People on the Left and the Right have been boycotting huge businesses like Uber, Budweiser, Under Armour and Nordstrom. Are they doing it for the right reasons or are they just being "special snowflakes"?
Uber vowed to continue providing rides to patrons during a taxi strike in New York. Budweiser aired a commercial depicting one of their founders immigrating to the United States. The CEO of Under Armour announced his support for Trump's business acumen. Nordstrom announced that it will soon stop selling Ivanka Trump's brand in their stores. All four of these events sparked separate hashtags calling for each company to be boycotted.
The reasoning behind each of these boycotts makes little sense.
When taxi drivers at John F. Kennedy International Airport went on strike in protest against President Trump's travel ban executive order, Uber continued to provide rides. Uber's decision to remain apolitical and continue to furnish customers transportation angered opponents of the extreme vetting policy. The ride-sharing service was accused of supporting the executive order simply by their non-action. People took to social media to share screen-captures of themselves deleting the Uber service from their mobile phones along with the hashtag #deleteUber. Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick, received so much negative attention from the #deleteUber movement that he resigned as a member of Trump's economic advisory council. Uber also released a statement opposing Trump's travel ban. All this commotion simply because they chose to stay in service when taxi drivers refused to.
During Super Bowl LI, Budweiser aired a commercial featuring a dramatized account of co-founder Adolphus Busch's immigration to the United States. Immediately following its release, the hashtag #boycottBudweiser started trending on social media. Some viewers felt the commercial made a political statement against Trump's stance on immigration. However, Trump signed the travel ban executive order on Jan. 27. The Super Bowl commercial aired on Feb. 5. Super Bowl commercials are planned months in advance, so it's unlikely Budweiser conceptualized the clip after Trump won the election. Even Budweiser claims it was purely coincidental. It's hard to believe the commercial is worth getting upset over, considering that Busch immigrated to the U.S. legally.
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank recently came under fire for calling Trump a "pro-business president" during an interview on CNBC. Anti-Trump "resistance" did not take kindly to his cordial regard for Trump. The hashtag #boycottUnderArmour began trending on social media. Even Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who has a branded line of clothes produced by Under Armour, released a statement distancing himself from Plank's support of Trump. Unlike the many companies joining the bandwagon to publicly oppose Trump, Plank stands behind his original statement. Unfortunately, the opposition stands behind its boycott.
Some Trump insist that Nordstrom recently discontinued its partnership with the Ivanka Trump brand due to politics. Nordstrom insists it was in response to poor sales. The high-end retailer even claims to have notified Ivanka of the decision in late January. Regardless, that hasn't stopped Trump supporters from trending #boycottNordstrom on social media. The relationship between Nordstrom and Ivanka Trump has been a typically loyal one. The brand has stood behind its relationship with Ivanka even during the most polarizing moments of Trump's political ascent. To cut ties over poor sales is perfectly reasonable. Traditional supply and demand.
I get it. The current political landscape has put Republicans and Democrats on constant defense. Regardless, I thought Americans were stronger. If we boycott every company that has maintained a political stance supporting something we disagree with, we'd pretty much have to stop using everything except for natural water and air. Why is the story of Adolphus Busch's legal immigration to the U.S. upsetting people? Is a company really being boycotted for providing ride-sharing services at a time when taxi drivers refused to?
When the reasoning behind your protest lacks common sense, are you legitimately boycotting or just being an overly-sensitive snowflake? These boycotts are first-world problems, and Americans should be embarrassed by them.
Richard Mills is a political activist and journalist.
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