Reason Roundup

New Campaign Against 'Woke Companies' Slams Them for Not Being Woke Enough

Plus: DOJ ditches bid to unmask Devin Nunes parody account, a fight for food truck freedom in Florida, and more...


Woke has officially jumped the shark. Like political correctness before it, the term woke has become an all-purpose way to drum up conservative and contrarian outrage. Did a business make a minor decision about how to manage its own property or staff? Yes, but it was a woke decision—cue the pitchforks! Did people pledge to boycott some product or entertainer, as people have been doing throughout time? Yes, but it was a woke boycott—give some cash to your nearest anti-canceling org, quick!

Bless Consumers' Research for illustrating this tendency so nicely. The group has launched a major new campaign to protect consumers from "woke companies" and "put corporations on notice," telling them "it's time to start serving your customers and stop serving woke politicians." As a first step toward this end, Consumers' Research has made "an ad buy of well over seven figures" to air spots critical of American Airlines, Coca-Cola, and Nike.

But here's where things get weird: The policies these companies are under fire for are anything but woke, by any stretch of the definition. Some are politically neutral moves, like American Airlines shrinking passenger legroom. Most are things more typically criticized by Democrats and others on the left—the very "woke" factions that Consumers' Research is allegedly pissed at companies for kowtowing to.

The group's main gripe with Nike and Coca-Cola is that they've "been exploiting foreign, potentially forced, labor in China." Nike is specifically slammed for using Uighur labor. But Democrats have been calling it out abuse of Chinese Uighurs for at least as long and as loudly as some Republicans have. The condemnation has been extremely bipartisan; the idea that "woke politicians" enjoy seeing American products made with forced Uighur labor is absurd.

Coca-Cola is also criticized for "poisoning America's youth and worsening the obesity epidemic." The ad ends with a plea for the company to "stop poisoning our children" and to "serve your customers, not woke politicians," as if it isn't "woke politicians" who've been hammering the company over sugary drinks for years, proposing all sorts of regulatory remedies as their non-woke counterparts rightfully emphasized market pressure and personal responsibility.

Consumers' Research criticizes American Airlines for laying off workers during the pandemic, for taking pandemic bailout money (as part of airline bailouts championed by President Donald Trump and criticized by many on the left), and for paying its chief executive a high salary.

The lone actually conservative complaint about these companies concerns new voter laws. American Airlines is slammed for criticizing voter ID laws while requiring identification to fly. Never mind that one is a private commercial activity and the other a constitutional right, nor that it's the government (not individual airlines) who set traveler ID policies. Coca-Cola's CEO is criticized for "attacking Georgia's popular voting law." But both of these gripes are tossed in the midst of complaints about these companies not being woke enough.

If Consumers' Research wasn't a long-standing conservative group, I would suspect these ads were some sort of psyop aimed at getting unsuspecting rank-and-file right-wingers to support more progressive causes. As it stands, the only explanation is that the term woke has totally lost any semblance of meaning it once had and has become conservatives' catch-all term to lob against anyone or anything they're trying to insult.


Department of Justice (DOJ) ditches attempt to out politician parody account. The DOJ said it will drop an attempt to go after an account mocking California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes:


Food truck competition at the center of new constitutional challenge in Florida. The libertarian public interest law firm Institute for Justice (IJ) is suing on behalf of SOL Burger, a food truck that intended to serve customers in Tarpon Springs, Florida. "A local craft brewery invited SOL Burger to serve from its parking lot," notes IJ. "But some restaurant owners bristle at mobile competition. When they complained, the Tarpon Springs Board of Commissioners reacted by banning all food trucks from the downtown area except for those operated by brick-and-mortar restaurants located in Tarpon Springs."

IJ argues this is unconstitutional:

The Florida Constitution prohibits using government power to benefit a favored economic group at the expense of others. Yet that is exactly what Tarpon Springs' ban has done: It pick winners and losers in the marketplace instead of allowing customers to make that choice.

You can read their full complaint here.


• A new law in Tennessee requires any business that "allows a member of either biological sex to use any public restroom within the building or facility" to post warning signs about it.

• After almost four decades of incarceration, Betty Jean Broaden—"one of Louisiana's oldest women serving a life sentence"—is now free, reports "Prosecutors and a judge agreed that she never should have been convicted of killing a man she said tried to rape her in her Irish Channel apartment."

• Maryland restaurants will be allowed to serve to-go cocktails through June 2023. "Maryland is now one of 35 states allowing to-go cocktails as a Covid relief measure," reports CBS Baltimore.

• Good news out of Philadelphia, where incumbent District Attorney Larry Krasner, who was vehemently opposed by the local Fraternal Order of Police, won tidily. Voters also approved other criminal justice reforms elsewhere in Pennsylvania:

• A revisionist history of Sinead O'Connor.

• Overreacting to domestic terrorism makes it worse, warns J.D. Tuccille.

• Texas has passed a free-range kids law.