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To: McDonald's CEO Christopher Kempczinski
McDonald’s CEO: Address racism at McDonald's and beyond
After the tragic deaths of 7-year old Jaslyn Adams and 13-year old Adam Toledo, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski texted Chicago Mayor Lightfoot that their parents were to blame.
“Tragic shootings last week, both at our restaurant yesterday and with Adam Toledo," wrote Kempczinski in an April 19 text message to Mayor Lightfoot recently released via a public records request. "Both the parents failed those kids, which I know is something you can't say. Even harder to fix."
This isn’t just wrong: it’s based on racist, outdated, lazy stereotypes -- but typical from a company like McDonald’s.
ENOUGH. Demand Kempczinski immediately meet with Black and brown McDonald’s workers and community leaders to address systemic racism in his company.
Why is this important?
McDonald’s advertises heavily to Black and brown communities and relies on them to make billions. McDonald's makes deals with Black and brown celebrities and tweets about standing with Black lives. They try to co-opt Black and brown cultures and movements to sell burgers, but it's clear what the company says in private.
McDonald's: if you really want to stand with Black and brown communities, prove it. Not with words or slogans, but by taking action to lift up Black and brown workers and our communities.
McDonald’s Black and brown workers have been speaking out about racial discrimination at the company’s stores nationwide. They say that they have been called “ghetto,” “lazy,” “smelly,” and told they “shouldn’t even exist.” They claim that they have faced targeted retaliation for raising the alarm about racism in the workplace. They have long been paid starvation wages and dismissed in their demands for $15/hr.
McDonald’s could be a leader by paying living wages and working with communities to end violence, poverty, and despair. Instead, they just try to shift blame.