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.