On Tuesday, following a 10-minute journey to the sting of suborbital area on his privately-funded rocket ship, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos introduced that he’s bestowing the “Braveness and Civility Award” to chef José Andrés and Van Jones, political commentator and founding father of DreamCorps. The brand new prize “acknowledge[s] leaders who purpose excessive, and who pursue options with braveness and who at all times accomplish that with civility.” Every awardee will get $100 million to disperse to charities of their selecting.
Expectedly, Andrés will channel his share into World Central Kitchen, his charity dedicated to feeding folks throughout instances of catastrophe, together with the continued COVID-19 pandemic.
In an announcement, Andrés stated:
I’m so honored. I’m actually grateful for this award, and the unbelievable assist from Jeff and your entire Bezos household. World Central Kitchen was born from the straightforward concept that meals has the ability to create a greater world. A plate of meals is a plate of hope … it’s the quickest strategy to rebuild lives and communities.
This award itself can not feed the world by itself. However that is the beginning of a brand new chapter for us — it would enable us to suppose past the subsequent hurricane to the larger challenges we face. Folks of the world: now could be the time to suppose actually huge, to resolve starvation with the fierce urgency of now.
The factor we need to do is revolutionize catastrophe and starvation reduction. Folks don’t need our pity, they need our respect … the least we will do is be subsequent to them when issues get powerful…
Whereas a $200 million donation is nothing to scoff at and will definitely go to good use — particularly inside World Central Kitchen — the quantity is chump change to Bezos who, because the richest man on the planet, has a $205 billion web value. Not contemplating tax write-offs, the donations are collectively value .08 % of Bezos’s earnings.
The announcement of the brand new award comes at a time when Bezos is going through plenty of criticism, partially as a consequence of his costly little area journey, but in addition due to the purported therapy of Amazon workers, particularly Amazon drivers and warehouse employees. As Lauren Kaori Gurley reported for Vice in Could 2021, “the truth that Amazon supply drivers pee in bottles and occasional cups of their vans shouldn’t be invented. It has been well-documented, and is a large speaking level amongst many supply drivers. It is without doubt one of the most common issues voiced by the various Amazon supply drivers across the nation that Motherboard has interviewed. Supply employees, who drive Amazon emblazoned vans, typically ship as much as 300 packages a day on a 10-hour shift. In the event that they take too lengthy, they are often written up and fired.” Amazon can also be identified for its historical past of union-busting, in addition to its leaked campaigns to smear employees who communicate out in opposition to the corporate.
Does Bezos’s hefty donation to a worthy trigger assist negate his near-mythic place as an megalomaniacal enemy of the working class, an up to date — and Alexa suitable — caricature of a grasping railroad baron? I feel not, but in addition imagine that everybody (World Central Kitchen, included) ought to take his cash.