- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 4, 2020

Wendy’s announced Wednesday it will donate $500,000 to support “social justice” groups following backlash over a franchisee’s donation to President Trump’s reelection campaign.

“Our voice would be nothing without Black culture,” the fast-food chain tweeted. “Right now, a lot of people are hurting because of blatant racism against Black people. Their voices need to be heard. Period. #BlackLivesMatter. We’re about putting our money where our mouth is. So here’s our money and here’s our mouth. We are committed to donating $500k to support social justice, the youth and education in the Black community starting with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and we’ll have receipts.

“Our employees and customers have spoken loud and clear. We know we have a lot more to do than a donation,” the company said. “We’re committed to doing the work and we hear you. In the coming days, we’ll be using our Twitter account to amplify Black voices. Because what’s the point of this big platform if we don’t use it for what matters during times like these?”

Wendy’s came under fire Tuesday upon the news that James Bodenstedt — the CEO of Muy Cos., a franchisee of Wendy’s, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut — donated nearly $500,000 to Mr. Trump.

The hashtag “#WendysIsOverParty” was trending Tuesday as social media users confused Mr. Bodenstedt for the CEO of Wendy’s corporate office, which is actually Todd Penegor.

Mr. Penegor has not made any donations directly to Trump or other politicians, according to Federal Election Commission filings viewed by Business Insider.

“We never have and will never contribute to a presidential campaign. For the record our CEO has always kept that same energy too. Facts,” Wendy’s tweeted.

Mr. Penegor posted an open letter on his company blog earlier this week recognizing his white privilege in the wake of the police custody death of George Floyd.

“My family and I spent the weekend talking and are appalled by the loss of George Floyd and the larger societal challenges that face us,” the CEO wrote. “I also recognize that my family and I possess a privilege due to the color of our skin that people of color do not have.

“While we empathize and grieve with our Black neighbors, we also know that we do not walk in the same shoes,” he continued. “What my family can do, and what all of us in the Wendy’s family will do, is to advocate for a future of equality and safety.”

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