RUMOR MILL - BOYCOTT OR NOT TO BOYCOTT?

By Marilyn Shaw

Marilyn Shaw
On Community Watch
     




By Marilyn Shaw

There's a rumor hanging in our closets. Have you heard? During a television interview, a popular designer whose label some of us have `pledged our allegiance' to is alleged to have said that had he the foresight of the success of his label amongst certain ethnic groups, that he would have not made the product so nice. Thereafter, the interviewing icon is reported to have excused him from the set.

Substantiated or not, clearly emotions are high about this rumor. Many have even suggested a nationwide boycott of this designer's label. Arguably, one could say that others have committed far greater sins than the case in question, yet there was no invocation of a boycott against them. Which begs the question, "Is there a litmus test for calling a nationwide boycott?"

"What are the boundary lines for invoking a nationwide boycott?" "Does a transgression have to be overtly perpetrated before it is challenged?" These are but a few of a myriad of complicated questions that are bound to be encountered if a litmus test were developed for boycotting. The invocation of a boycott alone requires an either or response to this two-part question, "Is the intent of the boycott to deter future transgressions, or is it to provide instant gratification, i.e., "jobs," or scholarships?"

In short, whether we are publicly discarded as a consumer by a designer, or privately discarded through an N.U.D (Non-Urban Dictate), the fact remains that a loss of our consumerism through a moratorium would significantly impact this nation's economy. Individuals then need to take notice – we are this nation's number one residual market, it's cash cow, it's golden child!

Since most of us do not produce our own food, clothing or shelter, we heavily rely upon others to provide these necessities. To assume a certain level of respect in exchange for our consumerism is not an unreasonable demand. In this spirit, we need to remind folks that when they violate us, we do have a powerful tool of redress, it's called a boycott. Which begs another question, "Why aren't we producing our own goods?"

One thing is for sure, if we were busy producing we would not have the time to frivolously invoke nationwide boycotts. If we were busy producing, we would have very little time to discuss the subconscious fears of a seamstress on a talk show.

*N.U.D. - Non-Urban Dictate. Policy instituted by a company that says that it is not to place its advertising or marketing in media considered to have an urban audience




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