Over the past year or so there has been increasing controversy surrounding the views of the owners of certain companies. The most well-known of these is the anti-homosexual views of Chick-fil-a founder, and more recently those same views put forth by the owner of Barilla pasta. As a result of these men espousing their views there have been calls to boycott the companies. The most successful company boycott of which I am aware is that of Chick-Fil-A, although I am not sure how successful it is.
Frankly, I have trouble understanding these boycotts. It is not because I agree with the views of the owners/founders (in fact, I’d like to make it clear that I vehemently oppose them); however, I don’t see what the views of a person who owns, runs, or even just works for a particular company have to do with the company or product.
What I find even more confusing is the fact that we are “punishing” a company because a person was open about their view. Yes, we don’t agree with it, but that doesn’t mean we should boycott their company. IF we were told that money from the company were going directly to a “kill all homosexuals” fund then yes, I would be uncomfortable giving that company my money, but this isn’t the case.
We are talking about men whose personal funds may be used to support a cause we do not agree with (and they may not). That is no reason to boycott a company they own or run. Yes, we can assume that they acquired most of their funds through the companies’ business, but so what? It is their money to use as they please.
In fact, the people boycotting these companies are more frequently the people who talk about how important free speech is, but when another person expresses an opposing view we need to punish them for it. That is something I don’t understand.
What bothers me the most about this whole boycott thing is the inconsistency of it all. We are punishing the people who are willing to share their views and be open about where they donate money. While at the same time we blindly buy products and shop in stores that may be supporting the very causes we hate. Why blindly cry “hater” at the man who shares his beliefs (Barilla: “marriage is between a man and women”) and call to boycott his product when he isn’t funding anti-homosexual causes, and is merely sharing his view. You disagree with him. So what? What does his personal view have to do with his product? He has the right to his beliefs just as you have the right to yours. If he is doing nothing to infringe on your freedom and rights (by supporting anti-homosexual groups with money from the company) then what is the problem?
If you disagree on this, and belief that the views of the person who runs/owns/founded a company are important to whether or not you buy a product I ask two things of you.
1. Could you please tell me why? I am comfortable being wrong about this and would love to know your view.
2. Could you please be consistent? If you boycott Barilla and Chick-Fil-A because of anti-homosexuality views, then could research all the products you buy and stores you go to to ensure that you boycott all brands that oppose your view?