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Boycotts and You

(Ben & Jerry’s via AP)

Let’s be honest with each other. Boycotting is fun to talk about. It’s cool to call for them on your Twitter feed in response to some person or company going full-on ridiculous with its political positions and insulting you in the process. Nike did it. Coke did it, and now Ben and Jerry’s has done it…again.

On Monday, ice cream company Ben and Jerry’s decided it was going to jump onto the social justice bandwagon of demanding the police be defunded while also advocating for the dismantling of the system of oppression that keeps these police killing minority Americans.

“The murder of #DaunteWright is rooted in white supremacy and results from the international criminalization of Black and Brown communities. This system can’t be reformed. It must be dismantled and a real system of public safety rebuilt from the ground up. #DefundThePolice.”

To be sure, there’s a lot here to make you angry. For one, it’s painting white people as supremacist villains simply out to get theirs with the systemic oppression of another race. This is demonstrably false. White people aren’t interested in keeping any other races down. In fact, this country primarily containing white people by population has a history of going so far as to go to war with itself in order to free people of minority races. Civil rights were also fought for by white people, hand in hand with minority communities.

White people are not villains and painting them as such isn’t just wrong, it’s racist. Ben and Jerry’s holds racist ideas.

Then there’s the declaration the system can’t be reformed. Funny enough, this is the very system it’s used to become a successful ice cream company, but I’ve never met a communist that didn’t have capitalistic ambitions hidden in their back pocket.

Then there’s the fun little hashtag of “Defund the Police” which is a bad idea all around as we’ve already seen time and again.

In any case, it was a stupid tweet sent out by stupid people who hold stupid ideas. For a company to do this and expect to get your business is absurd. Of course, you would swear off buying their products. Why wouldn’t you?

But while you’re convinced you won’t be buying their product ever again, your friends might not be. Nor your uncle, your aunt, your mother, father, kids, cousins, co-workers, and others. The fact is, Ben and Jerry’s is very delicious ice cream and sometimes it’s hard to resist the pull. They might even share your opinions about Ben and Jerry’s positions, but not your convictions.

Chances are, Ben and Jerry’s isn’t going anywhere. You’re still going to find it with an entire section to itself in your grocer’s freezer and many people are still going to walk by and purchase a pint for their enjoyment. The same can be said with Nike and Coca-Cola products.

A boycott of thousands of people is still not enough to take down corporations who have people that enjoy these products in the millions.

So what’s the solution? How can we punish these corporations?

Well, you can’t…but you can reward others for not being so politically ridiculous.

Behold! I give to you the “buycott.”

It’s hard to convince someone with a lot of money to change their ways by threatening to no longer give your money to them. They’ve got enough as it is and there are still many out there willing to give them more. However, declaring your intention to give that money to a different company from here on has a lot of benefits to it.

For one, urging others to buy from another company instead makes them aware of the alternative product, freeing them from having to settle for the product made by the company they were just insulted by. Moreover, declaring your intention to purchase from another company makes it more likely that the company your moving to purchase from more supportive of not taking sides politically.

Rewarding companies for their silence is a much more realistic approach to halting the creation of woke companies than attempting to punish companies that are already woke.

So, go out and buy a different ice cream now that Ben and Jerry’s has made it clear that they don’t want your money.

May I suggest Blue Bell?