By Andrea Widburg
One of the most disheartening things about the march of the Marxist Black Lives Matter movement is the way it’s been shaking down corporate America. There is hope, though. The first sign that the worm was turning was the hugely successful “buycott” when Goya Food’s CEO, Robert Unanue, refused to bow down to the cancel culture mob. Now there’s news that Red Bull not only refused to bow down, but it also launched a counterattack.
As we all know from the junk mail filling our inboxes over the last six weeks, American businesses have desperately tried to stave off a BLM attack against their companies by buying into its shtick and, more importantly, promising it money. Their attitude, no doubt, has been aided by the numerous fairly recent college graduates filling middle and upper-middle management.
Enter Red Bull, the Austrian-owned energy drink company. But first, a little background:
Amy Taylor, a 1993 graduate of James Madison University in Virginia, is out andproud. Knowing these facts — recent(ish) college grad; part of the LGBT spectrum — it’s almost predictable that, when Taylor joined Red Bull’s marketing division, she would found and sponsor an “Inclusion and Diversity.”
Taylor was in a position to make a difference because she eventually held the title of President and Chief Marketing Officer at Red Bull North America. Nor was Taylor working in a vacuum. Instead, she got full support from Stefan Kozak, Red Bull’s North America chief executive.
Things started to go sideways when the Black Lives Matter movement began to dominate American discourse. At the same time, word got out that, in February, Florian Klaass, an Austrian who was Red Bull’s global head of music, entertainment, and culture marketing, used a tasteless slide at a corporate event:
America was marked: ‘We’re number 1!’ while Canada was labeled ‘uninhabited’.
The Middle East and Southeast Asia were marked as ‘evil doers,’ continental Europe as ‘pussies,’ and South America as ‘coffee comes from here I think.’
Mexico was marked ‘they do our laundry’; China was shown with the label ‘they make our stuff’; the Middle East had an arrow indicating ‘bombs go here’.
Antarctica was simply: ‘cold’.
Australia was marked: ‘kangaroos’, and Africa was labeled: ‘zoo animals come from here’.
That slide was stupid under any metric and at any time, and Klaass deserved to be fired. The more interesting decision was the firing of both Kozak and Taylor, who obviously weren’t responsible for Klaass’s tin-eared, sophomoric stunt.
Although Red Bull didn’t give any reasons for Kozak’s and Taylor’s firings, those firings were part of a pattern. As well as firing the two American executives, Austrian global CEO and founder Dietrich Mateschitz also shut down entertainment and culture teams, as well as music festivals across the UK, Canada, and Austria. From the outside, those decisions could have been seen as belt-tightening moves during a Wuhan virus era, and that’s what Red Bull hinted:
“Red Bull has decided to strengthen the focus of its culture marketing programs on where it makes most impact,” the spokeswoman said. “Culture programs that remain include Red Bull BC One, Red Bull Dance Your Style, Red Bull Batalla de los Gallos.”
An insider, however, offered a different reason, which was tied to the fact that over 300 employees signed a letter complaining that the company hadn’t jumped on the groveling bandwagon when BLM burst upon the scene:
Another employee said the culture teams were seen as the most vocal about racial justice matters and that US staffers saw the restructuring as a form of punishment.
That explanation makes sense when you consider Dietrich Mateschitz, an outspoken conservative who admires Donald Trump. Translating an interview with Kleine Zeitung, the Daily Mail describes him as “Raging at ‘political correctness’ and the ‘intellectual elite,’” and critical of Germany’s and Austria’s decision to open their doors to millions of Muslim refugees in 2015.
It’s to be hoped that Red Bull is indeed hitting back at the straightjacket of political correctness and the corporate tendency to yield to BLM’s extortionate conduct. When Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, attempted to destroy Goya Foods because CEO Robert Unanue praised Trump, Unanue refused to back down. Americans rewarded him by buying up Goya products as if they were toilet paper in March.
People are fighting back in other ways too. In Redwood City, a lawyer countered a “Black Lives Matter” mural that the city paid to have painted on the streets by requesting a MAGA mural. The city quietly removed the BLM mural.
What Goya Foods, Red Bull, and that Redwood City lawyer are realizing is that the BLM mob, along with Antifa, which is the Democrat party’s domestic terrorism arm, win only if we let them. It’s time for more worms to turn. When enough do, they start to look remarkably like a fierce and angry dragon.