“Don’t Be McFooled” Creators Sets Sights on Wall Street as McDonald’s Objects to Potential SEC Audit Into Its Inclusion Practices (Memphis, TN) — “The investment industry operates like the Klan in silk suits,” EFA Co-Founder says.
The creators of the “Don’t Be McFooled” protest has launched a new initiative designed to flush out the policies and practices implemented by the nation’s investment banking industry that have historically hampered black business growth, which consistent government and private research has proven is the chief factor in the social ills and disparities duplicated in every major American city.
McDonald’s Internal Practices Redline Black Franchisees, Lawsuit Alleges
Entitled Equity For All, the need for the expanded focus became evident during the years of research behind “Don’t Be McFooled”. Created to bring attention to Byrd v McDonald’s, a national class action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.
According to the suit, the fast foot (sic) giant’s internal practices redlined black franchisees, reducing them from a high of 400 to less than 200, while the number of total franchises doubled. The court ruled in McDonald’s favor and the company began buying back several of the franchises, including the Byrd’s 4 stores for $6.5 million and Herb Washington’s 13 stores for $33.5 million, but digging into McDonald’s corporate practices became a mirror for the nation’s money management system.
EFA’s economic rights issues group leader and Co-Founder Kahari S. Nash states, “As an investment professional, I know there are some reasonable people willing to bring change to the financial services industry, but the facts prove that in practice Wall Street operates like the Klan in silk suits.”
McDonald’s Petitioned SEC to Drop Audit Into Racial Practices
News from non-associated fronts shore up his point of view. Most recently, Bloomberg News reported January 25th , 2022 that McDonald’s petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to drop a proxy audit into its racial practices. Only the headline is available to non-subscribers, but the two promotional bullet points available speak volumes: “Burger giant says action would harm it’s defense in lawsuits,” and “Pension-fund adviser: company is trying to skirt accountability.”
Bloomberg carried a headline April 29, 2021, noting that banking industry giants Citibank and Goldman Sachs were facing similar calls from shareholders and that Blackrock, another major industry player had willingly allowed its books to be examined for the same purpose.
Responding to growing criticism and scrutiny, several of the most powerful banks have created racial equity funding initiatives. Called DEI, an acronym for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, several boast $1 billion budgets.
“But when you crunch the numbers it’s like taking down an iceberg with a toothpick”, EFA Co-Founder Nash states.
“Compare the giant banks’ annual revenue and profits and you get a different picture. Citigroup’s Action for Racial Equity boasts its invested $1 Billion in strategic initiatives to help close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility in the United States in year one (1) of their three-year commitment, but Citigroup’s Closing the Racial Inequality Gaps: The Economic Cost of Black Inequality in the US Report (September 2020) puts the cost at $16 Trillion over the past 20 years. This is the real civil rights battle we’re gearing up to fight. We need to march on Wall Street and call on Congress to force some real action.”
“Don’t Be McFooled” Creators Sets Sights on Wall Street as McDonald’s Objects to Potential SEC Audit Into Its Inclusion Practices