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Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Boycotts

There's a post at the Episcopal Cafe that has a round-up of views on the boycotting of Chick-fil-A. I myself am fine with boycotts - for instance, I try not to buy anything made in China because of the way animals are treated there (one example among many).

Here's just a bit from one of the articles mentioned in the Episcopal Cafe post ...

Chick-fil-A gets a lesson on corporate outspokenness - Los Angeles Times

[...] Despite what Cathy's supporters might claim, public boycotts aren't infringements on his free speech. With a handful of modern exceptions — the grape boycott against anti-union California growers in the 1960s and the disinvestment campaign against South African apartheid in the 1980s — boycotts today are informational tools. No one publicizing Cathy's views has the power or authority to keep anyone out of his stores, but they do have the ability to help patrons walking up to his counters to know where their money is going ....

Sometimes politics intercede where you may not expect it. Corporations of all types have supported Planned Parenthood for years, presumably on the grounds that helping deliver inexpensive healthcare to underprivileged women was a good thing and one that fit in with corporate principles such as diversity and fairness. Then one morning they woke up to discover that their longtime beneficiary had become transformed into a gigantic political football. (Apologies to Franz Kafka.) The next thing they knew, they were on an anti-abortion organization's boycott list.

Corporate executives surrounded by yes men telling them how wise they are will probably continue to try sharing their wisdom on subjects well outside their core competencies. Sometimes they'll tailor their words to what they think are their target markets. Sometimes, like Cathy, they'll discover that there are bigger markets out there where customers may not care for what they have to say. We should defend to the death their right to speak, and also our own right to make them pay for it, or not, at the cash register.



2 Comments:

Anonymous Richard said...

Funny, I'd never heard of Chick-fil-a until this controversy blossomed (I did notice a dancing cow at a strip mall in Folsom recently.) Although I fully support the LGBT community, to participate in this boycott I'd have to learn to like chicken, truly want to get my chicken at C-F-A instead of KFC, find one of their stores and then not go to it. To much work.

6:56 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Richard,

Me too - being a vegetarian, I'd not ever be going there anyway.

7:16 PM  

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