Oh This World

Ep. #34: Does Consumer Activism Work? (plus: a disgrace in #TX21)

June 24, 2020
Oh This World
Ep. #34: Does Consumer Activism Work? (plus: a disgrace in #TX21)
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Today we look at consumer activism: what is it, does it work, and what actions can we all take to hold businesses accountable for their policies?

Before we dive into our main topic, Antoinette educates us on the origins of the term "cancel culture," we briefly dive into the recent Shack Shake conspiracy theory, and we look at an important new resource for Austinites: free COVID-19 testing.

We then turn our attention to the meltdown currently happening in Chip Roy's office in #TX21. The Congressman has gone full far-right extremist culture-warrior this week, with embarrassing and nonsensical statements about Black Lives Matter. Meanwhile, his Chief of Staff went on such a racist tirade last week that it made the San Antonio Express-News: Gilbert Garcia has a very good column explaining what happened.

Finally, we turn to consumer activism. Helping us understand the history, as well as the pros and cons of this form of activism, is this excellent Stephie Grob Plante piece from Vox, "Shopping has become a political act. Here's how it happened."

For more information on the Chick-Fil-A controversy we discussed on today's show, CNN has the basics covered. The Nadia Chaudhury story from Eater Austin about Unbarlievable is here. On Twitter, Chas Moore called attention to more recent Unbarlievable outrageousness here. Learn more about Sleeping Giants here.

What can you do today?

1. Do an inventory of the places you regularly shop: do you agree with their environmental stances? Consumer protections? Do they give their employees paid sick leave? If their values don't align with yours, is there an alternative place you can go for what they offer? 

2. Get to the root of the problem. If a company's environmental policies are preventing you from doing business with them, what else are you doing to address the issue? Donating to environmental causes? Volunteering with an environmental organization? Let's all work together to take the next step.

What are your thoughts on consumer activism and everything else we discussed today? Let us know @OhThisWorldPod on Twitter/IG or shoot us a message at [email protected]

This episode was recorded on Wednesday, June 24, 2020.


Wednesday follow-ups: cancel culture, Shake Shack
What the heck is going on in Chip Roy's office?
Consumer activism basics (plus a return to Kerbey Lane-gate)
Pros and cons of consumer activism
Call to action: what you can do