[Image from securemyvote.com]
Some time ago, I indicated in this space that I was unhappy with Coca-Cola for their participation in a shadowy legislative group known as ALEC. This group was responsible for introducing laws in states around the country, with the assistance of lawmakers who went along with their program. One of these laws was the “Stand your Ground” law that directly led to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.
I was, and still am, outraged that this law allowed a man to shoot and kill an unarmed teen-aged kid. The case is going to trial, and but for the public outcry at the particulars of this case, no charges would have been brought against George Zimmerman. I’m curious to see how the trial goes, but I’m also heartened that it’s reached the point that it has.
In the wake of this shooting, and the revelation of Coke’s role in ALEC, I decided to move what little bit of money I have invested in stocks out of Coca-Cola. I felt good about doing it, but then the question became what to do with the proceeds from the sale. Coke withdrew from ALEC soon after I sold my shares, and rather than taking a chance on a different stock, I decided to sink the money back into shares of Coke.
In the end, I was out a couple of broker commission fees, but the money that I made from the sale, and will make from dividends received in the future, will more than offset that. And I hasten to add it’s really just a de minimis amount, anyway. If it were anything more than that, I doubt I’d be writing about it like this.
Today I learned that Coke’s stock (listed as KO on the NYSE, if you’re curious) will be splitting 2 for 1 as of August 13. This isn’t related to Trayvon Martin at all, I’m sure, but it feels a bit like good karma for putting my money back into Coke, rather than looking for some other investment. It seems that my vote of confidence in the company has been rewarded, on some level.
Regrettably, nothing that anyone says or does can change what happened to Trayvon Martin. However, the power of ALEC has been reduced by the withdrawal of Coke and others from their membership rolls, and public awareness of what they do has also been raised, which are both helpful. I especially love this parody of the “I’m Just a Bill” video from Schoolhouse Rock. So ALEC isn’t what it used to be, which is at least a step in the right direction.