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In what appears to be corporate America’s latest attempt at virtue-signaling support for “Black Lives Matter” and the Left-wing effort to “defund” or “disband” police departments, sportswear giant Nike has announced it will make “Juneteenth” a company holiday.
As several reports noted, the company added June 19, the earliest-known celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, as a paid holiday, along with other corporations including Twitter, Square, and Vox Media. The NFL has also announced it would make the date a company holiday.
The decision by Nike was announced Thursday in a letter to employees. The highly recognizable sportswear brand also announced a series of actions in the planning as protests against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis continue around the country.
“At Nike, Inc., we aspire to be a leader in building a diverse, inclusive team and culture. We want to be better than society as a whole,” wrote CEO John Donahoe.
He added that the observance of Juneteenth will become a yearly opportunity “to better commemorate and celebrate Black history and culture.”
Though the company has relied heavily on black athletes to promote the brand, Donahoe said Nike should still be doing more for its black staffers.
He claimed that the company’s black workers feel “a disconnect between our external brand and your internal experience.”
“You have told me that we have not consistently supported, recognized and celebrated our own Black teammates in a manner they deserve. This needs to change,” he wrote, adding that Nike’s top management team will ensure the workforce becomes more diverse through the hiring of additional black, Latinx, and female staffers.
While Donohue did not provide any specific figures, Adidas, one of Nike’s biggest competitors, has pledged to fill at least 30 percent of all new positions with black or Latinx workers — a promise that some, including whites and Asians, may find discriminatory in and of itself.
That said, while corporate America increasingly plans to recognize and officially celebrate Juneteenth, President Donald Trump was heavily criticized by Leftist Democrats for planning to relaunch his 2020 campaign rallies, post-coronavirus, on June 19th in Tulsa, site of the worst act of racial violence in the country’s history.
That date was changed to June 20th by the president’s reelection campaign earlier this week.
“We had previously scheduled our MAGA Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for June 19th. Unfortunately, this would fall on the Juneteenth Holiday. Many of my African-American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out of respect for this Holiday,” the president wrote on Twitter. “I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests. I look forward to seeing everyone in Oklahoma!”
The campaign announced that it had already received more than 300,000 ticket sign-ups.
In criticizing the original Juneteenth date selection, some Democrats accused the president of being “racist.”
“This isn’t just a wink to white supremacists—he’s throwing them a welcome home party,” tweeted Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who is angling to be selected as likely 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate.
This isn't just a wink to white supremacists—he's throwing them a welcome home party. https://t.co/lUXpnUoFQU
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 11, 2020
“How racist is Donald Trump: He’s so racist that he plans on having one of his first campaign rallies on June 19th in Tulsa, OK,” added Kamau Marshall, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, on Twitter.
How racist is Donald Trump:
He’s so racist that he plans on having one of his first campaign rallies on June 19th in Tulsa, OK.
If you don’t know — Do some research on #Juneteenth and the racial violence that took place in Oklahoma known as the Tulsa Race Massacre, 1921.
— Kamau Marshall (@KamauMandela) June 10, 2020
Not all African-Americans are vehemently opposed to the president, and in fact, many are supportive and working to ensure he is reelected, in part, by convincing other blacks his leadership is better for them and for the country.
“The Black Community needs to stand up for this President!” Our desire is to see an historical turnout of black voters for President Trump If you support President Trump show some love! R/T #BlackVoicesForTrump @realDonaldTrump @BlackVoices4DJT pic.twitter.com/PlMFJl3O8l
— Michael J Armstrong Jr “MichaelJ1977” (@TheOneGodMade) June 13, 2020
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