In what is being framed as a show of solidarity against discrimination, racism and all things evil, Macy’s has enthusiastically boarded the Donald Trump Hate Train along with NBC and Univision. But before others rush to get their tickets stamped, they should consider the destination from a PR standpoint – because it might not be one they’ll be happy to visit.
The hate wave started thanks to Trump himself, of course. His viewpoint on immigration is extreme, and the way he expressed it was pretty unnecessary, inflammatory and ‘in your face.’ Why, it’s enough to alienate half of the country and make his chances at being a serious Republican primary contender that much less so . . . or is it?
The timing for his remarks couldn’t have been more perfectly thought out, as he’s undoubtedly well aware. With Americans on both sides of the aisle concerned about ISIS, the recent threat alerts issued for The Fourth, and borders so far from secure it’s a travesty – Trump calling for increasing our Southern security is something (much of) America wants.
But saying so isn’t okay. And mostly because ‘build a wall’ advocates tend to lose patience with the ‘open border’ narrative and speak to the most negative aspects of illegal immigration (much like open border folks emphasize positive aspects) – and that’s what Trump did here. Political discussions are polarizing and aren’t primarily focused on feelings, they’re focused on facts. It’s the same with business. And THAT is something Trump understands. And, like it or not, it’s something the American people respect.
Univision taking action against Trump is decisive and deserved. They obviously have strong leadership and understand their demographic. But it’s also where the sideways spin unfortunately started, with Univision’s CEO Randy Falco explaining his thinking this way: ‘We cannot be associated with insulting and intolerant speech that brands an entire community of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. as people who bring drugs, crime and rape into our country.’”
Did you catch that? “An entire community of Mexican immigrants in the U.S.” Not illegal immigrants getting nabbed by border guards, and the further subset to which Trump’s remarks apply, but the entire community. The distinction is significant.
And then we have NBC. In a turn nobody expected, after the network inexplicably kept on its shamed Nightly News anchor (though in a lesser capacity), NBC severed ties with its cash cow, The Donald. Why? Was it their commitment to a higher moral ethic suddenly kicking in? Or was it because he did something that has become taboo these days: expressed an uncomfortable political opinion publicly?
OR – could NBC really have misunderstood Trump’s words to be an overarching condemnation of ALL Mexican-Americans? One would assume NBC is well versed in the nuances of language. Apparently not: “Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.”
And now, as the Hate Train picks up steam, we have Macy’s climbing aboard and waving enthusiastically at passersby.“We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico. We do not believe the disparaging characterizations portray an accurate picture of the many Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Latinos who have made so many valuable contributions to the success of our nation.”
Well, and neither does Trump, as he’s stated repeatedly: “I love the Mexican people and have great respect for Mexico,” Trump says. “But Mexico has totally taken advantage of the United States, both at the border and at trade. I’m exposing the truth.”
Can you see how this is building upon itself? Can you see how ANY uncomfortable political viewpoint could be blown beyond its obvious intent similarly? And do you REALLY want to encourage this bombastic behavior?
If so, climb aboard the hate train, but just understand where it will take you – and what it will say about you and your business. Because although political affiliation (and retaliation around it) may not be protected in whatever state you reside, you really never know where shareholders or potential business partners fall on the political spectrum, nor can you be sure of their comfort level with yours.
This post originally appeared on Commpro.biz
IMAGE CREDIT: NICOLAS RAYMOND