In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, companies of all sizes and industries in the U.S. have been donating to social justice nonprofits, posting positive messages on social media and generally being publicly active in the realm of human rights and advocacy. Some see this corporate activism as a step in the right direction of equality. Others, according to a new survey, believe it isn’t important for companies to take sides on social issues, and most believe they're not doing it out of the kindness of their heart.
In a new survey from Pew Research Center, 41 percent of respondents said they felt it was either somewhat or very important for U.S. companies to make public statements on political or social issues. A larger plurality of 48 percent said it was either not too important or not at all important.
Distinct discrepancies in ethnicity and political party were observed in the survey. While 58 percent of white Americans said it was not too important or not at all important, just 25 percent of Black Americans said the same. Similar percentages were seen in Hispanic and Asian respondents, with just 66 percent and 70 percent, respectively, saying it was somewhat or very important for companies to speak publicly on societal issues. 71 percent of Democrat respondents said the same, while 69 percent of Republicans said it was not too important or not at all important.
Still, respondents were in agreement on why they believed companies were speaking out publicly. 69 percent said pressure from others has contributed a great deal to companies making recent statements, with just 19 percent saying it was from a place of genuine concern about the treatment of Black people in the country.