Last Thursday, following the election of our nation's 45th president, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi was in New York City to address the DealBook Conference and was asked, "How did you feel on Wednesday morning?" Providing a little levity in light of the fact that she was an avid supporter of Hillary Clinton, who was defeated in an Electoral College landslide score of 306 – 232, Nooyi responded, "Do you have a box of tissues here?" The audience laughed. If she had stopped there, her conversation might not have made headlines. But it is Nooyi's unpacking of her humor that has some Americans calling for a boycott of PepsiCo.
To be fair, Nooyi congratulated President-elect Trump. But she went on to describe the types of conversations she's having with her daughters and her employees. The PepsiCo CEO said, "I had to answer a lot of questions, from my daughters, from my employees -- they were all in mourning. Our employees are all crying, and the question that they are asking, especially those that are not white: 'Are we safe?' Women are asking, 'Are we safe?' LGBT people are asking, 'Are we safe?' I never thought I'd have to answer those questions." Though subdued and sober in her delivery, there was almost a rallying cry in her cadence.
"Are we safe?"
I may need a box of tissues as I explore that question and the irony of it. Let's first consider the fact that for months we've witnessed BLM activists terrorize cities across America, destroying businesses and intimidating residents, and people ask, "Are we safe?" We watched with our own eyes a white man ripped from his car and beaten based on the assumption that he voted for Trump, and people ask, "Are we safe?"
In Orlando, just months ago, a Muslim terrorist slaughtered 49 people inside a gay nightclub, but the Obama administration’s Justice Department elected to call it a hate crime rather than an act of Islamic terror. In fact, Attorney General Loretta Lynch made the decision to censor and redact certain words -- "Islam" and "Jihad" -- from the transcript of the Orlando shooter’s 9-1-1 call and replace "Allah" with "God." Why would they do this? To conceal the truth behind the radical Islamic terror attack on homosexuals. But according to Mrs. Nooyi, her LGBT employees are just now asking, "Are we safe?"
After years of decline, our nation's inner cities under the Obama administration have experienced a sharp increase in murders. Cities like New Orleans, Baltimore, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and, of course, Chicago have become virtual war zones, where black men, women, boys, and girls are gunned down as a norm. Black families are trapped in a constant state of traumatic stress, and Indra Nooyi's non-white employees ask her, "Are we safe?"
These wicked radicals support destroying babies by the thousands daily. In fact, Mrs. Nooyi’s preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton, is an aggressive supporter of late-term abortion -- a fact we learned in the final presidential debate. President Obama forces girls into restrooms with confused boys and calls it civil rights. And Mrs. Nooyi has to answer questions for her girls about whether they are safe or not?
If I were Mrs. Nooyi, I would have answered those questions easily: No, you're not safe! You've not been safe for a long time. A radically pro-LGBTQ FBP (first black president) didn't make you safe. His affinity for those who wish us harm didn't make you safe. Your NAACP, Congressional Black Caucus, and your reverends for hire didn't make you safe. A culture of "shout your abortion" and give space to rioters didn't make you safe. Failing schools in inner cities and no job opportunities didn't make you safe.
Look, Mrs. Nooyi is an India-born naturalized American. She is obviously a woman. She heads the second largest food and beverage business in the world! The world! And she has achieved that in a country that she must now apologize for? It appears she's enjoying a pretty safe life.
One might imagine PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi lives the sort of life many of us can only dream of. I'm trying to picture her conversation with her daughters, possibly over a four-star dinner. I'm trying to imagine her discussing how a successful business man was able to resonate with people who don't have as much as, well, them. She should get to know the woman working at the Dollar General who explains to her daughters why their father was shot on his way home from his job at Pizza Hut. Those girls will rightfully ask their mom, "Are we safe?"
While she mourns the fact that her candidate was not elected, Mrs. Nooyi should consider sharing with her non-white employees that Mr. Trump is the first president in more than 50 years to construct a plan of success for the black community in the United States. She should consider the fact that neither she nor her daughters will come in contact with many of the people that plan seeks to help. Finally, she should consider the incredible amount of success she's enjoyed in a country that allows for the will of the people and allows for upward mobility because it doesn't have a caste system.