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The New York Times reports this morning that major US companies - including Walmart and Coca-Cola - are re-evaluating roles that they planned to play at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, concerned about the possibility that they could be implicated in what increasingly seems likely to be a raucous, divisive, even racially charged event.

At the heart of the problem is Donald J. Trump, the real estate speculator and reality TV program host, whose "divisive candidacy has alienated many women, blacks and Hispanics." If Trump is the nominee, it is expected that there could be massive protests; if he is not, Trump himself has suggested that there could be rioting started by his disappointed and angered supporters.

According to the Times, "Walmart, which contributed $150,000 to the Republican convention in 2012, has yet to commit to contributing this year. 'We haven’t made any decisions,' said Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Walmart, who emphasized that even before Mr. Trump’s rise, the company had been discussing reducing its involvement."

The story goes on to say that Coca-Cola "has declined to match the $660,000 it gave for the 2012 Republican convention, donating only $75,000 for this year and indicating that it does not plan to provide more. Kent Landers, a Coca-Cola spokesman, declined to explain the reduction in support. But officials at the company are trying to quietly defuse a campaign organized by the civil rights advocacy group Color of Change, which says it has collected more than 100,000 signatures on a petition demanding that Coca-Cola and other companies decline to sponsor the convention. Donating to the event, the petition states, is akin to endorsing Mr. Trump’s 'hateful and racist rhetoric'."
KC's View:
You reap what you sow. It would appear that these companies - smartly, in my view, want to be careful about sowing in a place where discord may be the order of the day ... Cleveland is a city, after all, where the police have been soliciting bids for 2,000 sets of riot gear.