The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Cindy's Corner

May 18, 2010

Playing the boycott game


The “boycott” game can sure get amusing sometimes.

After the Arizona governor signed a law that basically mirrors (and enforces) national immigration law, all kinds of people have gotten uptight and vocal about boycotting Arizona.

Several cities have been denouncing Arizona and have called for boycotting doing any kind of travel and business in the state. Just this week, Dallas and Austin city councils have considered resolutions boycotting doing any business in Arizona.

San Diego announced a boycott of Arizona right after the law was signed. Just days later, San Diego’s hotels and convention areas started getting calls from Arizona and other states CANCELING planned trips to San Diego. According to one article, the San Diego convention and visitors bureau received 25-30 e-mails from Arizona vacationers canceling their planned visits to San Diego.

So, the boycott business can work both ways.

Boycotts have become kind of a trite way for political groups to make their voices heard. Groups or individuals will boycott cities, states, organizations, businesses, etc  they have a beef with over a certain political issue. Rarely do these boycotts hit their mark and do great economic damage to their intended targets.

In fact, reverse-boycotting is going on with the Arizona law with some of those who support the law saying they will change their vacation plans to be sure to get to Arizona. That kind of action is called a “buycott.”

In all this mess, what is being overlooked is the overall humanity of people who live in all these states -- California, Texas, Washington, Arizona -- every city and every state. Because if you visit any of these areas, you will mostly find hard-working, caring, honest people who just want to do their jobs, raise their families and live their lives in peace.

Most of these people aren’t interested in participating in a boycott. What is even tougher is that polls show a large majority of Americans actually support the tougher enforcement stance being taken on illegal immigration by Arizona.

We don’t get to see these people on the TV news. Instead, we get to see screaming, loud-mouthed, worked-up individuals who are passionate one way or other about illegal immigration.

If as many people participate in a “buycott” of Arizona as participate in a “boycott” of Arizona, it will all just work out in the wash.

A more sensible approach for those who oppose this law is to file the legal documents seeking to determine the legal legitimacy of the law. No, it’s not nearly as sexy or attention-grabbing, but in reality, that is the only true recourse opponents of the law have.

This thing will end up being decided somehow in the courts. In the meantime, people will have to be patient to see how it all bears out. And, Arizona will go about its business, as will California and Texas and every other city in every other state thinking they’ve made a political statement by announcing their own little boycotts of Arizona.

And the media will have to find something else to get all worked up about.


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Cindy's Corner