I’m going to coin a new phrase right here and now. I’m calling it Moral Consumer Divestiture. Just think of it in terms of the divestiture in South Africa that helped end Apartheid! We need to move beyond the simple boycott, to something that forces corporate entities to break out of the legal constraints that force them to consider profits over everything else.
Rush Limbaugh’s apology to Sandra Fluke is unacceptable because it is absolutely insincere! He’s apologizing because he knows we have the power to bring him down this time. What he wants is for us to forgive him so he can continue to make obscene profits from hate speech that includes racism, anti-semitism, xenophobia, homophobia and misogyny.
Below you will see the response I received from an e-mail asking ProFlowers to stop advertising on Rush Limbaugh’s program after his vile remarks about Sandra Fluke.
“Thank you for your feedback. We spend our advertising dollars across a wide spectrum of media channels. The views and opinions of the media outlets and personalities we advertise with are not necessarily those of our company.”
“We simply wish to delight our customers with fresh and unique gifting products, and that will continue to happen to the best of our abilities.”
This is typical in today’s consumer climate as well as the political climate in America today. Everybody gets to be right! People hide behind the First Amendment the same way they hide behind religion and Jesus Christ to justify hatred and prejudice! I am so sick of the idea that this kind of behavior and hate speech is “the price we pay for free speech!” If that’s the case, then I say the price is too high! If Rush Limbaugh gets to attack Sandra Fluke in the vile way he did, as a representation of free speech under the First Amendment, then why do people still get bleeped for saying any of George Carlin’s seven words you can never say on television? Talk about hypocrisy! If the FCC has the power to ban seven words, then they also have the power to stop the kind of behavior displayed on right wing hate radio!
What we as consumers need to make clear to corporations like ProFlowers, is that their sponsorship of programs like Rush Limbaugh IS no different than if they did agreed with them. What we have today is the equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan on the radio, minus the robes and hoods. There is room for corporations to advertise across a wide spectrum of media channels that are respectful in their opposing views. But they don’t get to ignore violent hateful speech as though it were just a balance to opposing views!
Rush Limbaugh should not be on the radio! He is not there because he has widespread grassroots appeal. He is there because people with money and power took over the airwaves that used to belong to all of us. His popularity comes from the fact that those who now own the radio waves blast hatred and misinformation over powerful transmitters day and night across America while simultaneously denying transmission to those with more informed, more respectful points of view. This is possible because we no longer enforce antitrust laws. In every culture around the world, the struggle for absolute power has included the control of information. As our entire culture implodes around us, we can no longer sit back quietly ignoring the elephant in the living room!
As a critical thinking patriotic American, not as a Democrat, not as a liberal, but as a compassionate caring human being, I say it’s time to fight fire with fire! Putting hate radio out of business is not censorship. It is simply about restoring fair and balanced information to the masses. It is disingenuous to say the market gets to decide everything when in fact the market operates from a stacked deck!