by Rick Barrett from https://www.tennessean.com
Harley-Davidson Inc. has pulled its Facebook ads and severed ties with one of its dealerships in response to hateful comments made on social media.
Hundreds of companies, including Harley, are pausing Facebook advertising this month as part of a larger boycott.
“Racism, hate or intolerance have no place in the Harley-Davidson community or anywhere — in person or online. We are pausing our Facebook ads in July to stand in support of efforts to stop the spread of hateful comment,” Harley says on its website.
The world’s largest manufacturer of heavyweight motorcycles also severed ties with Abernathy’s Cycle in Union City, Tennessee, following an alleged racist posting on the dealership’s Facebook page.
Screen shots, shared on social media, showed it said, “I’m sick of this black lives matter,” and those involved in the protests should go “back to Africa and stay.”
Dealership owner Russell Abernathy II denied making the Facebook post and said he rejected its content.
“And by extension, Abernathy’s Harley-Davidson have and always will be welcoming to all riders regardless of race. The derogatory nature of the comment in no way aligns with my personal beliefs or that of Harley-Davidson Motor Co. It personally saddens me that this post has caused such wide-reaching pain to those that have already been subject to so many social injustices. I vow to make certain that Abernathy’s Harley-Davidson provides a positive environment of diversity, equality and inclusion for all,” the dealership says on its website.
But for now, anyway, Harley says Abernathy’s “will no longer be part of our dealer network.”