Chief executives from PepsiCo and Starbucks called for a renewed commitment to inclusion following a presidential campaign that exposed racial and ethnic fault lines in the US.
PepsiCo chief executive Indra Nooyi, who backed Democrat Hillary Clinton, said she hoped President-elect Donald Trump’s controversial statements on immigrants and minorities during the election battle were “just campaign rhetoric.”
“The first thing we have to do is assure everyone in the US that everyone is safe.”
Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz, who also backed Clinton, bemoaned the “vitriolic” nature of the campaign and said he was disturbed by some of the after-effects.
“One has to be concerned with what’s happened over the last few months and even over the last 24 hours,” he said.
“We’ve seen things that are very disturbing. I saw a picture today of a swastika. It’s difficult to understand.”
The remarks came at the New York Times Dealbook conference yesterday, held less than 48 hours after Trump’s shock win in the battle for the White House. Election returns showed Trump won large majorities with white voters, but badly lagged Clinton with minority groups.
Social media on Wednesday and yesterday recounted cases of immigrants and minorities facing bigotry in schools and stores. Thousands of anti-Trump protesters took to about 10 cities, some carrying signs declaiming “Not our President” and “Love trumps hate.”