Corporate executives at Kellogg appear to be more interested in leftist virtue signaling than paying their workers.
On Tuesday, a new database from the conservative Claremont Institute revealed the breakfast cereal giant pledged $91 million to the Black Lives Matter movement and related causes after the nationwide George Floyd riots. In 2020, the company launched the Racial Equity 2030 Global Challenge, an injection of $90 million to “fuel innovative and actionable solutions to build a racially equitable future.”
“As stewards of our children’s future, we must collectively face the primary challenge of our time: racial equity,” said W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trustee and Board Chair Cathann Kress in a promotional video.
The campaign was launched to mark the foundation’s 90th anniversary.
“In Oct. 2022, five awardees were named to receive a combined $80 million over the next eight years, concluding in 2030, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s 100th anniversary,” says the foundation website.
The awards came as the Kellogg company faced conflict with its employees, who went on a nearly three-month strike in 2021. About 1,400 workers across four states — Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee — picketed against plans for a two-tiered benefits system complete with 72- to 84-hour work weeks and limited vacation time, according to union officials.
Rolling Stone reported the company axed health benefits during the strike, leaving workers to pay exorbitant COBRA premiums to maintain coverage for expensive pre-existing conditions including cancer.
In June 2020, the company expressed its commitment to “combatting racism” with $1 million to the NAACP in a corporate press release.
“Kellogg Company’s $1 million grant complements the funding that the W.K. Kellogg Foundation provides to NAACP, including $1.15 million in 2020,” wrote Kellogg Company Chairman and CEO Steve Cahillane. “NAACP is one of the many racial equity anchor organizations that WKKF supports.”
According to WayBack Machine, the letter was published on June 12, 2020. The country had just emerged from two weeks of the most destructive political violence in more than a century following Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
Despite the company’s professed commitment to “racial equity,” activists targeted the cereal company as racist for featuring “three white boys” as the cartoon mascots for Rice Krispies. Black Lives Matter activist and former UK member of Parliament Fiona Onasanya went after the food giant for peddling “white supremacy” with its fictional characters.
“Coco Pops and Rice Krispies have the same composition (except for the fact [Coco Pops] are brown and chocolate flavoured)… so I was wondering why Rice Krispies have three white boys representing the brand and Coco Pops have a monkey?” Onasanya wrote on Twitter.
Kellogg’s told The Daily Mail in a statement that it “stands in support of the black community.”
“We do not tolerate discrimination and believe that people of all races, genders, backgrounds, sexual orientation, religions, capabilities and beliefs should be treated with the utmost dignity and respect,” the company said, noting the Coco Pops monkey also represents the white chocolate cereal. “The monkey mascot that appears on both white and milk chocolate Coco Pops, was created in the 1980s to highlight the playful personality of the brand.”
The charge illustrates that no matter how many millions Kelloggs spends to virtue signal, it will never be enough for those whose careers and pocketbooks benefit from accusing others of racism.