Sunday, May 02, 2010

On boycotts and tea

"Who has the time or money to travel these days?" wondered Geena in an e-mail to this site. "I want to honor his call for a boycott but it's not like I was traveling anyway. Only thing I can think to do is stop buying AriZona tea."

"His call" refers to Matthew Rothschild's "Boycott Arizona" (The Progressive). It's one of many articles on the topic of a new law in Arizona where police officers can now stop anyone and ask them for i.d. (as took place in South Africa under apartheid). Those who will be targeted are thought to be Latinos and those who look as if they might be Latinos. Saturday, at The Progressive, Elizabeth DiNovella contributed "Baseball Boycott."

We haven't called for a boycott here. We're aware it's a complicated issue. The economy's already in the toilet across the country. Arizona is 58.4% White Anglo. Assuming (wrongly) that all White Anglos support the new law, that leaves 41.6% of the residents who are not White Anglo including 30.1% who are Latino. Boycotting the state will hurt the state economically, no question. But will it hurt the state legislators more than it will hurt the 30.1% Latinos? Probably not. Tourism generally is low-end work. Hotels, eateries, car rentals, taxis, etc. These are fields that Latinos are employed in. They are the ones most likely effected.

We haven't opposed the boycott here. We're not endorsing it, we're not calling it out. We think there are pros and cons to either position and we just hope that wherever you come down on the boycott, you've taken the time to consider which issues are most pressing to you.

We will, however, support a boycott of AriZona Tea because it taste like sugar-water mixed with piss. Brian Montopoli (CBS News) rushes in to insist that you shouldn't boycott "Arizona Tea" because it's made in New York and not Arizona. What does he know? He can't even spell AriZona Tea correctly.

More importantly, is Brian going to follow you around all day explaining to anyone who sees you sipping AriZona tea, "It's not really made in Arizona!" Is he going to have your back? Otherwise, you're promoting the state of Arizona by drinking AriZona Tea and, regardless of where the tea is made, the decision to name it after the state was one the company made. Bad decision on their part. Why did a New York tea company use another state in their name to start with?

Peace Tea

Instead, you can drink Peace Tea.

It's a product that notes it costs "99 cents." The flavors are Sweet Lemon, Green Tea, Razzleberry Tea and Ceylon Tea. (Those of us who drink Peace Tea recommend Sweet Lemon and Green Tea most strongly.)

You may love it as much as we do. You may love it more than we do. If it's the latter, please note you can follow Peace Tea on Facebook. Or maybe you need a product you consume to communicate with you regularly with updates? You can follow Peace Tea on Twitter.

It's amazing how easily you can follow a product when it's so much harder to follow an issue. For example, KPFA's laughable Saturday Morning Talkies found Kris Welch and two guests arguing against the Arizona immigration law on the grounds that 'the land' used to belond to Mexico and just because it became part of the United States years ago doesn't mean that the battle or legality is over. Really?

Really, that's where you want to go?


You want to push an argument that already has traction with anti-immigration types? The claim that Mexico still desires the land, should still attempt to take it? That's what you want to push? But from the 'left'? Really?

Don't blame it on Rush Limbaugh, don't blame it on right-wing radio, it was Kris Welch and her guests who pimped that claim on KPFA.

Then we had Sunsara Taylor who never can seem to keep it together long enough for the radio these days. How is she? "I'm-I'm furious like most people tight now who have any heart or decency about the recent law in Arizona." Really?

The spill in the Gulf bothers you not at all? Your chief concern is some stupid law in one state out of fifty?

(Taylor would argue that she later mentioned the oil spill; however, she was asked how she was at the start of her segment and she insisted that she was furious and she explained why. To her, one state out of 50 was the issue, not the global disaster that the oil spill is. And apparently the Communist Party no longer cares about either the Iraq War or the Afghanistan War.)

We would assume Sunsara Taylor would point out that Peace Tea is not about peace, that no percentage of profits go to peace causes, that it's just a corporation using "peace" to hawk their products. Yes, that is true. But you drink AriZona Tea in public and you'll be seen as someone associated with the state's immigration law, you drink Peace Tea in public and you'll be seen as someone who supports peace.

You know, the way the Democratic Party hopes that talking Arizona will convince voters that they're on the side of the people. But reality, as with Peace Tea, is more than a little different and you can refer to Jason Ditz ( for more on that.
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