But most of the corporate marketing is all talk, no action. One of the most advertised social justice campaigns in 2020 has been about slavery and bringing awareness to the unfair treatment of African Americans throughout American history. Corporations no longer employ workers based on merit; they must judge candidates based on the color of their skin, making sure to have the appropriate ratio of race, gender, and ethnicity in their employees.
The most hypocritical part about corporations caring about slavery and human rights issues is the fact that many of these corporations still rely on forced slave labor to make their profits. Corporations from Apple to Starbucks to Nike should all be forced to verify that they are slave free.
Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo brought this issue to light recently when he tweeted: I challenge every major American corporation making products overseas in #China or elsewhere to pledge that they are #slavefree, that they DO not and WILL not rely on forced, slave labor.
Hawley called out corporate executives for hypocritically building progressive brands that rally their customer base behind a cause, but continue to outsource labor to Chinese concentration camps “all just to save a few bucks.”
Hawley pointed out that approximately 80 large American companies still have ties to slave labor in China. “If corporate America wants to be the face of social change today, they should have to certify they are completely slave-free,” said Hawley. “And if they refuse to do so, they should pay the price,” he added. “That’s social responsibility.”
The hypocrisy is compounded by the fact that these same corporations financially support domestic terror, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, which uses violence across the country to demand political change. Corporations are participating in the destruction of American democracy and the rule of law all while virtue signaling that they care about human rights.
These "progressive" corporations are devoted to the issue of racism and the horrors of slavery, so why wouldn’t they want real social change within their company? Why wouldn’t they cut ties with slave labor and concentrations camps in China and find a more ethical humanitarian way to source their products?
Instead of taking a stand against actual slavery, these corporations and their brand celebrities would rather continue profiting from the slavery, virtue signaling their way to the bank. To hold these corporations accountable and expose their hypocrisy, Senator Hawley introduced “The Slave-Free Business Certification Act." If enacted into law, this act would require corporations to disclose their corporate supply chain and undergo regular audits to ensure the company is not using slave labor. The act would also require CEOs of each company to certify that their company supply chains do not use slave labor. Corporations that cannot meet basic standards for protecting human rights will face penalties until they improve their practices.
How could corporations resist this? Will they pledge in writing that they are actually Slave-Free, or are they all talk, appealing to consumer’s emotions but never taking real world action?