Note: After this article was published and President Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear, the company issued a clarifying statement about the seminar. See below.
WIBW, a local news station in Topeka, Kansas, reports that a recent diversity training seminar at the Topeka Goodyear plant included a slide outlining the company’s zero tolerance policy. The image was posted to social media apparently by an employee who says that the material originates from Goodyear corporate headquarters in Akron, Ohio. Listed as “acceptable” messages are Black Lives Matter and LGBT pride. The “unacceptable” column consists of Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, MAGA attire, and political slogans.
Goodyear has not specifically addressed the discriminatory slide, but it did issue the following statement in response to the report:
Goodyear is committed to fostering an inclusive and respectful workplace where all of our associates can do their best in a spirit of teamwork. As part of this commitment, we do allow our associates to express their support on racial injustice and other equity issues but ask that they refrain from workplace expressions, verbal or otherwise, in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party as well as other similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of equity issues.
This is outrageous on a number of levels. First of all, “all lives matter” is about as non-political as a slogan gets. Political messages are tribalistic and exclusionary by nature. Someone who affirms that all lives matter is expressly rejecting tribalism and defending the dignity of human life universally. The statement is not only non-political but in fact anti-political.
If “blue lives matter” is political, it is only because one side of the political aisle has decided to define itself by its raw hatred for law enforcement. But that does not make the message inherently divisive. All decent and sane people (a dwindling demographic, to sure) can agree that the lives of police officers matter.
In fact, Goodyear itself once seemed to feel this way. In the past the company has offered discounts to law enforcement officers and other first responders, and even now they brag that they are a “recognized leader” in providing tires for police cars.
What about Black Lives Matter? Well, if Marxism counts as a political ideology — and it does, last I checked — then BLM is an intensely political organization. It is co-founded by a woman who describes herself and her comrades as “trained Marxists” who are “super versed” on “ideological theories.” The “what we believe” section of the BLM website is full of these ideological theories, such as the theory that the “Western-prescribed nuclear family structure” should be “disrupted” and that “cisgender privilege” must be “dismantled.” And BLM has indeed done quite a bit of dismantling over the years. I don’t know if they’ve dismantled cisgender privilege, whatever that is, but they have left entire city blocks in ruins.
Goodyear is certainly not alone. Many of the most powerful corporations in America have endorsed and offered financial support to Black Lives Matter. Of course it is only by virtue of its name that this avowedly Marxist organization, which has been been involved in rioting and looting in cities across the country, has managed to gain such widespread and mainstream acceptance. If BLM had a more accurate name like “Marxists United,” or something similar, I doubt very much that Pepsi and and Goodyear would be lining up behind it.
Be that as it may, corporations that support Marxist organizations, while censoring messages of support for groups like police officers, should face a severe penalty from their customers. Conservatives, myself included, tend to shy away from boycotts. Now is probably time to get over that aversion. Goodyear should not see another dime from us until it has abandoned this policy, apologized for it, and explicitly affirmed the important truth that blue lives, and all lives, do in fact matter.
Update: After President Trump called for the boycott of Goodyear, the company responded with a lengthy statement stating that the slide on the company’s “zero tolerance” policy “was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor was it part of a diversity training class.” The statement, however, also reiterates that the company asks that “associates refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party, as well as similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equality issues.” Read the full statement here.