A Baltimore city school teacher wanted to design a Wells Fargo bank card that expressed her love for the “Black Lives Matter” movement, but was rejected by the financial institution.
According to The Washington Post, Wells Fargo offered its customers the ability to personalize their credit and debit cards with images “that reflect what’s important to you,” but said that Rachel Nash’s imagery of a raised fist and the words “Black Lives Matter” did not meet the company’s guidelines.
Nash, who is white, said she created the bank card art as a means of expressing her disgust with the death of Freddie Gray and her endearment for BLM.
“A lot of white people in Baltimore have really problematic views about race, and they feel like because I’m a white person I agree with them automatically,” Nash told the WaPost. “This is one way I can demonstrate regularly that I am not complicit in whatever their views are.”
Two days after receiving a rejection letter on Thursday, Nash inquired why her art was dismissed.
“As soon as I said ‘Black Lives Matter,’ [the customer service agent] said, ‘Oh, that’s why it got rejected.’ She said Wells Fargo ‘didn’t want to be associated with any antisocial or offensive organizations,’” she recalled.
Nash added: “She said that if ‘Black Lives Matter’ were on my card, it might offend people. She eventually reached a supervisor who repeated the original reasoning that it was “offensive and antisocial.”
“When I disagreed, she said, ‘Oh, it’s political,’” the 35-year-old teacher concluded.
A Wells Fargo spokesman said on Friday that it rejected Nash’s image because company policy “prohibits political and trademarked or copyrighted images.”
“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,” the statement said.
But the tea is is that “Black Lives Matter” is not a trademarked brand, reports the Post. Actually, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected applications to trademark “Black Lives Matter” for clothing sales because the slogan is “commonly used” in rallies dedicated to civil rights and protesting violence.
Guess it was the politics part.
Yet, Nash believes the company is missing out on a key opportunity to connect with young people who are dedicated to social justice.
“These banks are very excited to sign my kids up for credit cards as soon as they get to college, but they are not supporting the people who live in my city,” Nash told the WaPost.
“It’s hard for students to hear that big businesses they expect to be inclusive are not. And a lot of them said they don’t feel like doing business with Wells Fargo,” she concluded.