Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Boycotting MIssissippi

The recent actions in Mississippi and North Carolina have raised a difficult question for me. While I generally don't like boycotts because they don't hurt the policymakers as much as the rank and file, what action is appropriate when an issue is so important as to require action?

In this case, a boycott is appropriate, as is notifying people who will be affected by it. So, this is what I wrote to Phil Bryant, the governor of Mississippi, using his Web contact page:

After learning today that you signed discriminatory legislation that violates the U.S. Constitution, we now realize that your administration and legislature embody the worst of America. Your use of religious rationale to discriminate against LBGT people starts Mississippi down a slippery slope, the same one that the radical Islamists travelled to become jihadists. It is a harsh comparison which you and legislators richly deserve. Further, you’re enabling businesses in Mississippi purporting to be public accommodations to violate the same laws that led to the need for the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s. To hang this legislation on protecting the rights of fundamentalist Christians and other radical sects isn’t the kind of Christianity that I know as a member of the Episcopal Church.

Now, you may think that some guy form Texas doesn’t count for much because he doesn’t vote in Mississippi. But, we, like the business backlash in North Carolina, can vote with our dollars. And therefore, our part of that backlash starts me my wife and me changing upcoming vacation plans. We will no longer visit the Mississippi Gulf Coast nor, if we travel through the state, spend any money along the way. In addition, I will contact the appropriate chambers of commerce to let them know the consequences of your despicable action. And we will support firms that take proper action to neutralize your and your legislators’ bigotry. Finally, I will blog this and ask people on Facebook to follow our lead.