Corporate WATCHBy Joe Schaeffer
Popular crowd-sourced business review site Yelp has upped the ante on the Woke feeding frenzy underway in Corporate America these days with its insane Oct. 8 announcement that it would be placing a "Business Accused of Racist Behavior Alert" on the Yelp pages of companies "when a business gains attention for reports of racist conduct," whatever the heck that means.
Obviously the sketchy parameters that will be involved here are ripe for the kind of targeted abuse that can put companies, and working Americans, out of business. But what do the folks at Yelp care about that, as long as leftist preening can be put on very public display?
The move is far from out of character. A closer look at Yelp reveals a corporation completely devoted to Democratic politics, a markedly leftist cultural viewpoint and deliberate efforts to bully those who disagree. Please review the following, and remember, when you use Yelp you are helping a sinister operation build the brand muscle it hopes to wield in pursuit of its partisan progressive agenda.
Yelp was all in on the Marxist Black Lives Matter movement that skyrocketed back onto the national scene in early June following the death of George Floyd. It eagerly joined in on the wholly irresponsible verbal hysteria that did so much to help pave the way for a summer of chaos, violence, looting and rioting. A June 4 Yelp missive titled "Five Ways to Support Black-Owned Businesses" declared:
"In the midst of a pandemic, we are also battling the current societal ills of racism, police brutality, and institutionalized systemic oppression. The recent injustices, abuse, and senseless loss of Black lives have been horrific, leaving many feeling outraged, saddened, and helpless."
Yelp CEO and co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman was even more ominous in his remarks, explicitly stating that there would be "no going back to business as usual" (bold added):
Our country has a long and fraught history of systemic oppression and anti-Black racism that we have shamefully not yet come close to overcoming. Police brutality, disproportionate incarceration, income disparity, the opportunity gap, and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black and other minority communities, are only a few of the symptoms of this crisis. Recent events, starting with the brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, have made racial injustice something that we must deal with immediately as a society. The senseless loss of Black life occurring over and over in our country, and particularly this latest scene of horrific racist abuse of power, have left me feeling disgust, outrage and deep sadness.
There can be no going back to "business as usual" when the protests, tweets and news cycle die down. We all have to do our part to get educated, and we must use our voices, votes and whatever power and platform we have to reject racism in all its forms, until we put an end to this oppression that has plagued our country for centuries.
Stoppelman is no unbiased voice here. He is a committed Democratic supporter and avowed opponent of President Donald Trump. Let's document a bit of it. In a 2018 tweet on his personal Twitter account, Stoppelman wrote that he was a donor to a law organization that he believed was "focused on fighting Trump policies."
In 2017 he tweeted his opposition to Trump's ban on refugees from known terrorist-supporting nations.
In June 2018, progressive Rep. Ro Khanna, California Democrat, personally thanked Stoppelman and other "tech leaders from Silicon Valley," including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerman, "for making your voices heard in opposition to President Trump’s family separation policy [for illegal aliens at our southern border] and showing what true values are."
In an Aug. 2016 tweet, Stoppelman boasted: "I'm maxed out to @HillaryClinton":
Stoppelman was a member of "Technology for Obama" – a group of Silicon Valley executives who officially backed President Obama's re-election effort in 2012. "T4O is about much more than fundraising,” Steve Westly, a leading Silicon Valley investor, told Politico at the time. "It leverages the tremendous technological skills of the President's supporters into innovative tools to reach out to voters and communicate the campaign's message. T4O speaks to how well President Obama understands technology and the transformational role it can play."
Stoppelman particularly enjoys using Yelp's brand clout as a Big Stick to promote a leftist cultural agenda.
In 2015 he actively opposed religious protection laws for businesses that would prevent them from having to violate their personal consciences to promote the homosexual agenda. Stoppelman openly threatened economic repercussions on his company's part for states that did not comply:
[I]t is unconscionable to imagine that Yelp would create, maintain, or expand a significant business presence in any state that encouraged discrimination by businesses against our employees, or consumers at large. I encourage states that are considering passing laws like the one rejected by Arizona or adopted by Indiana to reconsider and abandon these discriminatory actions. (We’re looking at you, Arkansas.)
