You’ve seen it before. The person who, when some business does something they disapprove, makes it a point to let everyone know that that’s when they stopped patronizing said business. Boycotts are very trendy right now, and seldom effective. For every person who stops purchasing a product, someone else steps in and starts, for the same reasons as you, only the opposite side.
Now, there are some issues I can respect. Apartheid being one, for example. And there’s nothing wrong with a boycott, per se, I just question the sincerity of many of the people doing the boycotting. I see a lot of posturing and posing.
For reference, a few recent examples of well-known boycotts are (there are many more, of course)…
- Various groups boycotting Chick-fil-A over their founder’s personal opposition to same-sex marriage.
- The National Football League (NFL) for not taking decisive action over Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling in protest before games.
- Nike for taking the opposite view and including Colin Kaepernick in an advertising campaign.
- Heinz for showing a commercial with two men kissing.
- Some people claim to have stopped shopping at Dick’s Sporting Goods over their decision to stop selling guns in many of its stores.
You have to ask yourself: How many of these self-righteous proclamations are true. I mean, I could easily claim to be boycotting the NFL over some policy or another that I disagree with, and there are a few, but it’d be a hollow proclamation on my part. Truth is that I’ve watched maybe only a dozen games in the last 25 years. Not for any other reason than the league makes me feel unappreciated as a fan (and they keep screwing up the game with over-restrictive rules). That’s it. I truly believe that at least half the people who claim a new boycott weren’t shopping there to begin with.
I do know several people who still actively boycott Chick-fil-A, and that’s fine, whatever. If you look at everything, though, you’d see that they’re not nearly as close-minded as is commonly believed. Some boycotters are legit, from what I can tell, but others I believe only still do it because it’s trendy in their preferred social circle… they’re trying to fit in and be accepted, in other words.
Oh, and Chick-fil-A is expanding and doing just fine.
Personally, I choose to not boycott a business based on social and/or political reasons. I will boycott over how a business treats their customers (read: me), but I figure that if I dig deep enough, I can find ‘dirt’ on every business, and I’m not willing to limit myself like that.
I eat at Chick-fil-A on occasion. Their restaurants are clean, the people are friendly, the service and courtesy is awesome. The food is even good, very good, but it’s not on the edge of orgasmic as so many people act. For what it’s worth, I think Wendy’s does a much better chicken sandwich.