So, who knew that when you stay in certain hotels or rent a car you were funding the NRA. There are many companies to address, but one demon at a time. Let’s start with one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Hotels, which represents over 7,260 hotels worldwide, including the Super 8, Best Western, Travelodge, Knights Inn, Hawthorn, Planet Hollywood, Days Inn, Wingate Hotels, Ramada, RCI and more.
They claim their mission is in part to, “Act with integrity in all that we do: Without integrity, the foundations of business and life crumble.” Okay, then.
They list their “relationships with key community and philanthropic organizations that support our business objectives”, but nowhere on that impressive list do I see the NRA. Kudos to them for embracing “diversity”. Now we move on to another value they espouse, which is accountability.
The AVAAZ (World in Action) alerted me to the fact that Wyndham is affiliated with the NRA. In a message aimed at defanging the lobbying power of the NRA they write, “Let’s start by asking one of the biggest hotel chains in the world — Wyndham Hotels, owners of Best Western, Days Inn, Super 8 and Ramada — to get out of bed with the NRA and stop being their corporate “affiliate” unless and until the NRA is willing to support sensible gun safety measures.”
Turns out, it’s true. I know this because I went to Wyndham’s Facebook Page to respectfully express myself. I urged them to reconsider their affiliation. I was treated to the copy and paste PR line admitting that they indeed were affiliated with the NRA. They have no shame about it, either. It’s as if they’ve been in a cave for the past week.
“Thank you for expressing your thoughts and concerns with us. Wyndham Worldwide is a hospitality company focused on our service promise to be responsive, be respectful and deliver great experiences to our customers, guests, partners and communities, as well as to each other. As part of our Company’s core values, we serve diverse individuals and organizations.”
Core values? How is affiliating with the NRA “serving” anyone but gun manufacturers?
I warned them that I would write about this, but they didn’t respond. Dissatisfied with the generic flippancy, I replied, “Since getting your cut and paste reply I’ve had a rethink. I don’t think I will ever be able to stay in your hotels again, because I realized that you knew this all along – you knew what the NRA was doing, and you supported them, which means that you support assault weapons like those used to kill children and used to wound a congresswoman and kill another child in Arizona. You knew, and you stood by them and gave them our money. You knew they stood for nothing but the corporate profits of gun manufacturing cos but you didn’t care. You say you support diverse causes. I guess that’s one way to put the murder of innocent children and people who have threatened the life of our President (board members of the NRA). It’s sickening. I can’t believe I ever gave you a dollar of my money. Staying with you = BLOOD MONEY.”
Yes, the weapon used in the Arizona massacre was a GLOCK 19, 9mm semi-automatic pistol equipped with a 33-round large capacity ammunition magazine. The shooter was also carrying two 15-round large capacity ammunition magazines. The high capacity magazine was banned under the federal assault weapons ban that Republicans let expire in 2004 by refusing to bring it up for a vote.
One of my favorite comments on Wyndham’s page was this, by Dave *******, “You did not answer my question. You are cool with big semi-automatic weapons in your hotels? Do you have gun safes?” Ah, yes. Wyndham, where family values equal always traveling with your assault weapon for the freedum. Surely a huge global company wouldn’t put their money behind the NRA and then ban assault weapons in their own business. Hey, what if the “BAD GUYS” show up?
As I was writing this, the link to their Facebook Page no longer takes you to the page with all of the comments (they were flying in fast and furious like). Now they’re posted under their advertising, leading people to advise others, “It’s clear they’re now deleting direct comments to their Facebook Wall, so you have to leave comments under their promotions.” Could be a Facebook glitch.
You’d think a global company would be a little more aware of the value of their brand. But they’re still copying and pasting that one lame reply, in spite of all of the people commenting on precisely how lame it is for them to copy and paste over and over again about their support for “diverse” groups, as if somehow the NRA represents people instead of the greed of gun manufacturers.
Yes, they are but one company affiliated with the NRA, but you have to start somewhere. Affiliating with the NRA should be a very bad thing for a corporate brand. Only then will our lawmakers finally have the ability to pass reasonable gun laws that respect the 2nd amendment responsibly. And after all, it’s a free market.
****** Last name redacted for privacy purposes