Thursday, August 2, 2012

That's just how I roll.

The Chick-Fil-A controversy is really interesting to me, and gives me great hope. Hope, yes, I think that's how I'll describe it anyway, but for most of my life, when the same idea has been snidely tossed my way, it may be more aptly described as "self-righteous". At least that's what I've been told. I've had the one-person boycott going for years you see.  Pepsi launched an offensive ad campaign, I wrote letters and stopped drinking Pepsi for FIFTEEN YEARS. I only really started drinking Pepsi because my brother was their HR Mgr for a while and now it's all I can get at work, but a good decade and a half Pepsi free because of an ad campaign where a computer generated mosquito landed on a can of Pepsi and launched into the Rolling Stones' hit Brown Sugar. Yep. It's a really offensive song to today's sensibilities, but apparently was originally written as a satirical statement about the civil rights movement of the 60's. I felt that reintroducing the song in a different political climate was naive and dangerous for Pepsi to do, I told them, they sent me a coupon for free Pepsi, which I still have. Now, let me be clear. I'm not African American. I wasn't around in the 60's, and have very little opinion about that era's British rockers. By anyone's definition, I didn't have a dog in that fight. I'm human though. And as a human I was deeply shocked and offended by a company's marketing decisions, and I reacted the only way I knew how--I stopped supporting their business. And, yes, that included Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut since they were owned by Pepsi's affiliate Yum! brand, and when a restaurant only offered Pepsi, I ordered water. I was outspoken and a bit insufferable. It's what I do. 

When I fell in love with Aaron, one of the reasons was that he too had a list of companies that he just wouldn't support. (Many of you may be familiar with our Disney-free household...or at least it was Disney free until Henry showed up!). So, when I told him we needed to switch our life insurance because Knights of Columbus were sexist and homophobic, he was totally on board. We don't shop at Walmart because of their inequitable treatment of women. We do support Culver's because they are a strong family centric company that respect and include families of all types. We put our money where our mouths are and always have.

Now, full disclosure, the "money" in question is not substantial, our monthly grocery budget is not being missed by Walmart, and I'm sure Pepsi didn't notice a dip in sales by my 15 year hiatus. But, life is all about choices, and when a corporation makes a decision that personally makes me sick to my stomach, what other choice do we have? So I'm applauding the movement to boycott Chick-Fil-A. I applaud the movement to speak with our pocketbooks, always, and support those whom you deem worthy of support. There's no reason to wait to vote until November every other year, you can cast your vote as a consumer thousands of times in that time frame. Some call it my soapbox, or call me combative and self-righteous. I think those are probably not too far off the mark. I am not the girl who doesn't say something when the guy at the next table makes an offensive remark. I'm not the girl who lets a good waffle fry trump the relationships I have with family and friends who are being written off because of whom they love. I'm not the girl who looks the other way because it's not my battle to fight. I'm just not. I never will be. Love me or leave me, that's just how I roll.

Hug your kids/partner/pet, and today try to support a business that supports something you care about. And tomorrow too, and how about the day after that...