Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner drank chocolate milk to demonstrate his love for diversity.

CBS Chicago/YouTube

Illinois governor mixes, gulps down chocolate milk to celebrate diversity

This is of course how diversity works.


Ana Valens


Published Feb 22, 2018   Updated May 22, 2021, 12:00 am CDT

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) cares about diversity. In fact, he cares about it so much that he drank your mom’s favorite chocolate milk concoction at a corporate event honoring Black History Month.

The supposed-metaphor happened after Hyatt Hotels’ vice president and global chief diversity officer Tyronne Stoudemire presented a bottle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup and said that it represents “diversity” through “women, people of color, people with disabilities, the aging population, and generation X, Y, and Z.” Standing on stage right next to him, Gov. Rauner held a glass of milk as Stoudemire poured chocolate syrup right into it.

“It’s not that organizations are not diverse, but when you look at most organizations, diversity sits, what? At the bottom of the organization,” Stoudemire said, CBS reports. “You don’t get inclusion until you stir it up. I want you to stir it up, governor. Stir it up.”

Gov. Rauner went on to do just that, offering to drink the chocolate milk live on stage.

“You’ll drink it? You’ll be proud to,” Stoudemire quipped, after which Gov. Rauner took a sizable gulp, gave a thumbs up, and unsolicitedly shouted, “It’s really, really good… Diversity!”

While Gov. Rauner most certainly enjoyed his complimentary Black History Month milk, most of the internet saw through the gag as a cheap attempt to encourage corporations to diversify. Ending racism in the business world takes much more than putting Hershey’s syrup into a milk glass, and turning all marginalized people into chocolate syurp ignores some pretty complicated power dynamics that happen between people based on race, class, and gender.

In short, bellowing “Diversity!” after chugging delicious chocolate milk isn’t the answer.

Many Illinois citizens think the Republican governor isn’t capable of encouraging diversity in his state, either. After all, he previously balked at criticizing a racist cartoon, and he hesitated in calling both President Donald Trump and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke a racist. Diversity isn’t exactly Rauner’s thing.

Oh, and The Simpsons already beat him to the chocolate milk punch.

Meanwhile, Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to Chicago public schools after Gov. Rauner vetoed a bill that would have given the city’s schools $215 million to combat its debt crisis. It’s pretty obvious Illinois needs better government, not more flavored milk.

H/T the Cut

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*First Published: Feb 22, 2018, 9:47 am CST