Woke Disney and the Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce

March 24


News that Disney would stand against legislation in Florida hit the news earlier this month. The legislation would simply ensure that young children in the Florida Public Schools are not exposed to discussions of sexual practices.

It blew up in the press recently when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called out Disney’s corporate activism. DeSantis said, “You have companies like Disney that…criticize parents’ rights.” He went on to add, “Our policies must be based on the best interest of Florida citizens, not on the musing of woke corporations.”

This latest skirmish between families and corporations comes after years of watching “progressive” activism rise within some of the largest companies on the planet. They threaten, lobby, spend millions of dollars, and pressure state and local governments to rewrite the laws to reflect some of the most anti-free-speech arguments of the modern age.

In a 1971 memo to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, future Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell warned that “the American economic system is under broad attack.” He wrote, “One of the bewildering paradoxes of our time is the extent to which the enterprise system tolerates, if not participates, in its own destruction.”

Powell referenced a 1971 article from The Wall Street Journal highlighting how General Motors was “plainly in trouble” because of its refusal to stand up to the Marxist bromides of that day. As a result, business executives were learning what college administrators had to learn; “One radical demand was conceded… only to be followed by a fresh crop which soon escalated to what amounted to a demand for outright surrender.”

Sadly, Justice Powell’s warning seems to have been forgotten. This month, the Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce took special pains to advocate for a “bias-crimes” ordinance to be on “the right side of history.” The argument from the Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce has been that large corporations like Wal-Mart, Amazon, Microsoft, and others will not do business in Wyoming unless we bow to the woke demands of some within their corporate structure.

Such an idea makes little sense. The massive Wal-Mart distribution center in Laramie County and the numerous Wal-Mart stores across the state are not likely to close if Wyoming refuses to go woke. Amazon will not cease its sales to Wyoming citizens if we refuse to go with its woke agenda. Microsoft is unlikely to shut down its data facilities because Wyoming stands up to the Marxists within its corporate structure.

Like Ron DeSantis, it is time that Wyomingites stand up to call out those who demand conformity to radical ideology and say that “Our policies must be based on the best interest of Wyoming citizens, not on the musing of woke corporations” or of radicalized Chambers of Commerce for that matter.

Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming is gearing up for the election season across the state this year. We are looking for men and women who will stand firm for truth in their local communities. We need you to help us find men and women who will stand up for school boards, town councils, and the state legislature and help them get elected – to stand up for families and children in the public arena.

Nathan Winters
Executive Director