Soft drink giant Coca-Cola removed a sentence from its website regarding donations made to Black Lives Matter after the activist group came out in support of the Palestinian terror group Hamas. The sentence, which mentioned a $500,000 donation made by Sprite, a brand owned by Coca-Cola, has since been deleted from the company's "Taking A Stand" webpage.
The company stated that they recognized their duty to strive for greater racial equity in their communities and that they were using their voice and reach to take a stand. However, the now-deleted sentence referenced a donation made to Black Lives Matter Global Network, specifically for their voting education efforts and Black Future Month program, "to empower the next generation of Black youths."
Concerns were raised after it was discovered that some Black Lives Matter chapters publicly expressed support for Palestinians, with some appearing to support Hamas itself. This comes after several deadly terrorist attacks orchestrated by Hamas on Israel, resulting in the deaths of over 1,400 civilians, including children.
CAUGHT RED-HANDED. @CocaCola deletes its support for BLM.
One screenshot is of @CocaCola's website before BLM supported Hamas parachuting into a concert to kill Israeli civilians.
The other is from this morning.
Editing your website is not enough. Americans DEMAND an apology. pic.twitter.com/WKRdxVrTu8
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 20, 2023
Senator Ted Cruz brought attention to the issue, stating that "Editing your website is not enough. Americans DEMAND an apology." Cruz's statement reflects the outrage felt by many, as Hamas has a history of using violence against innocent civilians.
Black Lives Matter Chicago, one of the chapters that showed support for Palestinians, posted an image on Instagram of a paraglider carrying a Palestinian flag with the words, "I stand with Palestine." It is worth noting that Hamas has used paragliders to enter Israeli communities before carrying out attacks on civilians.
In another post, Black Lives Matter Chicago shared a cartoon depicting a person saying, "This isn't about Hamas - this is about Palestinians right to resist 75 years of Israeli settlers colonizing their native land." The post added, "That is all that is it!" It has since been deleted.
Similarly, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles posted on Instagram that the resistance of the Palestinian people must not be condemned. They stated, "As the world is faced with deep questions about self-determination, we must stand unwaveringly on the side of the oppressed." They also added that when a people have been subject to decades of violence and apartheid, their resistance must be understood as a desperate act of self-defense. This post remains on their Instagram page.
Coca-Cola's decision to remove the mention of their donation to Black Lives Matter, coupled with the continued support of some Black Lives Matter chapters for Hamas, has sparked controversy and calls for an apology. The company has not yet issued a statement regarding the issue.
As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, it remains to be seen if the support shown by some Black Lives Matter chapters for the Palestinian group will have any impact on the public's perception of the activist organization.