Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What's Your Pattern?

 by Dick Mac

Taking a public stand on a political issue can be dangerous, especially to your reputation.

I know (and I am reminded repeatedly) that my vocal opposition to, and criticism of, the "conservatism" developing in America, since 1980, and its complementary economic policies, hurts (destroys?) my credibility with those who may not know me well.

I have nothing to lose by taking a public position.  I am not a business owner who must tread lightly around the hot topics of the day, lest I offend my customers,  I am not a candidate for public (or private) office, so having a reputation for being dramatic in my opposition tho things with which I disagree is not an impediment to my progress.  I am not shy or withdrawn, so I am taking little risk to practice and talk about the courage of my convictions.

What happens to those with businesses and those running for elective office when they take a public position that is unpopular?

During the recent campaign in North Carolina for a referendum on the civil rights of a minority, presented such an opportunity for Bob Page.

(One might point-out, correctly, that if civil rights are at hand, then the public does not get to vote on them.  They are either civil rights or they are not.  But, that is beside the point.)

Bob Page owns Replacements Limited, a company that sells replacement pieces for china patterns that can be hard to find.  When I chipped the edge of a tea cup from my Lenox china, I found Replacements Limited.  It was so long ago, that transactions were handled by mail!  Yes, snail mail!

Bob Page is a homosexual.  He has not been an activist, per se, in the gay community; but I get the sense that Bob Page didn't really hide his sexual preference.

Four Fortune 500 companies are based in North Carolina:  Bank of America, Duke Energy, VF Corporation and Lowe’s.  All four companies, although they spend a lot of money on political campaigning and electioneering across the country, remained conspicuously silent during this campaign.

So write down that list!  These companies refused to support the civil rights of gay North Carolinians:

One of America's major welfare recipients, Bank of America, believes that its homosexual customers in North Carolina should be denied their civil rights.

Duke Energy believes that its homosexual customers in North Carolina should be denied their civil rights.

Clothing manufacturer (Lee, Wrangler, Timberland, Vans, North Face), VF Corporation, believes that its homosexual customers in North Carolina should be denied their civil rights.

The home improvement store chain, Lowe's, believes that its homosexual customers in North Carolina should be denied their civil rights.

You can contact each of them by clicking the links above.

One nationally-known (internationally-known) company did take a position in support of homosexual taxpayers by taking a position on Amendment One.

Replacements Limited, Bob Page's company, was public and aggressive about supporting the rights of same-sex couples to marry.  There was backlash.  Many customers responded angrily and have promised to pull their business, and some responded with threats of violence and death.

So, Replacements Limited is experiencing a dip in sales because they support the civil rights of homosexuals.  There is a campaign against Bob Page because of his new-found activism.  He could lose a lot of money for having the courage of his convictions.

On America's wacky-fringe-right-wing, people are encouraged by their hateful leaders to band together and cause economic hardship to companies with whom they disagree.  The tactic is often successful.

On America's wacky-fringe-left-wing, people are constantly told by their leaders and media that boycotts do not work.  Which is incorrect.  Sadly, this belief that boycotts are ineffective has put an end to the public boycotting of bad corporations by progressive Americans.

You can find, I am certain, a homosexual complaining about the gay marriage ban while shopping for Timberland boots.  You likely can find a progressive black activist imploring others to take a progressive, if unpopular position, while consuming San Pellagrino water, or some other Nestle product.  You likely can find a homosexual using a Bank of America ATM machine and engage her in a discussion about same-sex marriage, and you would likely learn that her position is contradictory to that of the bank with whom she does business.  Yet, she continues to do business with that bank.

It is hard to boycott companies that do bad things, and it takes effort to find out which products are manufactured or distributed by bad companies.

In this case, we know for a fact that Bob Page's Replacements Limited company has an excellent position on the rights of homosexuals, the right of same-sex couples to marry.  We know that Replacements Limited uses some of its profits to protect the civil rights of homosexuals.

We need to support Bob Page by shopping at Replacements Limited.

Perhaps you need salt & pepper shakers, or a creamer, or a serving bowl.  Perhaps you could buy it from Replacements Limited.

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