Here is a copy of my letter to Pepsi:
To PepsiCo. Board of Directors:
I am a regular consumer, just like many other Americans. I am upset with Ms. Indra Nooyi's comments and further upset with her attempts at an apology. Nothing was "misconstrued" (she even said in her speech, "You know what I'm talking about.") and her criticisms of the US were not "inadvertent." They were blatant.
Whether or not she and PepsiCo. realize this, her attempt to clear things up only makes matters worse because it implies regular consumers are ignorant and naive, things which this one and most of the rest are not.
I am not going to buy any Pepsi products (all of them, not just the soft drinks) until two things are done:
1. A real apology is published that acknowledges what was said was wrong and a mistake. (Even if she believes it, she should state that comments like that are not appropriate for a leader at a consumer-related business to make, at least if they do not want to suffer the economic consequences, and especially if it is one so reliant upon the American consumer society.)
2. A statement expressing the good that the US does in the world. This country is not perfect, but it is one that brings much good to the world. To list some of the many:
-Tsunami relief (we actually backed up our pledge with the funds and relief services).
-Saving Europe during WWI.
-Saving the world and stopping continued Nazi extermination of the Jews during WWII.
-Saving South Korea from Communist (and eventual death camps) North Korea.
-Trying to salvage the job the French started with the Vietnam Conflict. (We did not succeed, but we tried.)
-Standing up to the Soviet Union and continued Communist expansion.
-Being the beacon of hope and light for those living under repressive regimes.
-Saving Kuwait when Saddam Hussein invaded that country.
-Helping to stop the genocide in then-Yugoslavia. There we helped Muslims against Christians, a point too often neglected.
-Assisting with funds and services to help after the Iran earthquake.
-Bringing freedom and self-rule to Afghanistan.
-Arresting and imprisoning the evil dictator Saddam Hussein along with delivering justice to his sons. This stopped the mass murder of his own people, torture, rapes, financial rewards to suicide bombers, and all-around continual threats to anyone who displeased him. (Notice we did not catch him, torture him, and then kill him. We delivered him to be tried by a court of law, something few countries would do. Yes, the US is one of the few, just like our Marines.)
-Thus, bringing freedom and a democratic vote to Iraq.
There are many more.
No matter what happens in the world, when someone needs help, they turn to us and we do help. We do because it is the right thing to do. We do because, quite often, no one else will. We do ... because we are Americans.
We are not the middle finger to the world. As radio host Hugh Hewitt put it, we are the backbone, the spine, the shoulders upon which others are able to stand. We are also the guts and intellect when something dangerous or complex needs doing.
Nooyi's criticism is a slander upon the face of the US. It is reprehensible. This is a country that provides much relief, aid, and even hope to billions around the world. When people despair, when people want more opportunity, where do they go? Like Nooyi, they come to the United States, the land of hope, freedom, and the brave. That she forgets that may be excusable if a forthright apology is forthcoming. That she neglects that is unexcusable.
The decision remains with you. Your now-former customers are awaiting a response that respects our intelligence and more importantly respects the good that the United States of America has done for the world and millions of its own citizens.