Economy Lee Camp Original

Lee Camp: How Corporate America Supports Racism, Hatred & Exploitation (in New & Fun Ways!)

Corporations like General Mills and ExxonMobil aren’t going to save us from white supremacist violence or climate annihilation with their piddly tweets.
[Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0]

By Lee Camp / Original to ScheerPost

If you’ve been paying even a modicum of attention to the world at large, you’ve noticed that white supremacists constitute a bit of a problem in America. They led an insurrection at our Capitol recently. They’ve been involved in many mass shootings. I, along with many others, was nearly killed by one a few years ago in Charlottesville, Va.after he tried to murder as many peaceful protesters as possible. Our police forces are brimming with white supremacist assholes. And I think they had a popular TV show about ducks and beards not too long ago. 

So I believe we can all admit that there are large groups of racist pricks wandering around our country — usually armed, rarely friendly. Everyone knows it. I bet even the racist parents of a 32-year-old white supremacist know he’s a dick. At Thanksgiving dinner they probably tell him, “Listen, Robbie. We’re very proud of you. We love what you’ve done with hating Black people online. But the thing is — you’re kinda a dick. Can you just be more polite? Just approach people slowly and kindly ask if they would like to be racist with you. You don’t have to make such a scene — with all the guns and the camo.” 

Anyways, I bring this up because I don’t think we’re going to solve America’s militant hate group problem until we get the help of Fruit by the Foot and Gushers. …You heard me. 

We all know that this country will not heal without further efforts from the gummy candy community. I mean, you remember when they solved racist policing in this country, don’t you? In the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, Gushers literally tweeted, “Gushers wouldn’t be Gushers without the Black community and your voices. We’re working with Fruit by the Foot on creating space to amplify that. We see you. We stand with you.”

It just brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it? Gushers was there for Black lives. (Although this tweet does raise the question, “If Gushers wouldn’t be Gushers without the Black Community” then what would it be? Do gummy candies taste different if there aren’t Black people around? What would be the point of that? Why invent a racist candy like that?)

Point being, after Gushers’ unprecedented alliance with Fruit by the Foot (both of which are owned by General Mills), racist police brutality in America ceased to exist (one assumes). And so, building on that success, I think we clearly need another gummy-based Manhattan Project to tackle the unnerving prevalence of extremist hate groups and racist ideology. Perhaps if they made a statement that only good little Proud Boys get Fruit by the Foot? That might do it. 

Or perhaps (he writes knowingly) this could be just one of the countless examples of corporate America trying to act like they aren’t an actual negative force on community, sustainability, fairness, and equality. 

Chevron and ExxonMobil and banks and credit card companies and franchise restaurants all often tell us they care about Black Lives or care about the LGBTQ+ community or are working to create a safe space for folks with disabilities or they tell us we’re all in this together. 

No. We. Aren’t. 

Corporations only care about you as far as they can extract profit from you. That is their only goal. The moment Black lives or white lives or Asian lives don’t make them a profit, they no longer give a shit. The moment people try to demand something from them that will benefit the community and world but not improve their bottom line, those companies are not there to listen — just look at  the current fight for unionization at Amazon. Or try going up to Wells Fargo and saying, “Hey, I saw your ad that we’re all in this together. I was so glad to hear that. Really made me feel blisstastic. Seeing as we’re all in this together, I would like to ask you to stop funding oil pipelines that are killing, um, everything. Oh, and also can you stop working with weapons contractors, too? They like to kill children and stuff. So what do ya say? ….Hello? Hello? I thought we were in this together? …Does this mean you also won’t babysit my cockatoo next week?” 

Corporate America does not care about you or me or any of us outside of what they can extract from us, and that’s as true for Betty Crocker as it is for ExxonMobil. For example, it has become a problem in America that workers (the ones lucky enough to still have a job or three) are working themselves to the bone. People literally fall asleep or collapse on the job. They’re trying to work non-stop in order to afford meaningless consumer goods like, well, health care. And it’s kind of common sense that if we raised the minimum wage or gave workers free child care and more paid time off then they wouldn’t be suffering so much. So Ford Motor Company saw this problem and said, “Hold my beer.” 

