The phrase "conspiracy theorist" has been used as a label to ostracize those who have asserted, with varying degrees of validity, explanations that run counter to a given narrative. Though this label is waning in its ability to derail conversations like it could in the time of its inception, the JFK assassination, it is being replaced by a plethora of anti-intellectual pejoratives that function similarly. For anyone living under a rock for the last few years, those modern cognition disruptors include such hits as: racist, white supremacist, homophobe, xenophobe, sexist, and a litany of others. While I wouldn't advocate any of those things, it must be clarified that what is considered, for example, racist today often has little to do with actual racism. These labels are bandied about so much that they have lost meaning outside of calling someone a "doo-doo head". The media, both mainstream and social, has helped to create an environment where these words are attached to an emotion and then recited when someone is brought into the correct emotional state to elicit said response. The colloquial term for this is "trigger".
Another common slur that is used is "anti-Semite". Like "conspiracy theory" this phrase has been used for decades to shut down conversations even when the discourse had little to do with Semites. Try to criticize the practice of central banking or Hollywood's influence and you will often hear responses about how you "hate the Jews" or other anti-Semitic nonsense even when you offer legitimate criticism and never mention individuals let alone races or religions. Anti-Hollywood and anti-central banking have been emotional attached to anti-Semite, I submit, in an attempt to limit conversation regarding these topics. Similar arguments can be made using black (thugs), Muslim (terrorists), Christian (bible nuts), and male (patriarchy) among others. The important point here is not the slur so much as the visceral response that curtails dialog.
Today I see a similar association being made surrounding the word "boycott". Having written about and promoted a general boycott as a one-two punch that can simultaneously starve the beast and improve the individual, I have seen interest in the topic wax and wane following the aforementioned emotional associations. This article will outline some of the more egregious connections being made to boycott.
Boycott Lives Matter
In 2014, following the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of Michael Brown and the ensuing riots, there was a protest where people were blocking access to stores in an aggressive manner on the Black Friday shopping day.
Missouri protesters Friday turned their anger over the police shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown on the St. Louis Galleria Mall, forcing it to shut down temporarily on the busiest shopping day of the year.
One mall worker said demonstrators threatened to throw chairs in the food court before the National Guard moved in.
Protesters urged supporters to boycott shopping on Black Friday. And if they did shop, they were told to take their money to black-owned businesses...
Supporters had been urged to boycott major retailers nationwide.
Looking back at this even, it reminds me of what I see surrounding a lot of the antifa confrontations these days. These protesters were calling this a boycott when it was nothing more than thuggery.
This kind of protest has been recurring yearly since 2014.
Last year  on Black Friday, Black Lives Matters and other left-wing groups protested their grievances across America by blocking consumers from entering stores. Shouts of "Shut it Down!" from protesters flooded the streets as consumers attempted to enter businesses to shop.
Here we see a connection being made between Black Lives Matter and "left-wing groups".
protesters linked arms to try to keep shoppers away, with some success.
"One of the cornerstones about why we're boycotting on Black Friday is to attempt to redirect people to businesses owned by people of color and women, and explain why it's important to patronize these businesses," said Black Lives Matter leader Kimberly Veal.
Linking arms to keep shoppers away is not a boycott. Also notice how the idea of boycott is once again linked to race (Black Lives Matter). Finally the idea of boycott is somehow connected to "redirect[ing] people to businesses owned by people of color and women".
A Black Lives Matter protest had about 50 people block various Lenox Square Mall driveways and Peachtree Road Sept. 24 while calling for a boycott in response to controversial police killings of black men and boys.
"This is a boycott," he said. "No longer will Macy's, no longer will Lenox... profit off of our suffrage. No longer can they get another black dollar off of our pain."
At different times, they blocked three different mall driveways, including the main Peachtree entrance, by sitting on the pavement. They also briefly blocked Peachtree by sitting or lying in the road.
Again we see the Black Lives Matter connection and the protesters "block[ing] three different mall driveways." None of this nonsense has anything to do with boycott and I believe is being used to tarnish the otherwise effective strategy.
In a similar vein I have seen, recurring every year or so, an increase in calls to boycott Israel. The BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement started in 2005 as a nonviolent protest of the country's treatment of Palestinians. On the surface this seems like a legitimate protest in support of Palestine. The problem I see is that it is associating boycott with anti-Semite. There have been recent talks, and even some legislation to counter this. In fact, as of 2017-11-03, 23 states have adopted laws preventing Israel boycott in some way.
