12Million in 2022 to support Gov. DeSantis reelection:
Florida Power & Light/NextEra
These companies gave 4,456,350 to The Republican Governors Association in 2022. The Republican Governors Association then funneled over $14 Million in 2022 to support Gov. DeSantis reelection:
Coca-Cola North America
All indicual amoints provided can be found here.
Source: Center for Corporate Accountability