Image by mhouge from Pixabay

When one is using their money to support only companies that support the world, and have always supported the world, you find it is nearly impossible these days. There is no such place that lacks a history of "issues." Well, unless it's a newer company, like from this year.

Many of the old guard are steeped in so much grey area when it comes to morality, that at this point, if the history means that much to you, we all need to grow our own food, darn our own clothes and build are own cars and electronics. It's best to know and start confronting some hard truths. Many of these corporations are begging for a mea culpa.

Redditor u/beta_nerd wanted to be aware of what major corporations may not deserve our time and money because of past misdeeds by asking... What's a company that's viewed pretty positively today but has a dark DARK history?

Poison

confused mark ruffalo GIF Giphy

Dupont is still one of the largest textile companies in the world and "Dark Waters" was a true story.

If you haven't seen it do. It's about how making teflon poisons everything forever.

doesitfeelbad

General Smedley Butler

United Fruit is responsible for the overthrow of nearly every government in Central and South America in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

General Smedley Butler, USMC, one of few recipients to earn the Medal of Honor for gallantry twice. Struck down many of these "insurrections" against legally elected governments. He performed his duty admirably and with distinction.

However, after his retirement, he spoke out against his service. Stating, he felt, he and his Marines were nothing more than mercenaries protecting the corporate interests of a few men and law makers, while he was slaughtering thousands of peasants.

RmeMSG

Pills

Bayer. They paid to test its drugs on unwilling human subjects. These included paying a retainer to SS physician Helmuth Vetter to test Rutenol and other sulfonamide drugs on deliberately infected patients at the Dachau, Auschwitz, and Gusen. They also had prisoners purposefully infected with typhus so that could test anti-typhus drugs. IG Farben also manufactured the cans of Zyklon B gas that were used in Auschwitz's gas chambers. (IG Farben was a massive conglomerate that included Bayer and other major companies such as BASF, Hoechst (Aventis), and AGFA).

tinlissy

Bananas

fruit GIF by Dead Set on Life Giphy

Dole (the fruit company) organized the overthrow of the indigenous government on Hawaii so it could join the USA.

jrakosi

WW2

Continental Tires. Stock for Mercedes and other luxury cars. They tested their durability by making WW2 camp prisoners walk in shoes made with their rubber soles upward to 30 miles each day. Many collapsed and died from dehydration and from being malnourished already.

EDIT: the ones administering the quality control test didn't care if the shoes fit the tester. Imagine walking 30 miles in shoes a couple sizes too small.

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-nazi-past-continental-tires/a-54719878

EDIT 2: the company makes more than just tires, but it's mostly known for its tires. From a New York Times article:

"While supplying the German military with tires, bullet-resistant fuel tanks, gas masks and brakes for battle tanks, Continental and its subsidiaries also produced consumer products like soles for shoes and hot water bottles that helped fulfill the regime's promise to deliver prosperity to the German people."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/27/business/german-auto-parts-continental-nazi.html

I was watching those WW2 documentaries and one of the episodes focused on companies that benefitted from the war. A good portion of the episode mentioned Continental (a company who is reconciling with its past and is making positive commendable effort to not hide it) and other companies (I forgot which big company that was mentioned, but it's still not taking any responsibility for abusing war prisoners). Total coincidence that I had replaced all four Continental tires with another set two days prior.

oohyeahchuckachong

The Game

Parker Brothers and the story of Monopoly. Charles Darrow essentially took an open source game originally made by Lizzie Magie and sold it to Parker Brothers, who learned about the original game and bought rights to the patent. They tried to sue Ralph Anspach for making Anti-Monopoly in the 1970s, but the early history of Monopoly worked against Parker Brothers and they eventually had to settle with Anspach.

Charles Darrow and Parker Brothers may have popularized the game, but credit for the game should go to Lizzie Magie.

TaliesinMerlin

Computers will kill us all...

IBM sold the Nazis punch card computers to keep track of every person in concentration camps. The computers also kept the trains running on time.

Train_go_moo

This is the one I was looking for. They founded Dehomag specifically to distribute IBM's Hollerith system to Nazi Germany, beginning with Prussia.

Watson himself traveled to Germany and subsequently increased his investment upon learning just how "lucrative the Hitler regime could be".

IBM claims they can't know what happened with the business during those years due to wartime destruction of records. So I guess one day they woke up with money in the bank, products being rolled out, but no memory or ledger of where or why. Right.

colt_ink

The Industry

hollywood GIF by The Academy Awards Giphy

Not a specific company, but an industry: Hollywood.

