Deep Thoughts: No biggoted CEO actually changes his beliefs because we boycott

Homphobic pasta - so delicious!Recently, the internet has been all in a huff over Mr. Barilla making “we’ll never make a commercial that shows gay people” remarks in a recent interview. I won’t rehash it here, seeing as we’ve all heard it by now. In case you live under a rock, see here: Barilla exec apologizes for remarks on gays

Now; this is just another in a long string of executives saying stupid stuff causing the buying public to rise up and boycott their products/stores because what the dumb shit said or did was just that stupid. (Google Chick-fil-a for another obvious example)

  • Yes, boycotts are a great way for the general public to express their moral outrage at whatever stupid nonsense said executive has expressed.
  • But does anyone really think that a boycott put on by faceless strangers said executive never personally interacts with will ever really change that executives’ deeply held personal beliefs?

Now this is where I’m going to get all deep and stuff.

Human beings are egotistical creatures. In general, we tend to believe that we can believe whatever we want to believe, and doing so immediately renders our beliefs inviolate and sacred in so much that any other human being contradicting them or believing otherwise is taken with deep offense; because what we believe we take to be inherently correct and true, and we allow it to deeply define our own sense of unique and individual self. This goes across the board – our religion is the right religion. Our beliefs are the right beliefs. Our opinions and feelings are the right ones, etc. etc.

So when an executive, CEO or politician says something out loud that offends their customers, clients or constituents and all hell breaks loose, here’s what happens:

  • Phase 1: the individual who said the stupid shit hunkers down to see how bad the fallout is actually likely to be.
  • Phase 2: the board or advisers or whomever sits the stupid shit down and explains that they’ve seen an immediate drop in sales, revenues, donations, or whatever monetary source of income.
  • Phase 3: the board or advisers or whomever issues a statement to the fact that the dumb shit didn’t really mean what he obviously meant when he said the stupid shit. Then they wait to see if that fixes the loss of revenues – because it’s about the money. It’s always about the money.
  • Phase 4: when this apology doesn’t do the job, they get the dumb shit to do an interview where he goes back on the dumb shit he said by saying something to the effect of, “Of course I’m not really homophobic; I love the gays!”

But does anyone honestly think that the executive has genuinely looked into their own deeply held beliefs and reassessed? Of course he hasn’t! He’s just learned the hard way not to say it out loud.

Think about your own beliefs now. How often do you or I sit down and think about our beliefs and reassess them? Do we often question whether what we believe is the right thing? Probably not. And the same can be said for any other human being be they consumer or CEO.

So boycotts and public moral outrage serve the definite purpose of influencing how high-powered individuals express their beliefs – which is good considering that these are the people whose words reach a large number of people and thereby have the broadest influence.

But let us not for one single minute believe that the general public is capable of unseating any individuals long-standing and deeply held beliefs on any issue. We only succeed in getting them to shut up about it.

So what should we do, in order to give our business to companies and people whose beliefs are in line with our own? Have you ever wondered whether the money you spend ends up funding causes you oppose? There is a solution for this now! Check out the Buycot app. Put this nifty free app on your phone, program the causes closest to your heart, and go about buying products and brands according to the ideals their parent companies support. Over time, as more and more people do this, it genuinely makes a difference.

Because when revenue drops because the consumer becomes aware of where big corporations have been putting their money, big corporations loose that revenue they were putting towards those causes you oppose, the politicians you oppose, the legislation you oppose, and their ability to fund those things slowly dissapears.

Got something to say about this rant? Leave a comment or contact to vent your wrath!


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