The president and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., Chip Bergh, has announced that the iconic company, “a pioneer of the American West,” will donate more than $1 million to gun-control groups to help end “America’s gun violence epidemic,” a step the NRA denounced as a “particularly sad episode in the current surge in corporate virtue-signaling.”
In his announcement, through a commentary in Fortune magazine, CEO Bergh stated that Levi’s is “known the world over as a pioneer of the American West and one of the great symbols of American freedom.” Nonetheless, “as business leaders with power in the public and political arenas, we simply cannot stand by silently when it comes to the issues that threaten the very fabric of the communities where we live and work…. [D]oing nothing is no longer an option.”
Bergh then reveals that Levi’s has set up the Safer Tomorrow Fund to distribute more than $1 million in grants “to fuel the work of nonprofits and youth activists who are working to end gun violence in America.”
Levi’s is also partnering with leftist billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safty, Giffords, and the pending Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety. The company also is doubling its employee donation match to groups associated with the Safer Tomorrow Fund, and it will pay its workers 5 hours a month for their volunteer work, which now can include “political activism.”
“[W]e’re encouraging employees who are concerned about gun violence to get involved,” states Bergh.
Commenting on Bergh’s announcement, the NRA said that “it’s with some irony that Levi’s” — a symbol of American freedom — “has abandoned this rugged image to team up with a billionaire oligarch in an effort to empower the government to trample upon the fundamental rights of the American people.”
As for Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety, the NRA said this “business wing of Bloomberg’s outfit is dedicated to leveraging member companies’ ‘market footprint… employee networks, [and] public communications platforms’ to diminish Americans’ Second Amendment rights.”
Also, “in a repulsive insult to the nation’s 100 million gun owners, Bergh likened Levi’s campaign to restrict the rights of law-abiding Americans to previous company efforts aimed at combatting pre-Civil Rights Era racial bigotry,” said the NRA.
“Among gun owners, Levi’s intemperate foray into the world of gun control politics has been met with the disgust it deserves,” added the NRA. “However, it shouldn’t be met with surprise. Since the late 1990s, Levi’s has used its name and resources to attack gun rights. In 1999, the company gave $100,000 to gun control group PAX, followed by a $250,000 donation in 2000 and another $100,000 in 2001.
“The PAX Youth Petition endorsed a variety of severe gun control measures that have repeatedly been rejected by the American public through their elected representatives.”
In conclusion, the NRA said, “Given the majority of Levi’s 165-year history, Bergh’s decision to use a formerly quintessential American company to attack a quintessential American right is a particularly sad episode in the current surge in corporate virtue-signaling. We can only assume that Levi’s accountants have determined that resulting skinny jeans sales will be enough to offset the permanent damage to their once-cherished brand.”