General Mills recently had 2 Cheerios ads, one on the Super Bowl, that featured a mixed-race little girl, a white mom and a black dad. When bigots and the religious right attacked General Mills because the ad polluted family values, General Mills stated that they believed in all kinds of families and held firm.
When CVS decided to stop selling cigarettes, no one, except maybe two-pack-a-day addicts, complained. They didn’t have the lung power to walk an extra block to a competitor.
We should all cheer when Captain Corporate America battles bigotry and hypocrisy (What’s more hypocritic than a drug store selling cigarettes?).
The public was bilked out of billions of dollars and thousands of lives when Toyota, GM, RJ Reynolds, Phillip Morris, and various banks and drug companies covered-up lies so we’d keep buying cars, tobacco, mortgages and flawed drugs.
In psychiatry, cover-ups are common. Facing early wounds, abandonment and early trauma are painful. In therapy, repression and denial are common and patients enter long battles to unravel their feelings, actions and dreams; so they can feel better and eliminate their symptoms.
On the other hand, corporations have no excuse. They don’t behave like bandits and killers because they are repressing unconscious ideas. They repress and deny because for years they’ve been able to get away with it. Sociopaths hide behind the corporate mantel and manipulate to get more power and money. Their symptoms occur when they’re caught and have to suffer for their sins — fines and/or jail.
What do General Mills and CVS risk losing? Well, bigots can certainly choose to not eat Cheerios and smokers can choose to get lung cancer and obstructive lung disease from any number of other drug stores.
Personally, I’m going to CVS to buy my next box of cereal.
Dr. Art Smukler is the award-winning writer of Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.