Yesterday, while shopping in my local supermarket, I found myself staring at shelves loaded with Goya canned products and I thought, “Oh, no, not Goya, I’m boycotting Goya.” Then I thought, “Wait — why am I boycotting Goya?”
I don’t remember. I think the Goya CEO said something stupid and offensive and I responded by welcoming him to my boycott list.
Maybe you think I should forego such a boycott if I can’t remember why I entered it in the first place. I say, no, you’re wrong. I don’t initiate a personal boycott without a damn good moral reason.
Take Barilla, the Italian pasta plus company. I do remember why I’m boycotting them. Before the Supreme Court Obergefell decision, there was considerable public and private discussion about gay marriage. Gratuitously jumping into this discussion was Signore Barilla, who opined he didn’t believe that gays should have the right to marry.
Immediately I disappeared Barilla from my shopping cart and have not bought it since. Not even after Signore Barilla, hit with a barrage of complaints, made one of those mealy-mouth apologies. It did not win back my custom.
I once was forced to buy a ladder at Home Depot because I couldn’t find the right height ladder at my local hardware store. However, I have boycotted Home Depot before and since, so much so that when I acted as the general contractor on my apartment renovation and the guys who were doing the work suggested they’d run out to Home Depot to get something or other, I barred the door and said “You shall not pass!” No, I didn’t actually do that but I did enough so that they laughed at me about my “No Home Depot” stance. I fear one of them sneaked out to Home Depot for a ventilation grid but he installed it before I could object and it’s too high for me to remove. Unless, of course, I use that ladder but…
Why not Home Depot? Two words: Bernard Marcus.
I am mystified how any Jew can support a racist. It’s an enhanced moral offense, which would be punishable by going to hell, except my mom once explained to me that Jews don’t believe in hell. We can, she said, make life heaven or hell on earth. So I’m doing my Jewish bit by damning Bernard Marcus and Home Depot to my kind of hell — a boycott.
And then, of course, there’s Whole Foods. And Amazon. I am proud to say I’ve bought only one thing from Amazon, a friend’s book.
I know there are others on the list and I’m confident I’ll remember them whenever I meet them face-to-face and say, “No, I’m not buying you.”