Remember when Chick-Fil-A took center stage as a homophobic, bigoted mega-corporation, and Facebook decided to boycott for two weeks? I’ll admit, I was a part of this boycott because it felt moral to stand on the right side of history. Forgive me for bailing out of the boycott so quickly; it’s very hard to boycott a food chain when there are so few dining options on campus.
Barilla is the latest company to jump aboard the homophobe train with a comment from CEO Guido Barilla saying that they support traditional marriage-and that if gays aren’t okay with that, they ought to eat someone else’s pasta. Many did just that.
Other pasta companies such as Bertolli, Buitoni and Ronzoni jumped on the opportunity to claim all of the new customers and started putting out ads to show their sympathy to the LGBT cause.
You might expect me to take my usual route and chastise Barilla for their stance on the issue, or for even getting involved in politics at all. On any other day of the week I would, but not this time. This time I’m going to wag the finger at my fellow liberals for our eagerness to boycott everything we don’t agree with.
Boycotts are not very effective in today’s society. The polarization of our two parties has rendered the act of boycotting useless. For every person that decides to refuse the consumption of a product over his or her political views, there’s another person who will buy an extra product in support. It defeats the point of boycotting when you have a group of people who will host an appreciation day and bring back all of the business lost by the boycotting group. I’m willing to bet that we’ll be seeing a Barilla Appreciation Day praising their “brave” support for the “traditional values”.
Don’t get me wrong-I won’t be eating Barilla pasta any time soon, but I won’t advertise it to the world. If you’re going to boycott something, do it quietly so the other side doesn’t turn this gaffe into a successful publicity stunt. It goes against everything I believe in to let ignorance go unpunished, but we could ultimately do more damage to these groups if we play it passive-aggressive and let the problem solve itself.
Politics have become a sort of game in both complexity and the immaturity of the people in charge. Like Newton’s Third Law, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The best way to win the game is to look like you’re not moving at all. Let Barilla speak his ignorance and don’t eat his pasta. Don’t throw him a freebie by causing the people on the other side to run to the store and grab as much pasta as they can stuff their faces with in a sick, corrupted version of modern activism. We can beat ignorance if we just play the game smarter them.