The good people at Ford have come out with a new answer to this tragic issue. It’s a hat that keeps you awake while you’re collapsing on the job. No, really. The commercial writes itself — “Just strap this thing to your fucking head while your subconscious brain is telling you that if you don’t sleep soon you’ll DIE, and the hat will tell your conscious brain, “NO! Fight the urge to give in to your urgent biological needs!”

I’m hopeful Ford will soon come out with a version of this dystopian headgear that connects to a long tube which you just place up your backdoor so it can vacuum out any waste your body needs to expel. Once you have that device bolted into your skull and secured up your rear, you’ll actually be able to drive for upwards of 56 hours without hitting the brake pedal once. There is a small chance brain matter will ooze out your ears and your heart will explode. But if that happens — guess who’s getting Employee of the Month?!

Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed. These corporations have become largely decoupled from reality, from humanity, from sustainability, and from the environment. Any time they take a breather from their rapacious, glutinous greed to belch out some tired exclamation of care for social justice or care for environmental rejuvenation or care for ending inequality and hate — those moments are beyond meaningless. In fact, those moments are actually harmful due to the number of people who honestly believe they mean something, who think the corporate world can ever be a force for good rather than the center of our own waltz off the cliff.

If we want to end oppression, we must end inequality. If we want to end inequality, we must evolve beyond our rancid exploitative socioeconomic system and the corporations that thrive in it. 

Lee Camp is the host of the hit comedy news show “Redacted Tonight.” His book “Bullet Points and Punch Lines” is available at LeeCampBook.com and his podcasts and livestreams are available at LeeCamp.com.

18 comments

  1. Well said Lee, love your columns and how you speak truth to power! Keep em coming no matter how much these corporations greenwash themselves and try to cloak themselves in standing up for social causes their only concern is their bottom line. This is both their strength and weakness if we as consumers make a point of boycotting, rejecting them, exposing hypocrisy we can undermine them at every turn. Chevron is a case in point an absolutely vile company take the case of Steve Donziger who took on Chevron’s pollution of Ecuador’s rainforest, water, and murder of indigenous people who opposed their greed, and legally challenged them and they now have him a lawyer with a conscience under house arrest in New York City. They can buy corrupt lawyers by the bushel, and even buy off judges in the criminal injustice system, then they go on to publish videos of how they are combatting climate change (my ass). Perhaps you can do a piece on Donziger to bring attention to his cause and bring his case into full view. Thank you brother for another great piece!

  2. The Corporate Capitalists, the MIC and the Deep State rule all, and have for decades used social issues like race, gender, religion and all the rest as a very effective method to divide the people against themselves, while they rape the world of resources and exploit and oppress the people in the name of “democracy” and “freedom.” While they in truth tolerate neither.

    Worse, it’s like the people’s ability to think, observe and judge critically has been lobotomized. Groupthink has replaced critical thought and the cult of me has replaced empathy and morality. The left was so eradicated and then co-opted that what remains seems to be trained victims utterly incapable of defending themselves.

    Dystopia is here. Ignorance is Strength. War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Those few who actually see and understand live in an alternate reality that makes the world seem very much like The Matrix. It really sucks and I know we are just getting started.

  3. I quite agree with all you’ve said, but I’m hoping that everything can still turn out for the best. And while this overlong reply may just be something you want to delete (and I’d say that’s your perfect right), I’m hoping that you’ll leave it here to be read, or at least read it and keep it in mind yourself.

    IMO we humans are in the middle of a climactic evolutionary struggle, which is in a very real way just Nature at work as always.

    How it turns out is up to us and our most unique feature, our brains.

    But our brains are still subject to our animal instincts, including our intense group loyalty, and the big question is: Can our different talents and handy hardware work together effectively? Or is there an imbalance that is too great? Like a sabertooth tiger’s most noteworthy features, which clearly proved impractical or we’d still see those huge teeth on every big cat everywhere. But they died out, like we might also.

    So that balancing and moderation is the question that could well determine our survival.

