Boycotts have become the stuff of stupid.
Before social media reared its head and gave everyone an unlimited number of opportunities to make fools of themselves publicly, boycotts were generally sane ventures. People got mad at some company and pledged not to further support them. Of course, not everyone participated, but we all understood the intention.
Not just content with denying a company future profits, people have started destroying things they’ve already bought and posting it on social media. Beyond a little attention for themselves and perhaps some negative attention for the company (which is almost always fleeting and forgotten within days) this doesn’t seem to have been rationally thought out.
And it’s not an exclusively liberal or conservative practice. People on both sides now seem to like literally throwing away perfectly-good products in some misguided attempt to stick it to whomever they’re angry with at the time.
Most recently, it was conservatives who flushed their money down the toilet (I can’t wait for a toilet manufacturer to get people upset) by protesting YETI, a cooler manufacturer.
YETI got into hot water when it stated it would be eliminating some “outdated discounting programs” for NRA members and other gun organizations.
Despite YETI’s insistence that it still supports the Second Amendment and the rest of the Constitution, NRA members were unconvinced. To show their disapproval, they used their YETI coolers for target practice. The NRA even spotlighted the reaction by posting a video on its NRA TV YouTube page titled “Let Yeti Be a Lesson: Don’t Mess with NRA Members” It features various videos of people shooting their coolers. One person blew their cooler up. In the comment section of the video, one person wrote, “Yeti who? Spit on my rights once, that’s all it takes. Big middle
finger to them and anyone else who would do that.”
But miserable boycotts love company.
In November of 2016, anti-Trump individuals got upset at shoe maker New Balance for comments its vice president made about Trump’s election. The Wall Street Journal reported the comment. “New Balance: The Obama admin turned a deaf ear to us & frankly w/ Pres-Elect Trump we feel things are going to move in the right direction,” wrote Sara Germano, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
Just like YETI, New Balance issued a statement. “We believe in community. We believe in humanity. From the people who make our shoes to the people who wear them, we believe in acting with the utmost integrity and we welcome all walks of life.”
New Balance customers responded with photos of New Balance shoes being set on fire or thrown in the trash. Twitter user Mario Guzman wrote, “@NewBalanceUSA is publicly supporting @realDonaldTrump. No more #NewBalance shoes for me. Garbage.”
— Mario Guzman (@MarioGuzman) November 10, 2016
There’s an episode of The Simpsons where Krusty gets people worked-up about government and politicians. At one point, he burns a dollar bill. Not long after, in another scene, Lenny says to Homer, “I brought a bag of money in case he wants us to burn it again.”
We’ve now become a Simpsons episode.