Justin Brotman is a human rights activist and son of Jeffrey Brotman, co-founder of Costco, one of the largest retailers in United States. He is the driving force behind the twitter account @Bipartisanism. Recent events in Baltimore have catapulted him to the center stage of a nation-wide protest movement.
The city of Baltimore witnessed wide-scale protests and rioting after Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American Baltimore resident succumbed to the injuries sustained during a police arrest on April 12, 2015. The rioting continued for days in which 20 police officers were injured and 250 protesters were arrested. The media coverage of the events was divided, with many commentators referring to violent protesters as “thugs” – a term also used by President Obama.
Justin Brotman and team of social media activists wanted to challenge the public perception and highlight the unrest as a civil rights protest. They decided to counter the trending hashtag #BaltimoreRiot with their own hashtag — #BaltimoreUprising. Justin Brotman used his 118, 000 Twitter followers to mobilize support for his campaign. Within days several celebrities from the world of entertainment had endorsed his campaign.
Justin’s father, Jeffrey Brotman is currently Chairman of the Board of Costco Wholesale Corp., and has been with the company since its inception in 1983. He has also served on the boards of several large companies including Starbucks and Seafirst Bank.
Costco is a membership-only warehouse club that provides a wide range of products at discounted prices. In 2014, the company reported a revenue of $112.64 billion and it employs more than 180, 000 people.
Justin Brotman vows to continue with its style of activism and to fight the perceived media bias against streets protests in Baltimore and elsewhere, which he sees as part of a wider social movement in the country.