End the duopoly

In This Time of Social Change, Can a Brand Also Be an Ally?

A symptom of brands sounding more and more like people is that we more frequently look to companies to mirror our ideologies.

Coconut water is expected to clap back at people who pronounce a distaste for it on Twitter, it’s not surprising when Steak-Umm’s social media accounts rant about cognitive dissonance, or for Popeyes and Chick-fil-A to fight publicly and pettily about who has the better-fried chicken sandwich.

But, no matter how surreal it is to watch companies pivot their voice in the hopes of seeming more human, what remains is that, well, they’re not.

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Brands are not people, and few things demonstrate that stark contrast like brands responding to this generation’s civil rights uprising.

For the past two weeks, brands have released somber graphics and carefully workshopped statements referencing “systemic racism” across corporate social media accounts in response to protests sweeping the nation.

Social media silence became complicity; not posting (or posting too flippantly) became seen as tantamount to siding with the machinations of white supremacy that have subjugated, killed, and marginalized Black people like George Floyd , Breonna Taylor , and Ahmaud Arbery for centuries.

In poured statements from streaming platforms , tech conglomerates , burger chains (hell, […]

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