‘Boycott is an act of voluntary and intentional abstention from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for social, political, or environmental issues’.
When and where is the right time to boycott? Whether it’s a commercial boycott. A political boycott. Or a mixed boycott, it should influence change. Not some made up change, either. Real change. But how do we know when there is real change anticipated? How do we know that the reason to boycott is going to create the change people want? How do we know it’s not just some random Joe Schmoe in an attic of an abandoned house, with a fixation on causing dissention amongst the people? Boycotts used to have meaning. When black people were tired of being mistreated on the bus, segregated and forced to sit in the back of the bus they refused to ride the buses. They took a stand that created change. When Jewish people were not happy with one famous automobile inventor, Henry Ford, they boycotted him and his cars. Some people would think and believe that the first bus boycott was staged by Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. But, actually in 1953, a bus boycott was staged in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And in 1957, in Alexandra, South Africa, the people boycotted the bus service because of fare increases. From this boycott came a coupon book for bus rides, later to be adopted by the US as the transfer.
Nowadays, anytime someone is mad or upset with a person or group or an act by a person or group, they want to boycott. But they don’t necessarily do it with the intention of creating change. It has become the ‘cool’ thing to do. Activism with a capital ACT, is what I like to call it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to see people taking stands against something or someone they are dissatisfied with. It’s good to see people like Colin Kaepernick doing what he did for good. And on the other hand, it is sad to see that no one in the NFL wants to rehire him as a player on their team. Afraid of the backlash.
This is the reason why the cool boycott is so popular. This is why the trendy boycott is so mainstream. No fear of any real backlash because there is no real boycott happening. Social media is full of boycotts. My inbox is flooded on the daily with chain letters urging me to stop using this product, repost to take a stand against racism in Malta. Malta? What about the racism that is being perpetuated right here in my own country? A country we all have heard of.
You have boycotts or movements that don’t create any real change because the boycott or movement isn’t taken seriously. Take the BLM movement. I think a lot more change would created if the people with the power to create such change believed more in the movement. As sad as it is to say, Black livesa matter in the hood, too. But, when it is black on black crime, no one wants to stand up against that. Unless of course, it happens in their ‘backyard’. So those people or groups who can institute that change looks at a movement like BLM as a joke.
We need to stand up and protest against Lil Ray Ray shooting Jamal just as much as we stand up and protest against Officer O’Malley shooting Bobby Ray. That’s why this whole NFL boycott, to me, has become a joke. More important issues are at hand yet we wish to protest against an attack on one of the nation’s favorite pasttimes. This past week, there were things said about football players by an unnamed ‘nut job’ that has sparked a new kind of boycott. Now it’s a blackout and nobody wants to support the NFL. But, this ‘nut job’ is still an active cancer in the body of our nation. So, what is this boycott even doing?
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