During the late 1930s Hollywood put a ban on anti-Nazi propaganda in films since they had a big market in Europe and didn't want to step on toes. The notable exception was Warner Brothers. Jack and Harry Warner family left Germany and came to America. The brothers saw the threat of Facism. They were the first studio to create anti-Hitler content.

SirGrantham

Bad Henry

Henry Ford helped with the invention of square dancing because " Ford hated jazz; he hated the Charleston. He also really hated Jewish people, and believed that Jewish people invented jazz as part of a nefarious plot to corrupt the masses and take over the world—a theory that might come as a surprise to the black people who actually did invent it." citation

Graham crackers were created to keep people from masturbating.

emilyethel

Stealing Labor

disdain smh GIF by BJ The Chicago Kid Giphy

H&M is now recognized and beloved as a sustainable, eco-friendly company with great worker rights but they used to be really corrupt and would use underpaid workers in 3rd world countries who worked in horrible and dangerous conditions, they also used to use horrible cheap materials that would cause massive pollution and wouldn't be able to be recycled... oh wait, they still do that, my bad you guys!

MELLMAO

Eat a Peach

Chiquita. They once funded rebels in a South American country to overthrow the government, in order to have land to build banana plantations. Banana plantations are famously laborious places. If you've ever heard the song "come mister tally man, tally me banana", that's what it is about.

RonSwanson04

Poison Roar

Food lion, which goes by many different names throughout the world, had a scandal in the early nineties where they bleached meat and repackaged it.

SoreWristed

There was a case about 20 years ago where an undercover reporter slipped into a Food Lion and filmed what they were doing. What they were doing was pretty bad. Food Lion actually sued the reporter and news organization for trespassing, and kind of unbelievably, they won. This was quite the landmark case in undercover journalism.

fd1Jeff

Pinkwasher...

Embarrassed Shame GIF Giphy

Susan G. Komen. More people volunteer their time and money for it than any other breast cancer charity.

I vaguely recall they kept almost half of the donations for themselves (they called it administration expenses). They've also been labeled with pinkwashing, defined as organizations getting disproportionate publicity for donating very little.

Charity Navigator had rated them one of the worst charities for breast cancer. Bottom ten percent.

wollam11

Buy Honda...

Let's not forget Mitsubishi used P.O.W. slave labor during WW2.

Crux-s

Had a great grandpa who was a marine who fought in the pacific theatre, and hated Mitsubishi with a passion. Refused to speak to my dad for 2 weeks after my dad bought a Mitsubishi car. never understood why until my dad handed me a model of a Mitsubishi Zero and then explained to me how he watched a lot of his buddies die due to kamikaze pilots flying Mitsubishi zero's crash into hangers and buildings.

rocket___goblin

thief

Baby Tech GIF by Hacker Noon Giphy

the fact that the person that made the .zip stole it and got praised for it.

https://youtu.be/lu7sY1LOWiI.

C0MPLX88

leaving scars...

DeBeers diamonds. They've distanced themselves from the blood diamond trade recently by claiming 'conflict-free' mining and starting programs focused on local entrepreneurship, but the scars across Africa remain today. Millions have been killed.

ramos1969

Oats are Out...

Quaker Oats! They fed radioactive oatmeal to autistic and disabled children to study the effects, without informing the children or the parents. This was from the mid 1940's to the mid 1950's.

ETA: There's actually a LOT of sources. The two most prominent places this occurred are Wrentham State School and Fernald School. Basic overview helpfully packaged for anyone who doesn't want to google "quaker oats radioactive" Also, the youtuber Illuminaughtii did a video on this and she lists her own sources in the description.

quietfangirl

Sabotage...

Microsoft under Bill Gates and Steve Balmer paid staff to sabotage competitor's software. Later on, one of the first instances of this got named "DOS isn't done until Lotus won't run". As an analogy, pretend Microsoft made and sold Michelin tires; it was like they paid people to go in to parking lots and slash your car's tires if you had bought Bridgestone, Goodyear, Yokohama, or Pirelli. It did make Bill Gates one of the richest men in the world, though.

IWantToPostBut

Fraud permeates all parts of our public lives. The food were eat probably isn't as "organic" as we think and the clothes we were are probably hand stitched in more dark sweat shops then we'll ever be able to prove. So a lot of the time we believe what we're sold, how can you not. But don't let that stop you from learning more about where you spend your money and place your beliefs.

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