Woke Capitalism Is Still Going Strong

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Scott Greer Contributor
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Corporate pressure is still the favorite tactic of gun control advocates.

Last week, Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg called for another round of boycotts, and this time it wasn’t against a Fox News host who made fun of him.

Hogg wants investment giants BlackRock and Vanguard to feel the heat for owning stock in gun manufacturers. The young gun control activist hopes his boycott of the investment management companies convinces them to divest of those nefarious stocks.

So far, Hogg hasn’t replicated his moderate success against Laura Ingraham with BlackRock and Vanguard. His announcement tweet received a lukewarm response and neither of the companies have announced any changes in the days since the activist demanded they drop gun manufacturers. (RELATED: What The Laura Ingraham Boycott Is Really About)

At the moment, it may seem like this may be small setback for gun grabbers who want to weaponize corporate power to further their agenda. These investment giants and their clients appear to not want to go as far as Hogg and his cohorts demand.

But, oddly enough, one of Hogg’s targets is a strong supporter of using investments to promote social justice. In January, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink issued a letter stating in part, “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose.”

By that, Fink meant that companies should take up the mantle where government is failing and advance righteous social causes, such as ensuring greater workplace diversity.

Fink’s letter makes it seem like his company would be open to Hogg’s demands — he’s only trying to make society more progressive. By accepting the dictates of “corporate social responsibility,” it would appear a corporation would be bound to support gun control and refuse to invest in gun manufacturers.

While no movement on BlackRock’s part has been made, it would be a smart bet that the investment giant eventually does something to signal their support for Hogg’s cause.

That brings us to a troubling point: corporations are more than willing to be woke without extreme pressure from left-wing activists. Even if it means hurting their own bottom line.

YETI Coolers demonstrated this fact over the weekend after the NRA announced the company had severed ties with the gun rights group. YETI’s primary customer base is outdoorsmen and frat boys, demographics that are typically conservative and love the NRA.

Not surprisingly, the company faced immense backlash from its actual customers, prompting YETI to issue a statement challenging the NRA’s story and saying it strongly supports the Second Amendment. (RELATED: YETI Accuses The NRA Of Lying In Statement After Severing Ties)

But the damage to YETI’s brand appears done and its competitors are already taking advantage of the situation to promote their fervent support for gun rights.

It’s unclear why YETI cut ties with the NRA, but a likely explanation is that the cooler company wanted to appear “uncontroversial.” Even though supporting the NRA is a plus among its actual customers, corporations still think it’s good business to please the social justice crowd.

A left-wing boycott of YETI over its NRA connection probably would have ending up boosting sales — not harming them. But very few corporations want to run afoul of the Left, regardless of profit impact.

Remember that the owners of Chick-fil-A decided to stop supporting anti-gay marriage groups in 2012 because of left-wing pressure, even though its customer base demonstrated it was not bothered that stance.

You will never see a company cut off Planned Parenthood or the Southern Poverty Law Center — but corporations will always think it’s a good call to divest of conservative causes.

However Hogg’s new boycott turns out, woke capitalism will remain one of the most effective tools for liberal activism.

Conservatives should be worried.

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