The Boycott Florida Campaign: Good in Theory, Not in Practice
Boycotting Florida seems like a good idea, but has anyone really thought about who it will affect?
Since the Zimmerman verdict was delivered many have taken up activism in the form of marches, rallies, prayer vigils and petitions. In two weeks the activism hasn’t let up but there is one method of activism we must think critically about, particularly because of whom it stands to impact.
Following the Zimmerman “not guilty” verdict, Florida became the site of many people’s hatred. I confess that I am a part of the faction who have spewed hateful words toward the Sunshine State. I lived in Florida from adolescence to early adulthood and some of my family and friends still live there. I’ve had some good times in Florida but over the years it has disappointed me. Whether it was the election recount or acquitting Casey Anthony, the young mother who seemed guilty of killing her child, Florida earned itself top-billing on my crap list. The Zimmerman “not guilty” verdict was another reminder of why I never want to call Florida home. And so, I openly cursed the state alongside those who call it home and those who call it hell.
But people weren’t just cursing Florida; they were calling for a boycott of Florida until the Stand Your Ground law is overturned. The Moveon.org petition to boycott Florida states, “Your state is not a safe place to vacation if your citizens are able to kill anyone they deem suspicious.” Other parts of the boycott have encouraged people to not vacation in Florida, attend special events—such as concerts, support farming—Florida’s main cash crop is oranges, or do anything else that supports the Florida economy. As of the writing of this article the Moveon.org petition has nearly 13,000 signatures of their needed 15,000.
Supporters of the boycott have ranged from black political leaders to musical artists. Stevie Wonder stated that he will not perform in Florida until the Stand Your Ground law is overturned and gospel artists Mary Mary have followed suit in joining the artist contingency of the boycott. A longer list of artists in support of the boycott was circulating and has since been rejected, but the move toward the boycott is still going forward and this is discouraging. Why? Because while a boycott on Florida may hurt the economy, which might force the government to act, it will stand to hurt many innocent people before a change comes.
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