What would Jesus drive? Not a Ford, that's for damn sure!

I was planning a brilliantly snarky response to the American Family Association’s planned boycott of Ford, but Brad at Sadly, No! not only beat me to it, he managed to be far more brilliant and snarky than I could ever hope to be. Damn him.

As If We Only Think About Cars

Jen and I had a conversation this weekend about boycotts (or, as One Angry Girl calls them, girlcotts), and agreed that they are generally ineffective. After all, my personal refusal to shop at Wal-Mart will hardly bring down the world’s largest corporation. But that doesn’t mean they should get my money. So, I coined the term "Ethical Consumerism" to describe my personal boycotts. I don’t shop at Wal-Mart or buy Nestle products because to do so, for me, would be unethical. So, I guess for that reason I’m not too upset by the AFA’s boycott of Ford*—every consumer has the right to refuse to purchase from any company, if their business practices violate their personal ethics. But I really doubt that it will work given that the AFA’s subscriber base is undoubtedly comprised of Patriotic, Buy-American, good ol’ boys, I can’t imagine that they will suddenly start buying Toyotas and Hondas in an attempt to bring fag-loving Ford down.

The truth is Ford’s support of the gay community isn’t done out of altruistic sense of justice—it’s a business decision. Offering domestic partnership benefits to employees makes good business sense; it reminds employees that the company respects their families, and encourages gay applicants to pick Ford over another potential employer that may not offer partner benefits. It’s the same reason that Ford, GM and DaimlerChrysler all submitted amicus briefs in favor of the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policies—companies are more successful when they have a diverse talent pool to draw from. And advertising in gay magazines is merely an attempt to tap into a major market—millions of queers with billions of dollars (to steal a line from Brian Kinney). And virtually every major corporation (with the notable exception of Wal-Mart) agrees with this calculus—all of the Big Three offer partner benefits, and have no intention of doing away with them anytime soon.

So, I say go ahead and boycott Ford (I’d be interested to know what AFA Chairman Don Wildmon drives, by the way)—it will work just as well as the AFA’s boycott of Disney, which is to say, not at all.

* And that’s not just because my paycheck is signed by a Ford competitor that isn’t DaimlerChrysler


annamaria at 10:58 AM

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