LEGO stands against racism and inequality by donating $4 million [News]

In response to the growing protests about racial inequality centered in the US, LEGO announced that they stand with the black community and will donate $4 million to several organizations working to both support and educate children about racial equality. The donation is one of the largest by a corporation announced so far, similar in scale to the $5 million donation announced by Disney.

LEGO’s support of the Black Lives Matter movement and their sizeable donation is a notable response to the tragic events unfolding throughout the US, especially considering their own flagship store in New York was looted earlier this week. These pictures from Twitter users @aaronwhite and @SteveKornacki show the Flatiron District LEGO Store’s windows smashed and shelves wiped clean, with only a broken Star Destroyer and a few permanent displays remaining.

LEGO’s core values state that the company will strive to “make a positive difference in the lives of children… not because we have to – but because it feels right and because we care.” LEGO has also asked retailers and affiliates to pause advertising a variety of products including City sets featuring police officers and firefighters as well as the new LEGO Architecture White House.

15 comments on “LEGO stands against racism and inequality by donating $4 million [News]

  1. Dave Kaleta

    Now it is time for us to act.

    I call upon members of the Lego community to show that we don’t just talk the talk by using a hashtag or posting an empty image. Together, let us walk the walk. One thing we have in common is our love of Lego, we invest in it with our souls, but also our dollars. Consider how much you might spend on Lego in a given month and put that toward organizations that are doing the hard work of creating a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.

    I’ll go first. I’ve donated what I might spend on Lego instead to Chicago Freedom School, an organization in my city that is helping to empower and educate both young people and adults. Times are tough right now – you might be using what you normally spend on Lego to feed your family, pay your bills, or keep a roof over your head. If you are so inclined there are other ways you can help. Sign petitions. Call and write your local or federal officials. Use your platform to amplify voices. Get out on the streets and protest safely – as I did with my son. Create a build and auction it off. But no matter what, do SOMETHING.

    This might seem daunting, but we are a community that has proven we have more in common than just our love of creating Lego. If you want to do something but you don’t know how to start – ASK. There are people who will help.

    We cannot let this end with liking and sharing an image. Refuse to be silent. Refuse to be complacent. Speak out. Protest. Amplify voices. Work to learn, grow, repair, and do better. Show your support whatever way you can.

    #legofansgive

  2. Ben

    Lego needs to walk the talk – Lego needs to learn that representation matters, where are the black minifigures? Why are they so sparse? If Marvel didn’t exist there’d be even fewer. If black lives matter to Lego black children should be able to see themselves equally represented on the shelves with their white counterparts… Please no replies on how yellow is every race ….

  3. Ben

    …Also, Lego’s 2019 net profit was €1,111,790,000. They’re donating €3,500,000 against racism…

  4. Logan

    Ben, I agree. It’s ridiculous when people act like yellow is a neutral color.

    The first black minifigure was Lando Calrissian in Cloud City in 2003. If yellow is so neutral, why wasn’t Lando yellow as well? We all know how absurd that would be, hence Lando was made black, and yellow isn’t so neutral a color as they want you to believe.

  5. Wayne

    To Ben and Logan from LEGO on the matter, “We want to inspire the builders of tomorrow – that means kids from all around the world! We want every one of our fans, wherever they live and whatever their own skin color, to imagine themselves as part of the action. When we invented minifigures over 40 years ago, we chose yellow because it’s a neutral “skin color” – nobody in real life has bright yellow skin, so LEGO® minifigures don’t represent a specific race or ethnic background and nobody is left out.” You guys keep doing you, though, and feel free to continue your outrage at a plastic toy.

  6. Howard

    Wouldn’t the lack of Black minifigures in LEGO sets be more indicative of the lack of Black representation in the IPs they license than some sort of purposeful lack of representation by LEGO?

  7. Logan

    Wayne,

    I’m not outraged, I’m just pointing out how absurd it is to say yellow is neutral and gave a succinct explanation as to why. Again, if yellow is so neutral why weren’t Lando and subsequent black characters made yellow?

    It’s clearly not neutral no matter how much you delude yourself otherwise.

  8. Garry

    Lando was made black as part of when Star Wars Lego moved to skin tone mini-figs

    Cos leaving him yellow would have just been wrong.

    Then you have the fact that very few characters in the IPs that Lego use skin tone mini-figs for are black But Finn etc are all black

  9. MK7

    Lego shouldn’t touch politics. So far they have only come out as hypocrites. In UK those so-called peacful protesters jusr attacked police horses with fireworks and free city bikes. One policewoman seriously injured… I call it a ANTIFA type of disruption not voice of people.

  10. Ben

    @MK7 – we’re just trying to have a gentle discussion about children growing up morally sound and racially aware. No need for random antifa references – hope you get a hug soon.

  11. Michael Wolf

    Wayne
    If we lived in a world with equal representation of skin colors then neutral wouldn’t be a problem. In the absence of that equality, Neutral becomes default, which is most communities means white. Representation of race isn’t the same as abdication of race. If LEGO is really earnest about building a world where color doesn’t matter then color has to matter. If children never play with the concept of skin color then they don’t ever build the tools to address it maturely as adults. Denigrating serious concerns about LEGO as a “Plastic Toy” obsession is a bad faith argument. If you’re living today, most of your core beliefs about how you’re supposed to function likely came from a plastic toy, whether it’s the plastic money you developed an understanding of commerce from, plastic action figures you modeled your adult interactions with or plastic blocks that formed your understanding of how the world around you is put together.

    Charles D. Hammer
    I’m loathed to address politics here but your comment is one that requires constant correction in our society. Treating others as we wish to be treated never falls under the the umbrella of politics.Even if there was an isle that separated people who found police brutality repugnant and people who saw no problem with it, there couldn’t be a large enough benefit for you to be on the wrong side of it. One of the best-made toys in the history of the world sees this as an issue of right and wrong. If you can’t, it would do you good to question why.

  12. Jackson

    I think it’s worth considering how LEGO’s product lineup glorifies policing, and how that reflects a moral stance itself. Just as LEGO refuses to glorify military conflict, it could choose not to elevate law enforcement by having a perpetual stream of varied policing products.

  13. Phil

    As a black man with two son… we love LEGOs. First, I thank all my white brother and sisters who are taking the time to comment. I spend $1000 of dollars each your on our LEGO city. My youngest son always asking me are their any “little brown face boys”… I just keep telling him their coming soon. God after all of this I really hope LEGO PLEASE, PLEASE, make more “little brown face boys” with all the simple and happy expression the yellow/”white” minifigures do. WE LOVE LEGO… Black Lives matter too.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.