“The founders and team at Montauk Brewing Company support the movement with all our hearts. Black Lives Matter. We have donated and will continue to support organizations that further the cause. Come as you are.”
This message of solidarity and of support for the Black Lives Matter movement was posted in early June on a blackboard outside a local Long Island Brewery in Montauk, New York in response to the rising civil turmoil concerning police brutality and systemic racism in the U.S.
The Montauk Brewing Company, the second largest local brewery in Long Island, has, as stated, donated to the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples (NAACP) — both organizations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement — and proudly advertised as such online and on site.
Although a common sight in recent months, this statement has upset many local residents who in turn, have created several online smear campaigns, including a Change.org petition against Montauk Brewing Company so they might, “take meaningful, decisive, real world action and relocate to a predominant area occupying the peoples and community MBC claims to support.”
Along with the petition, there have been several posts on social media denouncing Montauk for its support of Black Lives Matter.
Criticism of companies that stand with and donate to organizations that support the Black Lives Matter movement have been widespread, as it has been with companies that remain silent or speak out against such organizations.
The fervor for these symbolic acts of support or opposition, although preferred over apathy, has clouded much of the information that would otherwise clarify many contentions.
Despite the continued backlash, online harassment, and calls for boycotts, Montauk Brewing Company has maintained their support for racial justice. In a statement responding to their critics on Facebook, Montauk had this to say:
“Our post was specifically in support of racial equality. We unequivocally, and unapologetically, stand against racism and violence in any capacity. We also have, and always will support our police, first responders, nurses, doctors, fire departments, and the military for their unwavering help, protection, and selflessness. We’ll always support the people of our Long Island home, and their right to peacefully protest, but will never condone violence of any kind against those who keep us safe and secure.”
Steadfast in their ideals, Montauk Brewing Company has continued in their support of the Black Lives Matter movement and have become an example to many local businesses that may now and in the future face opposition for their support of social justice.