After Hurricane Harvey the absurdity of these Anti-BDS laws reached a new, emotionally charged, peak.
The city of Dickinson, Texas, located about 30 miles southeast of Houston, recently posted applications online for relief grants "from the funds that were generously donated to the Dickinson Harvey Relief Fund," the city's website says. The application, however, includes a provision requiring applicants to promise not to boycott Israel.
Section 11 of the four page document is titled: "Verification not to Boycott Israel".
The text reads: "By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement."
In May, Texas governor Greg Abbott signed the Anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions) bill into law. The statute "prohibits all state agencies from contracting with, and certain public funds from investing in, companies that boycott Israel," according to the governor's website.
"Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas," Abbott said at the bill's signing. "We will not tolerate such actions against an important ally."
Here we have quite the dissonant soup. Connecting anti-Semitic to anti-Texas, using people suffering in the aftermath of a disaster, and ushering in an era where if you want Uncle Sam's (read: Uncle Sugar's) money, you'd better do as Uncle Sam says.
There was some reprieve to the madness a few days later.
A Houston suburb removed a requirement from a hurricane repair grant program that homeowners must agree to not boycott Israel as a condition of receiving money.
But it was short-lived.
City management assistant Bryan Milward said businesses in Dickinson will still have to refrain from boycotting Israel in order to get relief funding, because the city interpreted that as a requirement of the new state law.
Dickinson had initially included the boycott requirement to comply with a new state law that prohibits Texas agencies from contracting with companies that boycott Israel.
Texas is one of the 23 aforementioned states that has laws on the books that "prohibits all state agencies from contracting with companies that boycott Israel."
The boycott language was included to comply with a new state law prohibiting Texas agencies from contracting with companies boycotting Israel, said David Olson, the city attorney in Dickinson, located about 30 miles southeast of Houston.
The law, which took effect September 1, prohibits all state agencies from contracting with, and some public funds from investing in, companies that boycott Israel.
Given that this has come up several times in the last few years, I believe that these anti-boycott associations with anti-Israel, along with the similar associations with Black Lives Matter, are a new thread being woven into the emotional response/cognitive dissonance strategy to stifle conversation.
Most recently I read a press release from Papa John's claiming that the NFL's recent shenanigans of kneeling during anthems has been costing them game-time sales and hurting the shareholders.
Schnatter said on a conference call with investors Wednesday. "The NFL has hurt Papa John's shareholders."
President Trump has called on fans to boycott the NFL if the league doesn't crack down on protests.
I have not been able to find a source for this. The closest I could find was President Trump telling people to "walk out". While I might be splitting hairs, he has technically (as far as I can tell) not used the word boycott. Either way, attaching anything to Trump these days implies a negative connotation.
Shares of Papa John's (PZZA) tumbled 9% on the lowered estimates.
There has been a lot of talk online about boycotting the NFL and their sponsors, and I personally hope that is exactly what is happening, but one must consider this whining as another prong in associating boycott with a particular emotional response - possibly an "anti-economic" angle. First of all, while the decrease in sales certainly would be negative for Papa John's, is the money not being spent somewhere else (or maybe even saved)? Is the NFL responsible to the Papa John's shareholders? Are the potential customers "required" to buy Papa John's products? Isn't this exactly how a "free" market is supposed to work? People can choose to buy or not. This is a failure of the Papa John's marketing department. The sentiment of their potential customers has changed and instead of devising a new marketing strategy they are complaining?!
Setting aside the absurdity and emotion, can you see how boycott is being associated with "hurting shareholders" in such the same way it is being associated with "hurting Israel"? Further, look at how effective a strategy of boycott is if within a month or so of declining sales Papa John's is begging for mercy. A 9% stock price drop in one day is a BIG deal. While not entirely analogous, imagine your salary being cut by 9% - that would be borderline catastrophic for most people.
If a boycott, even a secondary one in the case of Papa John's, has the ability to make a national company cry uncle within such a short time, is that not an extremely effective strategy? Putting yourself in the shoes of the billionaire or oligarch, wouldn't you do everything you could to preemptively shut down such a strategy?
Don't be fooled into thinking boycott is bad or hurtful. It is an effective economic strategy that hits the oligarchy and their lackeys right where it hurts them most, in the pocket book, while simultaneously improving the boycotter's position. Every dollar you don't spend on triflings such as the NFL you can spend (or save) somewhere else to improve your life. For more information on boycott as a strategy for regaining control of society, check out my brief introduction on the topic.