Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why I Don't Do Boycotts

This whole thing with Chik-fil-a is a little out of control. I pretty much ignored it at first, but now it seems like it's become a social media war and it's all about picking sides. It makes me angry and sad.

Recently, a friend of mine shared this article - "In Defense of Eating at Chick-fil-a" and the thing that really caught my attention was the sentence over the picture. Make sure you look at it. It really got me thinking and the bottom line is that if I only agreed to purchase from businesses and people who thought exactly like I did I would be in trouble because I wouldn't have anything or any ways of acquiring anything! It's a fact of life - nobody is exactly alike. Nobody acts or thinks exactly the same way I do. It's what makes the world a rich and interesting place!

When I was at Vanderbilt I went on a trip to Arizona and Mexico to look at immigration and some of the issues that are tied up with that. It brought some things to my attention I never would have considered. While we were in Mexico we heard stories about the rotten policies and conditions in factories just south of the border. And the truth is, it was pretty rotten. And the response of all of us high-and-mighty Vanderbilt students who could afford advanced degrees and flying across the country and beyond for a "cultural experience" was that we should boycott these companies and products in support of the workers. But the former worker who was telling us about these horrible things even told us that a boycott wasn't the answer because it wasn't going to actually accomplish anything other than making us feel superior.

The same is true here. No matter what side you land on, the only thing that choosing a side accomplishes is making you feel superior and "othering" someone else. It doesn't facilitate dialogue. It doesn't promote peace or understanding. Rather than choosing sides, I'd rather focus on loving my friends and family - those that are gay, straight, conservative, liberal, Christian, non-Christian, and everything in between!

No comments:

Post a Comment