I take some solace in the defection of several corporate leaders from a business panel organized by President Trump in response to his comments following the violence in Virginia.

Maybe economics can save us after all.

The leaders of six companies as of Tuesday evening have stepped down from the president’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative, citing the comments over the weekend and subsequent press conference Tuesday.

It’s possible that these businesspeople made their decision based on deeply held beliefs in equality and the rights of man. But more likely it’s economics.

These companies sell to people of all colors, all walks of life, all social standings. Being on the wrong side of history also means being on the wrong side of business. That was true for the cotton plantation owners of the south and it’s true today.

Slave labor was not sustainable. Neither is coddling white supremacy.

That’s not to say our path forward is paved with a civilized discussion of the issues that face us, the hate, the violence. Economics cannot change a heart. But the pursuit of profit is ultimately more powerful than adhering to a crumbling myth of racial superiority.

That’s what I think these public stands by these high-profile businesspeople shows us.

At least I hope so.

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