Let’s hear it for the boycott

Donuts were provided for a meeting I attended at the Foundation recently, which is always a nice way to start a morning. The one I nibbled was pretty tasty, and I wondered where they’d come from, as the to-go containers in which they arrived were unmarked.

When the head of the Foundation entered, someone offered him a pastry. He took one and asked “where did we get these?”

Peace, Love, and Little Donuts,” the admin who planned the meeting returned.

My stomach dropped.

“Mmm. I don’t think we should buy anything from there anymore,” Mr. Executive said, with a tightness to his voice. When questioned, he explained that Peace, Love, and Little Donuts supports offensive politics.

He’s right. At least, if you happen to share a lefty liberal sensibility of what constitutes “offensive politics,” which I very much do. I’ve boycotted P,L&LD since they opened, when it was revealed that that owner was vocally anti-LGBTQ and anti-women’s rights. Working in the Strip District for 3 years, that was no small feat, as (credit where it’s due) the smells eminating from that place are hard to pass up. I was annoyed.

The half-eaten donut sat mocking me on the conference table. In fact, all of the donuts that sat in front of people remained half-eaten. I’d like that to mean that everyone at the table was swayed by the moral argument, but really, I think it is a testament to how intimidating the head of the Foundation could be, so much so that no one wanted to be seen eating his hated donuts. That’s power, folks.

I was grumpy all morning about eating one of the evil donuts. Yet yesterday, I happily ate at Chik-Fil-A. Oops.

Is it just that I like waffle fries more than donuts? Maybe. But I think there are legitimate differences in my willingness to spend money at these two establishments.

One is results-driven. Losing business from me and my like-minded peers can have an appreciable affect on a locally owned business. Even if it doesn’t close them down, we will make a dent in their profit margins. They need me and my bougie friends to buy their tiny, expensive designer donuts. Chil-Fil-A, on the other hand, is less impacted by losing my money.

The second is what really sticks with me, though, and gaurantees that no matter how alluring a smell or tempting a topping, I will never hand money over to Peace, Love, and Little Donuts. I resent that their branding is targeted to me and my bleeding-heart liberal compatriots. “Unleash your inner hippie?” Hippies were really well known for hate-speech, huh? It’s not that I think every person has to agree with my politics (I guess…) but it boils my blood that the owner of this shop has crafted a message specifically designed to hook liberals, while funneling our money to causes that hurt us. I won’t pay you to hate me.

Chik-fil-A, for as much as I disagree with its owner’s politics, has never really made a play for the liberal demographic. They’re upfront about their beliefs. For Christ’s sake, they even insist on closing on Sundays. No really, they do it for Christ’s sake.

Let’s be honest, though, it’s also a practical element at work here. If I boycotted every business whose politics are imperfect…well, I’d probably only eat food from the local crop share and wear locally sourced cotton. I’m bougie, but I’m not that bougie.

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6 thoughts on “Let’s hear it for the boycott

  1. “I won’t pay you to hate me.”

    Amen, sister! After the shit went down with Chik-Fil-A, I vowed never go again. Yet after so many months, I thought you know, it’s not even making a DENT in their business. What difference does it make? They’re not gonna get the message anyway.

    I agree that the local business impact is much greater, though I really do have to boycott Chik-Fil-A for good now, because my gay (duh) brother himself more recently spoke out against patronizing them. And I might not do it for the overall faceless cause, but I’ll be damned if I won’t do it specifically for him (no seriously, I might be damned).

    • Who you calling gay (duh)?

      My friend John just gave up the Chick-fil-hate. I’m of the opinion that one’s dollars and sense do matter, even with large corporations. I mean if all friends of gays stopped shopping there, it would make a difference.

      I recently went through the same pain with respect to another purchase at Lowe’s after they (and like every other national advertiser in the world) bailed on advertising with All-American Muslim on TLC. Where am I supposed to get light bulbs and circular saws now?

      I think the issue of where we spend our money is incredibly complex. I try to support local businesses but there are times when my politics or even their selection makes it impossible for me to get what I want. I have an Apple computer even though I think the safety of the people they have on assembly lines is not what it should be. I got tile for a home improvement project at a place where the service was reprehensible because I thought it was better than supporting scaredy-cat political decisions.

      The consumer cannot win; so we do our best. Also, Liz, let’s make waffle fries at home. I bet we can make ours better than any you can buy at any mass market chicken factory.

      • It’s not that I didn’t read and appreciate your reasoned and intelligent response to the conflicts justice-minded consumers face in the marketplace.

        But homemade waffle fries. My reptile brain took over and all I can say is “waaaaaaaant.”

        Let’s do this.

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