Tuesday, March 21, 2006

To Protest or Not to Protest




That is the Question
I'd toyed with the idea of blog once or twice but had never really seriously considered doing it. Then I came across Cincinnati Black Blog and The Cincinnati Beacon.

Something about the way these two guys write makes you want to write back! You feel like even if no one hears you or agrees with you, whatever you want or need to say needs to be put out there for posterity.

So it was these two blogs that inspired to write my own. But not just to write but to get up, get out and do something. To be more involved in my community and the world.

There are a lot of things I have planned to do and a lot of things I could have done. There are a lot or worthy causes out there. What I've chosen to do for now is volunteer to help a political candidate I feel is more than worthy get elected. Both the Beacon and Cincy Black Blog had mentioned that volunteers were needed so I decided what the heck. I did a little research, found out that my views are pretty much in line with the candidates views and I sent them an email saying I would like to volunteer.

They emailed me back and told me when and where to show up for their next campaign meeting. I went and boy was everyone friendly. I asked for and was given an assignment that night to produce a campaign flyer and tickets for an upcoming event. As a secretary, I do stuff like this all the time and it was well within my time budge to do, so I did. They liked my work and it made me feel useful.

This particular candidate is running for a pretty important office. There are three County Commissioners on the Board for Hamilton County and she is running in the primary to be the Democratic Candidate in the main race. Our local newspaper has only covered one of the other candidates. They will not cover her for reasons unknown to anyone but themselves. I myself feel it's partly due to racism. The candidate is African-American and our paper always works hard to demonize, marginalize and slander African-Americans. I also feel it is an issue of cronysim. The local paper endorsed the opponent candidate in another election last year (which he lost) and they have several business dealings with the candidate and his family.

It's not that the Enquirer does't feel the race is important. They have given the Caucasian candidate plenty of press. They just don't feel the African-American candidate is newsworthy. This makes me very angry for reasons that should be obvious.

I don't know the way to go about it, but when you don't like what a business does, you boycott that business, meaning you don't purchase from them or their suppliers or advertisers or other businesses that endorse them. You also encourage others to do the same and try to get as many people as possible to do the same.

I should be angry enough with our newspaper to do this, but the problem is, I'm one voice. And should I not be heard, then it won't matter, will it? It would be a lot of work and sacrifice and anger but if it's successful, it just might be worth it.

What do you think?

If this is all a bit vague, it's slightly intentional because my focus in this particular post is whether or not to boycott our local newspaper not on the political candidates themselves. However I will do another entry on them soon and why I have chosen one over the other. Meantime you can read about it here: County Commisioners Race Still a Secret

4 comments:

  1. Does boycotting The Enquirer mean not even reading it online (I do have popup blocker to stop from seeing their ads)?

    Because if it does... well, they do have some things worth noticing, even if only to criticize.

    But I love the idea of boycotting them overall...

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  2. I actually thought about this.

    The Enquirer is not going to understand anything that doesn't cost them money. The thing to do is canvas all their advertisers. Politely explain the situation to their advertisers, most of which are large, midsize, and small businesses, who always need to appear to promote fairplay and diversity. It may hurt them not to advertise in the Enquirer but it will hurt them more to be seen by their customers as supporting racism.

    Next we would tackle subscribers and ask them not to purchase the Enquirer. We would ENCOURAGE them to view the Enquirer online because this costs the Enquirer bandwith and therefore money. We would simply ask them not to click on any of the ads on the site.

    Lastly, we would have to work at finding other positions or jobs for the carriers and maybe other employees. It's not their fault their employer sucks and should the boycott be successful, they could be out of a job. We could have ongoing job posts and organize a list of businesses who would support the boycott and be willing to consider hiring Enquirer employees.

    So that's my three point plan for boycotting the Enquirer. The idea would be to talk to people first and give everyone a starting date to implement the plan. Even if we did it after the primary, it wouldn't be too late. The Enquirer needs to learn a lesson and they won't until their pockets are hurting.

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  3. OK... Step one seems realistic to me. But when you talk about finding jobs for Enquirer employees -- well, that's a stretch I think.

    But it might be a great idea to put some pressure on some advertisers to back down.

    Maybe you can do me a favor: pick out some advertisers who seem not to large a corporate mess (too hard to communicate on the inside), but still staples for the paper.

    Then, The Cincinnati Beacon will launch a wide scale letter writing campaign with a request for interviews to all relevant parties.

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  4. Totally not related to your post, but to the comment you left on my site. HILARIOUS! I laughed aloud at your passion on the subject. Thanks for the tip. I guess I may just have to wait a bit longer. :)

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