By Kenzel Williams
As protests grow across the country in response to the death of George Floyd, a wide range of brands are speaking out against racism on their social media accounts.
George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis by white police officer Derek Chauvin last week after being suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill. Shortly after, protests sparked in the city and across the country.
The peaceful protests in Minneapolis turned into riots when police confronted them, and as tensions grew, a Target was looted and vandalized. Instead of condemning the looting, Target CEO Brian Cornell recognized the pain and anger people had in response to the killing of Floyd in a letter.
“The murder of George Floyd has unleashed the pent-up pain of years, as have the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor,” Cornell said. “We say their names and hold a too-long list of others in our hearts.”
Cornell also announced in a letter that Target will make sure all workers who may have been displaced due to looting will get full pay and benefits in the next few weeks.
Target isn’t the only brand speaking up against racism. In another letter, Pete and Erik of Nordstrom spoke out against the racial injustice in the country.
“We owe it to our employees, our customers, and our communities to be very clear in condemning these acts of violence,” Nordstrom said in their press release. “They represent a disregard for basic human rights that has no place in our communities or country, and certainly not at Nordstrom.”
The letter was published after some Nordstrom stores were looted, including the flagship store in their hometown of Seattle.
Sportswear brands have also been joining in on the conversation.
Nike released a simplistic video that started off with the term “Don’t do it,” which is the complete opposite of their typical slogan.
“Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America,” Nike’s video said.
Adidas encouraged everyone to come together to make a change. Reebok asked their followers to stand in solidarity with the African-American community, as they said that the company would not exist without them.
Beauty brands are becoming transparent with their audience, too. Glossier pledged to donate up to $1 million to organizations combating racism like Black Lives Matter and The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, as well as black-owned beauty businesses.
Korean skincare brand Glow Recipe has also donated $10k to the Black Visions Collective, an organization dedicated to black liberation.
Christine Glow, the founder, and CEO of Glow Recipe, also announced that she’s made personal donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund and Reclaim the Block.
Even toy brands have used their platform. Fashion doll brand Bratz released a statement on their Instagram, encouraging their followers to sign a petition for George Floyd that is linked in their Instagram bio.
The wide range of brands and businesses that have spoken out on social media represents the idea that everyone should be engaging in serious conversations about the racial injustice in America. Whether a fan of Nike, Glossier, Bratz, or all of the above, people from different backgrounds should take the time to speak up and stand for what they believe in.