Frank Wilkinson for Bloomberg View:
It’s amazing that corporations have gotten away with it for so long.
Cheerios had a social moment back in 2013 with an ad featuring a mixed-race family. Racists didn’t much like the idea of little rings of oats dunked in milk being swallowed by race-mixers, and they used the lowest common denominator of social protest — the Internet — to vent. YouTube comments linked to the ad, Adweek reported, included references to “racial genocide.”
Cheerios seemed unfazed. “At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all,” a Cheerios spokesperson said. That’s nice, isn’t it?
Then, in 2016, when the Republican Party chose a presidential nominee who demonized Mexicans, repeatedly linked blacks with violent crime and earned enthusiastic support from Nazis, Cheerios maker General Mills gavemore than twice as much money to Republicans as the company gave to Democrats.
Like a lot of companies, General Mills seems to like Democratic consumers and Republican voters. It’s a familiar dichotomy.