When Buying Cereal Becomes Un-American

“[Kellogg Co.] pulling its advertising from Breitbart News is a decidedly…un-American act. The only sensible response is to join together and boycott Kellogg’s products in protest.” 

– Alexander Marlow (Editor-in-Chief, Breitbart News)

It was reported in the news on 30 Nov. 2016 that Kellogg had decided to pull its ads from media giant Breitbart.com (45 million monthly readers) because it’s not “aligned with our values as a company.” In response, Breitbart News has launched a #DumpKelloggs petition and is calling for a boycott of the food giant.

Kellogg’s advertising guidelines state that it won’t place ads in media that “encourages offensive behavior to others, or where the media is not consistent with our product or corporate image.” And Kellogg isn’t alone. Other companies have pulled their ads from Breitbart in recent weeks, including the insurance giant Allstate, internet service EarthLink, finance company SoFi, home smart products Nest and the ad exchange AppNexus. “We determined that the site violates our hate speech prohibition,” said Josh Zeitz, a spokesman for AppNexus. 

So just what is so offensive about Breibart? Maybe some of their headlines/articles:

• The solution to online ‘harassment’ is simple: Women should log off

• Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy

• Suck it up buttercups: Dangerous Faggot Tour returns to colleges in September

• Hoist it high and proud: The Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage

• Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?

• Gay rights have made us dumber, it’s time to get back in the closet

• Science proves it: Fat-shaming works

• There’s no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews

Steve Bannon, the company’s executive chairman and a former advisor to Sarah Palin was Trump’s campaign manager and has been named chief White House strategist. It goes without saying that Breitbart News backed Trump during his campaign, especially supporting his views on immigration (anti-Mexican) and national security (anti-Muslim.)

Bannon has publically acknowledged that Breitbart News (“We are fearless advocates for traditional American values”) serves as a platform for the alt-right — the ultraconservative movement. The term “alt-right” is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center and others as “a set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that ‘white identity’ is under attack by multicultural forces using ‘political correctness’ and ‘social justice’ to undermine white people and ‘their’ civilization.”

Wow! Imagine that, the decision by many companies, in defense of their own customers who may not subscribe to the same “traditional American values” that Breitbart espouses, who have decided not to monetarily support, or be associated with, a business that is so far out of the mainstream, that has engaged in what they consider hate speech and promoting offensive behaviour, is somehow now un-American and warrants economic retaliation.

I wonder if racism, sexism and miscegony, hate speech, homophobia, being offensive and extracting revenge will be the core values of the new administration. 

Oh, wait! It worked during the campaign, resonated with and galvanized enough people to win the election – if not by popular vote then in the Electorial College.

So I guess maybe so.

– Bill


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