Monday, November 07, 2005

Money is a drag

Tyson Foods, about whom we've written a geat deal here, tried to sneak on through the back door. As we reported a while back, they have legal problems, culminating in a class action lawsuit joined by the EEOC for discrimination in the workplace.

Not to be deterred, they tried the oldest trick in the book: they tried to buy some credibility. As Saadiq Mance writes at
Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) has donated $26,000 to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) to support the non-profit organization's leadership education efforts, the company announced.

This morning Tyson Foods issued a press release stating that the majority of the money will be used to fund CBCF scholarships in six congressional districts where Tyson operates plants. This includes districts represented by Rep. Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi. It also includes the state of Illinois represented by Senator Barak Obama.

Hoping it would result in some congressional Get Out Of Jail Free card, I assume. Mance goes on:

However, America should not be fooled by this new found gratitude of Tyson Foods, Inc in light of a lawsuit the company faces for violating federal civil rights laws.

On August 12th, 2005, Emerging Minds News reported that twelve African-American employees of Tyson Foods, Inc. filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, alleging that a "Whites Only" sign and a padlock denied them access to a bathroom in the Ashland plant. The complaint states that numerous white employees had keys to the bathroom that were not provided to African-American workers.

Tyson followed in the proud tradition of other corporations who, when embarrased, decided to give some racial love. The article goes on:

Tyson Food’s donation of $26,000 to the Congressional Black Caucus is in the wake of Wachovia (NYSE: WB) and Bank of America’s (NYSE: BAC) admission of guilt for historically building its company from money made from the forced servitude of Africans that were brutally brainwashed after they were kidnapped from their native lands.

Both Wachovia and Bank of America have attempted similar tactics of paying off “mainstream” Black organizations to quiet down potential backlash from the Black community.

As a result of Wachovia’s admission of guilt for slavery the company told the press that it plans to distribute only $10 million over a five year period through a string of new and enhanced partnerships with at least two of the "good ol’ boys" of civil rights pacifiers, the United Negro College Fund and the NAACP.

In turn, Bank of America pledged only $5 million over a three-year period for institutions and programs involved in preserving African-American history. In addition, Bank of America said that the $5 million offer will build on “existing commitments”, inferring that no new initiatives will be started and failed to cite which organizations their monetary pledge will benefit.

As Wilson Pickett once sang, "Do you like soul music, yeah, yeah".