    More people need to understand what you’ve pointed out about corporations. They are quite efficient ways to organize human efforts. But Nature demands balance, and their powers have grown far beyond our capability to moderate and restrain them.

    And exactly as you say, they were constructed with just one goal in mind: cash and power for their owners and upper management. So the power-seekers are working to divide human groups by intensifying disagreement and downright hatred everywhere they can find any such characteristics to inflame. Purely to increase their cash flow and decrease our ability to control them. And so far they’re winning.

    They just recently discovered how to divide and rule even better by also appealing to our better nature: “Do what we say or you’ll be helping a vicious disease to kill other people”. Which is a massive lie to gain massive cash and totalitarian control, and which appears to be dominating the battle thus far. A fictionally exaggerated (maybe literally synthesized) common enemy.

    Besides trying to spread understanding among existing brains, as you are doing, THE BEST REMEDY IS FOR US HUMANS TO GET OUR BRAINS WORKING BETTER.

    AND WE CAN.

    BORIS SIDIS PROVED THIS OVER A CENTURY AGO, AND TURNED HIS SON WILLIAM INTO “THE SMARTEST MAN ALIVE” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Sidis
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Sidis

    The tragedy then was that Boris failed to recognize our major human need to be part of a friendly group, and William’s life story illustrates this. Much commentary deemed William’s brilliance to be a matter of chance, and pointed out his failure to rise to the top of society. But my own life story provides a couple of documentable data points supporting Sidis’ claims, including the fact that that our learning ability declines rapidly during our first few years, exactly as does the rate of our brain’s physical growth:

    Born in 1945, I was lovingly taught to read in my mother’s lap by age 3, and I clearly recall the stages of forming a unified self-consistent worldview that included systems thinking quite automatically. I soon grew dissatisfied with the kid stories that were my original motivation, and started reading whatever factual material I could find about the world, history and Nature. I could tell what was factual and what wasn’t by whether the images fit together smoothly into my worldview or involved contradictions. Contradictions of lack of credible cause-effect connections demanded further study to rectify the flaw in the image. Upon entering 1st grade I was given a Stanford Binet that said IQ 160+ and skipped into 2nd grade. Then I had to learn about numbers and elementary math for the first time, at double the age when I learned to read. Many years later in 1972, my GRE scores added up to 1580, also equivalent to a 160+ IQ. But my verbal was 830, 50 points above the 780 that was 99th %ile, yet my 750 math was only 93rd %ile. Older may be wiser, but not a better learner.

    Somehow I suspect that I’m not the only person to know this about the Sidis idea. But we also know well that while the old “survival of the fittest” idea is quite accurate, it fails to mention that being a constructive cooperator is a key requirement for being one of “the fittest”. The best modern evolution experts know this well, and have written great books about it (E.O. Wilson and others). Our corporations need to have this “cooperate constructively with humans” built in or we will all go the way of the sabertooth.

    So IMO there is real hope for a better future for all if we can manage to begin educating our young at the earliest age possible, and bringing them up in pleasantly social surroundings. Even our current rulers and would-be rulers would find their descendants entering a better world.

    Boris Sidis had much more to say about this than I can fit in here, which I highly recommend, at https://web.archive.org/web/20070909192551/http://www.sidis.net/philistine_and_genius_appendix.htm

    For now, all this old man can do is try to spread the word, and wish us all the best of luck.

  4. Corporations are legal entities set up specifically for the purpose of making profits from doing their business. They have an obligation to their shareholders to make and distribute profits. They can literally be held to account by shareholders if they don’t maximise profits.

    What we think of as “capitalism” is just a contemporary iteration of the feudal system. The majority of society are still the same old peasants labouring for life to enrich the elite.

