Al Sharpton Addresses McDonald’s Racial Discrimination Claims, Demands Immediate Change

Al Sharpton Addresses McDonald’s Racial Discrimination Claims, Demands Immediate Change

McDonald’s allegedly hasn’t settled its beef with the Black community.

Civil rights and social justice activist Al Sharpton has issued a warning through his activism group, The National Action Network (NAN), that it will “mobilize” against McDonald’s if the company fails to address alleged racial discrimination.

According to the New York Post, Sharpton directed a letter to McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski on Thursday, demanding the fast food chain address the racism accusations linked to employment, advertising, and franchising practices.

“We find it appalling and inexcusable that McDonald’s Corporation has not satisfied its differences with the Black community. There are lawsuits brought by Black franchises. Another brought by a Black former executive over racial discrimination from the highest levels,” Sharpton said. “And let’s not forget the $10 billion lawsuit brought by Byron Allen over the fact that Black-owned media did not get its fair share of McDonald’s supersized advertising budgets.”

NAN’s letter also covered the issue of the recent removal of Ariel Investments Co-CEO John W. Rogers Jr. from the McDonald’s Corporation board of directors.

“We are also outraged at the removal of John Rogers, a well-respected business leader for the Black community, from the Board of Directors. We unequivocally demand they immediately acknowledge and address these issues, or we will begin a national campaign around McDonald’s. You cannot sell Black folks Big Macs and give us little justice,” the minister continued in the letter.

McDonald’s Corporation announced the retirement of Rogers from the board of directors in March, following 20 years with the company. According to the press release, Rogers retired alongside Robert A. Eckert, who  joined the board with him in 2003.

“These retirements are consistent with the Board’s commitment to ongoing refreshment that maintains an appropriate balance of continuity and institutional knowledge with fresh perspectives among Directors,” McDonald’s explained in Rogers and Eckert’s retirement announcement.

Rogers spoke with BLACK ENTERPRISE President and CEO Earl “Butch” Graves at BE‘s Wealth Building Summit two weeks ago in Atlanta, and dropped some gems regarding the key responsibilities of Black board members who represent Black communities. The corporate investor explained that African Americans in the board room should focus on purchasing, philanthropy, and people, as they fight for economic justice and make “good trouble,” to quote late civil rights activist John Lewis.


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