Friday, March 10, 2017

They Do. I Do.

Yahoo News has headlined a story "Starbucks CEO's refugee comments sour customer views of chain." This is the third similarly themed article I have seen in recent days. The other two concern the cereal make Kellogg's and its sub companies including Keebler cookies and the Target chain of stores -- both of which, also, have seen huge losses in sales attributed in part to having taken strong stands on politically sensitive subjects of importance to many of the American people.

Personally I do not generally let another person's political POV affect my business dealings with them. No more than I do the private views of a performing artist.

But if a company itself chooses to make a public issue of a political stand that I personally find repugnant that changes things for me. -I.e., if they choose to make something an issue then I go along with their decision and do allow it to influence my shopping habits. Completely.

Starbucks has taken such a stand several times. Not quietly, but boldly. Even going as far as encouraging their shop personnel to start discussions with patrons and encourage such to share the company's internationalist perspective. No thank you Starbucks. I just wanted a cup of coffee.

If I am offered Starbucks coffee I am willing to drink it. (I much prefer Peet's) But I do not generally choose to go any longer into a Starbucks shop.

Target made a big thing a while back about their toilets and changing rooms being open to anyone based solely on their personal gender choice. Now if their concern for gender confused people moved them to make their facilities totally private so that any and all could feel comfortable using them that would to me be a fine thing. But when the company publicly stated that women who were not comfortable with physical males sharing the facilities were somehow morally deficient -- well that crossed a line in my eyes. Offensively so. I therefore choose to do my shopping elsewhere.

Kellogg's cereal went even further. When then candidate Donald Trump invited Breitbart dot com's editor, Stephen Bannon, to work for him, Kellogg's very publicly stated that they would no longer advertise on Breitbart dot com because such did not "reflect their values."

Okay. That, too, is their right. But Bannon and Breitbart and Donald Trump do largely reflect my personal values. If such offends Kellogg's then my business goes elsewhere. Bye-bye Kellogg's Shredded Wheat. Bye-bye Keebler Pecan Sandies cookies.

Frankly I think a business taking such a public stand on a private issue is stupid. But they have the right to do such, and be such. And I can only respect their expressing that right by myself acting in accordance with it.

Roughly 50% of the American people think roughly as I do. Why a company would want to turn such away is beyond me. But again... That's their right.

So bye-bye Kellogg's. Bye-bye Target. Bye-bye Starbucks.

To me it is as simple -- and as firm -- as that.


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