A BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
Old Cans, As New Coca-Cola "Values"
May 30, 2002
By Wilhelmina Sims
I'm drinking a can of Coca-Cola. Diet with lemon. Wait a minute? It's FLAT! I'm Black and from the hood, let me check the expiration date. Now where IS the expiration date on a can of Coca-Cola? Oh, I see, it's at the bottom of the can. Expiration date.... "August 12, 02."
Well, I guess I just purchased a can of "flat" Coca-Cola. Yet, in North Texas (and, WHY is it always TEXAS or FL?) Coca-Cola is leaving a very bad taste in the mouths of several employees. They have accused the soft drink king of repackaging "near-dated" (think almost expired!) cans and bottles of Coca-Cola, then reselling them at stores in minority neighborhoods. (See: http://www.bet.com/articles/0,,c1gb2862-3525,00.html).
According to William D. Wright, a Coca-Cola deliveryman for 14 years, he learned to "keep quiet" and "do as he was told" (think "pink slip"). What he was "told" to do was remove expired and "near" expired soda cans and repackage them on store shelves as if they were new, like, just out of the Coca-Cola plant. Oh, and if the cans had dents or leaks, sell those in black neighborhoods too, they won't notice.
Guess what, we noticed.
This, of course, would not be the first time blacks were thrown leftovers. As a matter of historical fact, during slavery, slaves were given the crumbs off the master's table. When hogs were slaughtered on southern plantations, slaves got the scrap heap, chitterlings (think hog guts). But even in slavery we were brilliant and we devised a marketing strategy that now makes chitterlings a "delicacy" that even President Bill Clinton has tasted. Award-winning novelist Toni Morrison wrote that President Clinton was the "blackest" President we've ever had, meaning he understood African American and minority struggles: "I think people do understand that down deep inside I believe that we ought to be one America and that we ought not to be fundamentally about race" (think last legally "elected" President).
After we were "freed" from slavery we had to deal with JIM CROW. Now a lot of us alive can still remember the Jim Crow era (1890 - the 60's): separate, but equal [think "colored" sit-ins at Woolworths where we could not order a soft-drink or a glass of water, even if we were choking to death or picture two separate water fountains, side by side, but with one "common" water pipe for both fountains (think "dahhh?")]. Here a few examples of "Jim Crow" laws:
Florida: The schools for white children and the schools for negro children shall be conducted separately.
North Carolina: School textbooks shall not be interchangeable between the white and colored schools, but shall continue to be used by the race first using them.
Georgia: All persons licensed to conduct a restaurant, shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room or under the same license.
Georgia: It shall be unlawful for any amateur white baseball team to play on any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of a playground devoted to the Negro race, and it shall be unlawful for any amateur colored baseball team to play baseball within two blocks of any playground devoted to the white race.
Louisiana: All circuses, shows, and tent exhibitions, to which the attendance of more than one race is invited shall provide not less than two ticket offices and not less than two entrances.
Alabama: No person or corporation shall require any white female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms in hospitals, either public or private, in which Negro men are placed.
Texas: Negroes are to be served through a separate branch or branches of the county free library, which shall be administered by a custodian of the Negro race under the supervision of the county librarian.
Florida: Any Negro man and white woman, or any white man and Negro woman, who are not married to each other, who habitually live in and occupy in the nighttime the same room, shall each be punished by imprisonment not exceeding 12 months, or by fine not exceeding five hundred dollars.
Alabama: It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in the city, at which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are effectually separated by a solid partition extending from the floor upward to a distance of seven feet or higher, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided.
In Alabama, they didn't even want to LOOK AT US! In North Carolina, if textbooks were "touched" by blacks, they were junk, like "we" were a disease and, in Georgia, if a member of the "Negro" (think the "N" word) race hit a baseball two blocks away, that droplets of perspiration from our "colored" skin might ever so slightly, but softly, touch a "non-Negro".
And, now, in 2002, Coca-Cola employees, including the truck drivers themselves, marching with bullhorns and spreading their message. The message, that for almost a decade, Coca-Cola had "FIRE SALES" in unsuspecting minority communities across North Texas.
I went to COCACOLA.com to do a little lookin' around. I wondered if any jobs had opened up in the North Texas area. I clicked on Coca-Cola "careers" and the first thing that pops up is a picture of, you guessed it, a black person (think "diversity"). You know the rest.
A spokesman for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of North Texas called the accusations "irresponsible and offensive" and Rick Gillis, a Coca-Cola division vice president told AP "we believe without a doubt that these allegations are totally without merit" (think "investigation").
By the way Coca-Cola, any shredding going on lately? (think??? Well, you can fill in the blank for this one).
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Sources used for article:
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