On Boycotting

So I’ve been boycotting Whole Foods Market for over a year now, ever since their CEO John Mackey wrote this diatribe in the Wall Street Journal (a “news” paper largely fit only for use as toilet paper, and only out of desperation for lack of sandpaper). I boycotted WFM over this article because Mackey explicitly tied his personal opinions to his position as CEO. Had they been just his personal views – and clearly distinguished without use of “At Whole Foods we…” – I might have ignored them and continued to shop in the Whole Foods literally next door to my apartment.

I’ve been building up a mental picture of retailers, stores, corporations, and so forth, according to their political and social positions. Public records reveal the true leanings of many of the “corporate leaders” behind those corporate views, but I generally won’t completely write off a store just because its CEO gave the Republican Party a large personal campaign contribution (that’s a private right of an individual). When it comes to corporations, the ideal in many cases is to remain politically neutral, while supporting worker rights and so forth. But sometimes, that is not possible. For example, when it comes to US constitutionally protected equal rights for gays and lesbians. Who the heck gave corporations a right to say “you can’t marry that person”? Well, arguably the Supreme Court has through several different rulings it never should have made, which are repugnant and disgusting and offensive to all things that are decent, but that’s another matter.

Anyway. I have my political preference, and others have theirs. I’d rather it didn’t have to impact where I buy my toiletries, but it sadly does. You wouldn’t catch me dead shopping in Walmart for many different reasons, but I thought I was reasonably safe with Target. But when a company starts getting involved in State elections by supporting an anti-gay governor, then it isn’t red targets I see, but red flags. I haven’t been to Target since this little debacle and I’m trying to decide if I’m willing to go there again. I suspect I may find their apology acceptable this time.

There’s a bigger issue though. I can’t boycott everywhere, but that’s not the crux of the matter. The crux is that I’m really not comfortable with the way the Roberts Court have totally fucked us all over and allowed for corporations to give unlimited donations to future elections. This is only going to be the start. You can bet it’s going to get a lot worse in the months and years ahead as a money free-for-all decides who gets their image shoved in voter faces the longest.


One Response to “On Boycotting”

  1. Pete Zaitcev says:

    I absolutely love how Wal-Mart goes batshit to get in bed with liberals and does every imaginable liberal thing (except, you know, closing down and letting inefficient “mom and pop” stores put poor back into poverty because they are get hurt with retail overhead the most), but then liberals continue to hate them. It’s de-li-cious.

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