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State Farm is being accused of recruiting agents to push books about gender fluidity on young children, and a new ad campaign by Consumers’ Research slams the insurance giant as “a creepy neighbor” to spotlight claims by an internal whistleblower.
“Consumers’ Research is launching a campaign against State Farm Insurance because, recently a whistleblower brought to our attention evidence – email chain traffic – showing that they have been intentionally trying to target kindergartners for discussions around transgender issues, sexual identity issues, without notifying their parents or without their consent, and specifically targeting them in the public schools,” Consumers’ Research executive director Will Hild Fox News Digital.
The internal email that a whistleblower provided to Consumers’ Research, a nonprofit that aims to “increase the knowledge and understanding of issues, policies, products, and services of concern to consumers and to promote the freedom to act on that knowledge and understanding,” was sent by State Farm corporate responsibility analyst Jose Soto. It urges Florida agents to take action and provide LGBTQ+ books to children.
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“State Farm is partnering with The Gender Cool Project to help diversify classroom, community center and library bookshelves with a collection of books to help bring clarity and understanding to the national conversation about Being Transgender, Inclusive and Non-Binary. The project’s goal is to increase representation of LGBTQ+ books and support our communities in having challenging, important and empowering conversations with children Age 5+,” Soto wrote. “Agents are key to the success of this program. Nationwide, approximately 550 State Farm agents and employees will have the opportunity to donate this 3-book bundle to their local teacher, community center or library of their choice.”
Soto then declared he wanted to find six Florida State Farm agents to participate in the project, asking them to highlight the insurance company’s commitment to diversity on social media. “This is a fantastic way to give back and an easy project that will help us support the LGBTQ+ community and make the world around us better,” Soto wrote, adding that the opportunity to partake is available to the first six State Farm agents who respond.
When Consumers’ Research received a copy of Soto’s email from a concerned whistleblower, which the organization later shared with Fox News Digital, Hild wasn’t sure it was legitimate, but he quickly found other agents that received the same thing.
“The first thing we did is, of course, we wanted to verify this information. We reached out to other Florida State Farm agents to make sure that they had also gotten the email. And then we researched some of the materials, specifically the Gender Cool Project that’s mentioned in the email. If you go onto their website, you’ll find that State Farm is listed by name and by their logo as a sponsor and a partner of that project,” Hild said.
Indeed, the Gender Cool Project, which describes itself as “helping replace misinformed opinions with positive experiences meeting transgender and non-binary youth who are thriving,” lists State Farm as a partner.
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“State Farm looks to be targeting five-year-olds, kindergartners, in fact, in the public schools for inappropriate discussions around sexual identity,” Hild said. “We want to call them out for that activity and to notify parents and customers of State Farm’s activity, so they can hopefully get them to cut it out. But at the very least, make sure that their kids were not approached by State Farm on these issues.”
The 30-second ad, titled “Like a Creepy Neighbor,” that mocks the company’s slogan, begins with a narrator declaring that State Farm says it’s a good neighbor before asking, “But would a good neighbor target five-year olds for conversation about sexual identity?”
“That’s what State Farm is doing, asking employees to donate guides to being transgender to public schools, books aimed at kindergartners questioning their identity. It’s textbook indoctrination,” the narrator says. “These books don’t belong in elementary schools and State Farm shouldn’t be putting them there. Like a creepy neighbor, State Farm is there.”
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Consumers’ Research also unveiled LikeACreepyNeighbor.com where additional information and ways to take action are provided. The email that State Farm agents received is also posted on the website.
“What Consumers’ Research is hoping to do here is to educate consumers, customers of State Farm and parents as to their activities,” Hild said. “They’re set up like much like a credit union. Their customers are their member-owners. They are, effectively. So even if you don’t have kids and you are a State Farm customer, this is being done in your name, and we think that is a very important thing for customers – and in this case – owners or controllers, members of the company, to be aware that’s being undertaken in their name.”
Following the release of the ad, State Farm said participation in the program is “strictly voluntary” and the insurance company’s participation “evolved quickly, and the decision was made several months ago for participants not to share resources” with schools.
“At State Farm, we are committed to diversity and inclusion; they aren’t just words, they are truly part of how we do business and lead our organization. We recognize and value the diversity of all people, and support a culture of respect and inclusion in the communities in which we live and work, as well as our workplace. The LGBTQ+ community is a valued part of the communities we serve and are valued members of our workplace,” State Farm told Fox News Digital in a statement.
“Kindness and respect is expected in all our interactions and extended to everyone we do business with across all segments of society,” State Farm continued. “We embrace diversity and inclusion because it’s the right thing to do. We work with a variety of organizations and causes that express their own unique views, and support civil and open dialogue on challenging topics.”
Hild wants other State Farm whistleblowers to step up, since the email indicated it could be a nationwide directive.
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“We would love to hear from people who may have been affected by this or maybe were asked to do this. If they were a State Farm agent, we will obviously keep their identity private, but it would be great to know how far this extended, how many kids may have been affected,” he said.
“Everyone can expect that Consumers’ Research is going to be taking this message across the nation, and also to State Farm, wherever we deem it relevant,” Hild said. “Their shareholder meeting would absolutely be a place where we think they should probably hear from Americans, consumers.”
Consumers’ Research has previously launched campaigns against other companies, including BlackRock, Levi’s and American Express.
After the news broke, State Farm emailed employees, announcing they would no longer be participating in the GenderCool program.
“State Farm’s support of a philanthropic program, GenderCool, has been the subject of news and customer inquiries. This program that included books about gender identity was intended to promote inclusivity.
Conversations about gender and identity should happen at home with parents. We don’t support required curriculum in schools on this topic. We support organizations providing resources for parents to have these conversations.
We no longer support the program allowing for distribution of books in schools. We will continue to explore how we can support organizations that provide tools and resources that align with our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
We recognize and value the diversity of all people, and support a culture of respect and inclusion in the communities in which we live and work, as well as our workplace.”
The article was updated to include State Farm’s email to employees.