  5. I just like that the greed is glutinous as well as gluttonous. Wouldn’t wanna get stuck with no gluten-free greed!

  6. Hiya, Lee! Brilliant column! The global corporate capitalist vampyre bitches have and will always care only about their own insatiable greed and power trips and destroying everything and everyone in their path to further this agenda. They have shown us their true colours so very clearly for so long that it should be obvious to anyone with even one brain cell left! WTF! They are 1% of 7.8 billion people sharing Mother Earth and WE are 99%. Do the maths, people, [or get your laptop or smartphone to do it for you] and see the endless possibilities! Let us unite in non-violent solidarity! They are the poison but WE are the antidote. Let us demand the IMMEDIATE arrest and trial of every last one of these criminals and send them to rot in their privatised prisons! Let us demand that their blood money and other assets be confiscated and given back to the people [that´s US] providing wealth and resources almost as limitless as their crimes for food, Universal Health Care, housing, education, and other URGENTLY needed social and environmental programmes an reforms. Let us replace their inhumane and inhuman system with a humane system by human beings for human beings. WE CAN HAVE IT IF WE WANT IT! REVOLUTION means CHANGE. CHANGE begins WITHIN and WITH US. Keep the faith and keep fighting comrades! iHASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE!

  7. Love your work and all the effort you put into disseminating real and pertinent information that goes unseen by many. Is there any chance that you might want to join forces with any and all bottoms up movements that share the same views? The corruption we see is systemic, and will not be changed by a rigged election since everything is controlled by a fascist (not communist, not socialist) government that works hand in hand with the military industrial complex and has nearly complete control of the media and our education system/dept. I am seeing many factions of our population that are becoming aware and have a common cause. If these smaller factions could be persuaded to join together, we might be able to grow into an actual worldwide movement. Off the top of my head, VAShiva, Thomas Paine, Jimmy Dore, Dr. Mercola, and many other doctors, and Gerald Celente are possible partners in a people’s movement. Also, all the various third parties, including Libertarians, People’s Party, Socialists, etc. might be persuaded to merge into one gigantic mass people’s movement. Hope you’d mull this over, and keep on fighting! Love your spirit and persistence!

  8. News flash, Lee. You ain’t gonna solve anything by trying to marginalize 70-80,000,000 voters. Not all Trump supporters or even all those who were illegally invited into the Capitol for photo-ops and misdemeanor arrest are “white supremacists.” Some of them were former Bernie supporters in 2016 and I bet even a few Tulsi supporters in 2020. You used to be funny when you punched up, but your snobbish stereotyping of duck hunters, people with beards and Trumpistas in general isn’t punching up and isn’t funny.

    Here’s another news flash. Lee. Corporations can’t be “white supremacist” because they aren’t people and have no race at all.

    But you’re right about one thing, Lee. Corporations are indeed “supremacist.” Their primary obligation is to generate profits for their shareholders, and once the markets for their products are saturated, they are therefor obligated to attempt to monopolize (become supreme in) those markets. They will say and do anything to appeal to a new market segment as long as it doesn’t significantly alienate members of other segments. They need not believe in principles they espouse and support financially. As long as some loud-mouthed interest group likes it and people outside that interest group are too disorganized to object, they will do it because corporations have no beliefs, no principles other than profit and ultimate supremacy. That includes firing (cancelling) innocent people who have beliefs contrary to a loud- mouthed interest group.

    A secondary interest of the people who control corporations, including top management and the Boards of Directors, is to protect their own white, black, brown, male, female or rainbow privilege. A major way to do that is to sow division among the non-privileged white, black, brown, male, female and rainbow dregs of society. I’m sure you, as a well-educated ass, are familiar with the Latin phrase, divide et impera.

    The elite of all colors and orientations thank you sincerely for your support.

    1. White supremacy is a core tentpole of the imperialism/capitalism systems of the past 500 years, which corporations have exploited ruthlessly. It allowed the very first colonial corporations to flourish and still supports the mainatanence of winner-take-all economic/political systems by supporting ranked hierarchies. This is isn’t academic theory, it’s obvious if you simply get in your car and drive across the country, through its cities, towns and reservations.

      Drawing neat lines is misleading, oversimplification is a trap. The Pentagon is part of the state, but is dominated by corporations, racism helps weaken “color-blind” unions/syndicalism, people can be poor AND privileged over other groups, people who oppose power don’t all have the same values/philosophy, and, yes, multicultural representation will not solve all problems, etc.

      Those nominally “left” who continually try to gaslight nonwhites into believing capitalism is the only challenge we all face are unwilling to examine their own blindspots.

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