Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
When most people think of Nike, they think of Colin Kaepernick, the disgraced racist ex-NFL player advocating for a cop killer who became the public face of the company, but a more accurate picture would be one of its lobbyists like Michael McSwain or Jesse McCollum.
McSwain worked as Obama’s Senior Associate Director of Scheduling before joining Nike and is now its manager of Government and Public Affairs, which is to say, top lobbyist. These days he divides his time between cheering Democrats and booing Republicans on Twitter, while denouncing tariffs on Communist China, but also his quieter work behind the scenes for Nike.
Slave labor is the lifeblood of Nike. And it’s not only tariffs, but human rights legislation, that threaten its survival. Even while Nike spends millions lecturing Americans about racism, it’s desperately fighting to keep its slaves working on their plastic plantations in Communist China.
It’s one of the reasons why the sportswear company spends over $1 million a year on lobbyists.
Records show that $920,000 were spent on Nike’s official lobbyists, men like McSwain and Jesse McCollum, a former chief of staff for House Democrats, whose bio unironically bears a “Lobbying for Kicks” sticker, and another $400,000 went to outside firms, with Nike’s listed lobbyists including, Josh Kardon, the former chief of staff to Senator Ron Wyden, and Oregon chair of Hillary’s presidential campaign, once dubbed the most influential unelected official in Oregon, and Dean Aguillen, a Clinton appointee, and senior adviser to Nancy Pelosi.
Nike employees poured a quarter of a million dollars into Biden’s presidential campaign.
Nike’s PAC also spent over a quarter of a million, most of it, $213,000, going to Democrats. The top recipients of Nike dough were lefties like Rep. Peter DeFazio, Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Rep. Kurt Schrader. At least one of Nike’s lobbyists used to be a staffer for Schrader.
What does a company best known for making bad sneakers need with that much firepower?
At issue is the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act which would make it difficult for companies relying on slave labor from China. Nike had issued a statement claiming that it “does not source products” from Xinyang, yet lobbying disclosures show that it had been paying Aguillen, among many other lobbyists, to lobby on the bill, even while claiming it’s not utilizing slave labor.
And Nike’s lobbying doesn’t stop there. Records also show that it lobbied on the Hong Kong Autonomy Act which imposed sanctions on Chinese figures for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy. And, considering Nike’s record, it seems wildly implausible that it was lobbying for it.
Nike had made anti-racism into its brand. America, it claimed, was racist, while Nike was good.
“Systemic racism and the events that have unfolded across America over the past few weeks serve as an urgent reminder of the continued change needed in our society,” Nike CEO John Donahoe had falsely claimed after the riots. “The Nike family can always do more but will never stop striving to role model how a diverse company acts.”
This is how a diverse company actually acts. But at least Nike is keeping its commitment to a more “diverse” workforce. Even if the diverse workforce has to be kept behind barbed wire.
Nike isn’t alone. Some of the most obnoxiously loud social justice companies in America are joining the covert push to undermine the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in Congress.
Apple has spent over $5 million lobbying this year, while Coca Cola spent over $6 million. At least some of their lobbying appears to have touched on efforts to stop China’s slave labor. Coca Cola deployed Ryan Guthrie, a former top aide and campaign manager for Rep. Baron Hill, who went on to head Coca Cola’s D.C. office.
Both Apple and Coca Cola had blared their commitments to fighting for equity and social justice. Apple had launched a $100 million social justice initiative during the Black Lives Matter race riots while Coca Cola threw $2.5 million to, among others, the racist hate group behind the riots.
“This is a moment when many people may want nothing more than a return to normalcy, or to a status quo that is only comfortable if we avert our gaze from injustice. As difficult as it may be to admit, that desire is itself a sign of privilege,” Apple CEO Tim Cook had berated his customers.
There’s nothing like a billionaire benefiting from slave labor to lecture the nation about privilege.
“We stand with those seeking justice and equality,” Coke CEO James Quincey had ranted. “Reality is that there is still a wound in the fabric of America that is not just not healed – but is being reopened.”
As long as those seeking justice and equality are not being used for slave labor in China.
The teeth-rotting conglomerate had rolled out a black and white banner reading, “Together We Must.” Coca Cola must have borrowed the motto from China’s collectivist slave labor brigades.
The Campbell Soup Company, which had stopped using Jersey tomatoes in the 80s, and these days gets at least some of its ingredients from China, hired Noah Kowalski, who used to work in Senator Gillibrand’s office, to lobby on the Forced Labor Act.
Since no soup company can fail to accuse America of racism, CEO Mark Clouse had falsely claimed that America was suffering from “systemic racism” and pledged to eliminate “unconscious bias” and “aggressively dig into the issues of racism and bias.”
You can’t make soup without a whole lot of struggle sessions and critical race theory. What used to be the Maoist way of doing things is now so conventionally corporate it’s been adopted by the company dispensing the tasteless spiced up broth that decorated so many Andy Warhol prints.
But what is Campbell digging into in D.C. Or what doesn’t it want to dig into in its own books?
Xinyang is a major source of tomatoes for China’s agricultural industries, and these tomato harvests often employ slave labor. That’s something Cambell may not want to dig into.
Some of the biggest companies in this country are eager to smear this nation and accuse it of the worst possible things, even while secretly lobbying D.C. to let them keep their slaves.
And that is what it really comes down to.
American companies jettisoned much of their manufacturing in this country in a search for cheap labor in China. That labor is cheap for the same reason picking cotton was cheap.
Even while CEOs hypocritically subject their employees to racist indoctrination and Maoist struggle sessions, the cream of the capitalist crop making Marxist critical race theory a condition of employment, they’re working to keep the cost of production low through slave labor.
But you can’t expect the CEOs of Leftism Inc, to be any less Maoist than the Maoists. If slave labor is progressive enough for Communist China, it’s gotta be for Nike, Apple, and Coke.
Someone’s gotta pick the cotton, make the sneakers, mine rare earths, harvest tomatoes, and do all the dirty jobs while the CEOs hire more diversity consultants and subsidize race riots.
And while they fight racism, the woke corporations are also fighting to keep their slaves.