Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My Two Cents: North Carolina Boycotts

Last week Bruce Springsteen cancelled a scheduled concert in Greensboro, North Carolina over that Hate Bill the legislature, and the governor, rushed into law and some folks were upset that The Boss wouldn’t sing for them.

But here’s the deal: Springsteen doesn’t like Hate and if he came to North Carolina, he’d be funneling money into an economy that has allowed Hate to be legislated, so he said, ‘No,’ and I say ‘Good on him.’

Also, last week, the CEO of PayPal cancelled a planned expansion into Charlotte, North Carolina unless, and until, that Hate Bill is repealed, and lots religious wingnuts like Franklin Graham and Tony Perkins began demanding that their supporters donate to their cause … using PayPal. Isn’t that ironic?

And now, the organizers of North Carolina’s High Point Market Week, which bills itself as the world’s largest home furnishings industry trade show and delivers an estimated $5.4B to the local economy with its spring and fall events, revealed that they were being deluged with cancellations in the wake of North Carolina’s Hate Bill and the CEO, Bob Maricich, issued a statement slamming the “appalling” law but then asks that people not take their anger out on his event:
“At IMC, a guiding principle of our commitment to excellence as a company is to treat all people with dignity and to act with integrity. Inclusiveness is a core value of our organization. We celebrate diversity and view it as a strength and unequivocally denounce any form of discrimination. In order to build relationships and exceed expectations internally and with our customers, we continue to work together to better understand one another, and to evolve together to achieve success today and well into the future. We believe through kindness and fundamental fairness that we cannot only build an exceptional company but we can positively influence our industry and community.”

Maricich says the High Point Market should not be the focus of a boycott as a result of HB@, AKA Hate Bill 2, and that the protests against it are misplaced because, he says, more than 70% of the exhibitors are small businesses, mostly from outside of North Carolina, that depend on the market to drive revenues.

But here’s the deal, Mr. Maricich: when people don’t have a vote, when their legislators rush through a bill, and their governor signs it, as he said, in the hopes of denying any discussion or criticism, We The People have no choice but to voice our anger in other ways, usually, and most effectively, through boycotts.

If a high profile concert is cancelled because the performer refuses to sing in a state that legislates hate then that’s his right.

If a company decides to move their expansion somewhere else because a state government has allowed discrimination and intolerance to become law, that’s their right.

If a sporting event threatens to move to another state to avoid being associated with legalized discrimination, then that’s their right.

And if vendors and visitors to an event, even one as large and profitable as yours, decide that they would rather stay home than funnel their money into a state that has allowed transgender people to be treated so shabbily with such vitriol, then that’s their right, too.

The people of North Carolina, and anyone who may, or may not, visit the state, didn’t have a voice or a vote in that Hate Bill, so We The People, from The Boss to PayPal to the Average Joe who opts to stay away, will use our wallets and our credits cards as our voice.
Money talks, it’s time for that bull shiz law to take a walk.

This threatened boycott might hurt your bottom line, but think how many people are affected by hate, how many trans women are beaten and killed, and then ask yourself, is money more important than a life?


anne marie in philly said...

RIGHT ON, BRO! money talks loud and clear. if that event doesn't happen, too damn bad; get over it.

Michael Dodd said...

Amen! And again I say to you, Amen!

Mitchell is Moving said...

A-a-a-men! I found it ironic that an asshat congressman (I can't remember which one) said Springsteen was a bully for HIS behavior.

"Tommy" said...

Yes Sir... You Got It... All the Way.. We have a bill in our current legislature, which sprouts discrimination. I wonder what the South's Legislatures are thinking...????

the dogs' mother said...

I've been to Chapel Hill, as a teenager, one of my aunts taught there her entire career. loverly place. I hope NC can reverse the law, statute or whatever they call it.

Sadie J said...

I'm sure the NC legislatures think they're being picked on unduly.

Will J said...

Life is too short. Don't go where you are not wanted. We got the message. We ain't going, so you don't get our money. No whining.

Fearsome Beard said...

An employer who decides not to expand there is doing the right thing to protect that employers employees from religious discrimination. Same of the vendors going to a trade show, they themselves and or employees that would attend to work the show could legally be harmed by someone else's religious beliefs. It's not just money.

Helen Lashbrook said...

Don't cry to the public, rage at the governor who signed this hateful bill; ask him for compensation for all the people who don't attend your furnishings fair