In 2019 he likewise signed onto a massive corporate effort to strong-arm states into refusing to enact laws restricting abortion. The campaign contained an unmentioned but unmistakable threat of economic blowback for states that would not comply.
"Chief executives of more than 180 companies are urging lawmakers to step back from restrictive abortion laws, arguing that they 'hinder people's health, independence and ability to fully succeed in the workplace,'" CBS News reported. "The open letter also contends that anti-abortion policies are 'bad for business.' "
Yelp is very serious about its devotion to abortion. The company has taken pains to assure that abortion searches on its site only go to clinics that perform abortions, not those that would offer women an alternative to murdering the child growing inside them. A 2019 article at the rabidly pro-abortion Rewire News Group site explains:
How did Yelp ensure abortion care seekers would not be offered search results from those looking to dissuade people from seeking the service? Yelp said it manually reviewed over 2,000 businesses and re-categorized clinics that don’t provide abortions as “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” or “Faith-Based Crisis Pregnancy Centers.”
That included gathering information from business websites and social media pages, looking at reviews from customers, and examining information that the businesses contribute to Yelp.
“While it’s a painstaking, manual process to ensure accurate categorization at scale, it’s a challenge we prioritize and take seriously,” Yelp spokesperson Kathleen Liu told Rewire.News.
In June we wrote about Barack Obama embedding his people into major companies that are now leading the way in expressing corporate support for Black Lives Matter radicals. Consider Yelp infected. Ex-Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs is on the Yelp Board of Directors.
Sharon Rothstein is also on the Board of Directors. She too seems an ideal fit. Rothstein was a major exec at Starbucks from 2013-18. From her Yelp bio:
Ms. Rothstein served as Executive Vice President, Global Chief Marketing Officer and subsequently, Executive Vice President, Global Chief Product Officer for Starbucks, the specialty coffee retailer, where she had responsibility for the Starbucks brand and go-to-market plan as well as the company’s portfolio of product platforms. Ms. Rothstein led the creation of the narrative for Starbucks’ global retail experiences and directed all product initiatives, creative expressions, advertising, and omni channel marketing and merchandising.
As part of her "brand and go-to-market" plans Rothstein no doubt played a major role in the 2015 Starbucks holiday cup fiasco that Trump successfully employed as a campaign weapon in his run to the White House in 2016.
The 2015 cups were plain red and were widely panned for representing a corporate attempt to blank Christmas out of the Christmas season. It was a major mess for the company, and it could not spin its way out of it, though an embattled Rothstein certainly tried.
In 2016, trying to make up for the previous year's PR catastrophe while still going woke, and apparently fully expecting a Hillary Clinton victory, Starbucks went with more traditional – albeit generic – seasonal designs. But with a twist. Mashable reported:
This year's holiday cups are red and white, and feature 13 different designs from 13 women from six countries.
“We hope that this year’s red holiday cup designs express the shared spirit of the holidays as told by our customers,” Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks' global chief marketing officer, said in a press release.
Gee, you can almost hear the resentment just reading that quote.
The new cups were unveiled one day after the presidential election. It's positively eerie how Starbucks' official corporate announcement absolutely refused to use the word "Christmas."
"For many, when Starbucks red cups return, it's a signal that the holiday season is drawing near," the sterile lead sentence read.
A Nov. 9 release date. Feminist "holiday" cups to toast a Hillary victory! But – oops – Trump won, ruining Starbucks' little globalist feminist celebration.
From the Mashable article (BOO-HOO):
"After an emotional election night and a decision that has reminded me and millions of other women that yes, in fact, we still have a long way to go, seeing 11 proud young women on stage felt like it mattered.
"Believe me, I was not expecting to find solace today at a Starbucks cup launch event. But seeing a powerful American corporation positively employing the designs of 13 diverse women means something."
And just like that, Sharon Rothstein's celebratory cups had become tear repositories!
This is the world inhabited by Yelp. There is simply no reason for patriotic Americans to be a part of it.
Joe Schaeffer is the former Managing Editor of The Washington Times National Weekly Edition. His columns appear at WorldTribune.com, LibertyNation.com and FreePressInternational.org.
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