Here’s Why the CEOs Leaving Trump’s Councils Aren’t Heroes

President Donald Trump meets with Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and CEO of Merck & Co. (left) and other representatives from PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Jan. 31, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

When I was in the seventh grade, my dad gave me firm instructions to come home after school. My middle school was across the street from a mall, which meant that after school, everyone hung out, and my dad didn’t want me in the mall getting into trouble, since a group of kids had been caught stealing.

One day I came home late, and my dad was pissed. I tried to explain that while I was late, he should be proud of me because I hadn’t stolen anything. He told me then that you don’t get a reward for not doing something you shouldn’t be doing in the first place.


That’s the way I feel now upon learning that corporate heads are leaving Donald Trump’s advisory council en masse since the president of white nationalism just came out and said some white nationalism shit. Since the president is incapable of denouncing the unbridled hatred of white men storming a school holding tiki torches and chanting racist, hate-filled speech, seven CEOs have announced that they are leaving Trump’s American Manufacturing Council, and three have left the Strategy and Policy Forum, and the question I have to ask is, “Why were they on these councils in the first place?”

It shouldn’t be this hard, folks. The man has literally been consistent only about two things as a private citizen-turned-candidate-turned president: He believes in white nationalism and hates all things that aren’t white. So it’s confusing why corporate bigwigs at Intel, Merck, Tesla, Under Armour and Alliance for American Manufacturing, and two heads over at the AFL-CIO, waited until the president’s tone-deaf, uninformed and downright ignorant ramblings about placing blame on “both sides” in the Charlottesville, Va., attack to finally make the break.

As John Legend paraphrased the great Chris Rock in a tweet, “That Trump didn’t go crazy, that Trump went Trump.”

The pussy-grabbing comments weren’t enough? What about rumors that Trump found Russia on Tinder and swiped (alt-)right? What about banning transgenders from military service? Muslim ban, anyone?


Sorry, but you don’t get points for Theon Greyjoy-ing off the Trump boat once it’s clear that it’s sinking. And sorry if I don’t give a shit that you aren’t as deplorable as you once were. Sorry that I don’t care that none of Trump’s past transgressions were enough for companies to abandon the financial opportunities they gained by being closer to the president.

You don’t get any medals for leaving a train you shouldn’t have been on in the first place.

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.