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Matters of Corporate Expediency

A Socially Speaking Commentary from Perry Redd

A Socially Speaking Commentary from Perry Redd

It’s been some years since I swore off my allegiance to corporate entities. I used to get a kick out of shopping (pick a holiday). I used to search high and low for my favorite brand name; hell, I used to love the NFL! Things have changed since I’ve grown up—and out of love with exploitation and corporate expediency.

I think my transition began around the time corporations went robot on me. I used to call customer service and a human being would answer. We would banter around before they would transfer me to a supervisor. It was 50-50 if I got what I deserved. One thing for sure: times have changed. If I kept dickering around with corporations that place profits over people, I’ll surely get what I deserve. It’s abundantly clear that corporations only respond to the people after their profits are in danger.

Just think of all of the corporations that did the right thing only after they were forced to—not because they were responsible corporate citizens: In the BP Oil Spill of 2010, more than 200 million gallons of crude oil was pumped into the Gulf of Mexico for a total of 87 days, making it the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, yet, BP kept saying it wasn’t their fault. They executed a “BP’s Making It Right” PR campaign in lieu of admitting the truth. Just a few days ago, a federal judge found oil giant BP “grossly negligent” for its role.

So here we find ourselves staring this grand hypocrisy in the eye, yet again. The National Football League’s Baltimore Ravens have elected to suspend their star running back, Ray Rice, indefinitely. Effectually, he’s been fired. They’ve released him from his contract and ending their contractural obligations to him…he’s about to undergo a major money shortage. The Ravens—and the NFL—did it for the right reason: Rice knocked his then fiancée out cold.

So there’s no hypocrisy, you say? Well, the Ravens—and the NFL—only cut Rice after the gossip website TMZ released a second video of Rice actually punching his woman out. The first video showed the couple in conflict, and then Rice dragging her out of a hotel elevator. It was evident that she didn’t faint. The allegations made by the woman were adequately substantiated by the video—months ago! The league chose to suspend Rice for two games. What’s worse is that the state of Maryland chose not to charge Rice with assault.

It was clear that the man had hit the woman, though the first video didn’t show it. The couple admitted that there was a violent act as well. Some people were upset by the act of “domestic violence,” but it died down after a while. That’s how corporations conduct “damage control” campaigns. The public (you and I) are led to believe that there’s outrage and something will be done as punishment. Corporate surrogates—including the press—put faces in front of us to tell us, “You don’t want to ruin his entire life.”

I ask, what about the life of the victim? What I’ve come to learn is that with corporate interests, individual lives are simply collateral damage. That’s the principle of conservative thought; just read Ayn Rand. Well, as far as I’m concerned, people matter. Not punishing Ray Rice immediately after the incident was injustice. Ray Rice’s protectors need to be in jail along with him. Shielding a batterer is akin to sin in the Christian vernacular.

Just like the Catholic Church with its series of allegations, investigations, trials and convictions of child sexual abuse crimes committed by Catholic priests, nuns and members of Roman Catholic orders against children as young as three years. Even though they’ve paid out millions in hush settlements, they’re still denying it to this day!

Now, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley wants to have him prosecuted, when the governor was silent on the issue when the revelation first came to light. He’s the Chief Executive of the state and failed to call for this high-profile prosecution…solely because he’s a huge booster of a corporate contributor to the state.

Listen, we cannot continue to allow ourselves—especially as the working-class of this country—to be stomped on by the corporate class. Crime is crime, no matter who commits it; injustice is injustice, no matter who is denied it…or at least, that’s the way it should be. This is just another example of corporations doing the right thing only because it’s expedient to do so. You know it’s wrong, they know it’s wrong. You know they won’t do right by you unless someone’s watching them. That’s the corporation to cut out of your life—while it’s expedient to do so.

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