Rainbow Capitalism: The Newest Target for Capitalist Exploitations

Businesses are constantly altering their methods in order to appeal to the widest market possible and amass maximum profits. Since June is Pride Month, the newest target market is people in the LGBTQIA+ community. Rainbow Capitalism is the “support” of the LGBTQIA+ community by selling merchandise marketed towards them. This support is often only a way to make more money, and once July hits, the support is essentially completely gone. While some members of the community feel that this is a nice way to show support, at its core, it is just a ploy for money. Many companies make general, sometimes incorrect merchandise for the sole purpose of seeming “woke” and getting more profits. Thus, rainbow capitalism is just America’s newest way to exploit and drain the profits from its citizens. 

The exploitation of minority groups in America is not a new phenomenon. As society evolves, companies are getting smarter. Instead of vying for the majority’s opinion, they are shining a light on the struggles of minority communities in order to get their dollars. Rainbow capitalism is just the latest rendition of this practice.

Companies make a lot of mistakes during Pride Month, many of which are easily avoidable. It is no secret that not every company is sincere in its support. Some just slap a rainbow on their profile photo and logo and call it a day. Others will market very generic, rainbow themed merchandise that no one wants to buy. Even if companies do put in the work to support the community, almost all companies revert to normal almost immediately after. “While it’s great that companies are trying to be more inclusive, they are ultimately just using the LGBTQ community as a market for their products; as soon as pride month is over, all the company’s support disappears,” said junior Kate Chiulli. After all, all the LGBTQIA+ community is to big corporations is an opportunity for profit. Past Pride Month, most of them do not care about supporting the community. 

“While I believe rainbow capitalism is an upsetting example of companies feigning alignment with certain groups of people simply to make extra cash, it’s unfortunately incredibly common,” said junior Jaiden Moreno. “Today, supporting the LGBTQ+ community has become profitable, even if this support is false. It’s certainly disconcerting.”

The shallow activism companies promote during Pride Month is not enough to be a true ally. For corporations to actively support the community, they must put in effort year round. Freshman Gianna Longo thinks that companies need to care about the community to ultimately be better activists. “Brands and companies cannot equate giving their company logo rainbow colors during pride month to being an ally. Thirty days of selling items with LGBTQIA+ themes and messages that were likely designed by cisgender and heterosexual people in not helping people is not helping anyone, especially when brand’s practices return to ‘normal’ on July 1,” she said. “If brands really want to show that they support the queer community, they should be supporting the community all year long, not just during June by changing their logo’s color scheme.”

Performative activism never does much for minority groups, and rainbow capitalism is no exception. Once corporations wake up and realize that their support is superficial and fake, maybe they can start to better the company and provide meaningful support rather than superficial marketing.