It’s time to bring back boycotting

It seems like every day social media is buzzing with a celebrity or a company being dragged through the mud for something they did or said. Often enough this forces a public apology for the bigoted thing that occurred. But as it the way with social media that’s often the end of discussion. Whether it’s Pewdiepie saying a racial slur, again, or the Grammy’s giving best rap album, song and performance to a pop album, song and performance, social media will pressure you into apologizing. But once you do, you are once again in their good graces.

This is a persistent issue that “cancel culture” faces:faces: People rarely hold these companies accountable for longer than a social media cycle.

Take the example of Gucci: A little over a year ago, Gucci was “canceled” for releasing what many regarded as a racist sweater, but they were canceled for maybe a few months before the culture was wearing them again.

Time and time again, companies that don’t line up with our social values, from Chick-fil-A and their homophobic founder to Papa John’s and their racist president, have stated or done something that raises the social temperature by just a bit, only for it to be ignored by another major story.

Companies will continue to do whatever they want if we don’t stand up to them. Amazon will continue to have outrageous production goals. Disney will continue to gobble up every media company the deem fit. These companies will continue to work for their bottom line and their shareholders and ignore the people who make them who they are until we take action. 

I’m not saying we start rioting in the streets, but we should hit them where it hurts: their bottom line. By boycotting these companies and investing our time, energy and retweets into companies that are socially conscious, we could easily turn the tides.

Yes, that would mean canceling that Disney+ subscription. Put the pressure on Chick-fil-A by treating every day like it’s Sunday. Sure, you’ll miss that spicy chicken sandwich meal. But face it, do you really have the money to be spending $10 on a meal? Just go to any grocery store that’s a less problematic company, get some seasoning and some chicken breast. Now you have fried chicken, at home, on a budget. 

We as a culture rely so heavily on these companies, mostly because of the convenience. And unfortunately, these companies know this. They know that even though they have practices that regularly screw over their employees and customers, most companies don’t care. And most employees and customers don’t care either.

Most of us would never knowingly use a service or buy a product that uses slave labor, but unfortunately, we often do.

A 2017 report lists a number of companies that use forced or child labor, including a Georgia State favorite, Walmart. But, luckily, organizations such as Fair Trade America exist and have done extensive research, providing us with a list of companies that practice voluntary labor, among other rules. You can also look at the label of things you buy and looking for fair trade logos, many companies display that proudly. 

While it may be difficult at first, it’s time that we stand up for what we believe in. Boycott companies that refuse to do the right thing and eventually they will change their ways. The companies don’t have the power; we the consumers do.