Baltimore, MD - Baltimore city teacher Rachel Nash designed a credit card that that featured "Black Lives Matter" on it along with a raised fist. But when Nash tried to have Wells Fargo make the card for her, they told her to keep her politics off of their credit cards.
According to The Washington Post, Wells Fargo Bank offers its customers the ability to create a debit or credit card and "personalize it with images that reflect what are important to you." On its website, Wells Fargo wrote that this can include "a family photo, a picture of your pet, your kid’s artwork."
Rachel Nash, age 29, decided to create a Black Lives Matter bank card. She had previously ironed "Black Lives Matter" on a gray tank top and wore it to school after the 2015 death of Freddy Gray who died while in police custody. Nash, who is white, said that she wanted to express solidarity with a national movement that was protesting "black killings by police" and demonstrate to her students that she cared.
She said that she is "fed up with white people who freely disparage black youth in front of her," and wants to interact and start conversations with employees and customers at businesses that she may use the card at, including where she buys groceries, buys coffee, dines out at restaurants.
But Wells Fargo rejected the design on her card and she received an email two days after she submitted the application that it did not meet the company's guidelines. She then called customer service and was told that Wells Fargo didn't want to be associated with "any antisocial or offensive organizations." Nash asked for further explanation and was told that if Black Lives Matter were on her card that it might "offend" people.
Rachel Nash then talked to a supervisor who also refused to allow the design and also said that it was "offensive and antisocial." On Friday, Wells Fargo said through a spokesman that Nash's design was rejected because company policy does not allow "political and trademarked or copyrighted images.”
Wells Fargo spokesman, Kris Dahl, reached out to Nash and apologized for the way she was treated on the phone. She also said that Wells Fargo's company policy plainly states that they try to allow customers to personalize their bank card and still maintain political neutrality. Dahl also said Wells Fargo respects individuals’ right to their opinions and causes, and when Wells Fargo rejects or approves an image, that’s not a "reflection of Wells Fargo’s rejection or endorsement of the customer’s political view or cause.” Other ideas that might get rejected include a swastika or Confederate flag.
Rachel Nash then submitted a second design to Wells Fargo. On the news design, it read "Black People Are Important." Wells Fargo has also said that it will reject that design as well because of its political nature.
Rejecting the Black Lives Matter card was clearly the right move for the company that wants to remain politically neutral. Black Lives Matter is made up of political organizations which gain publicity through spreading misinformation about law enforcement and inspiring violence against police.
The Black People Are Important card is an interesting idea, because on the surface it is a positive civil-rights statement, not an endorsement of the Black Lives Matter political groups. The card also removed the symbol of black nationalism. However, Nash's intent is clearly just to try to say "Black Lives Matter" with different words, and she already said that she's trying to spark interaction about the card which would lead into Black Lives Matter.
Do you think that Wells Fargo should reject the second design? Let us know in the comments below.