In response to the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., people across the U.S. have announced boycotts against companies that fail to sever their ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Lawrence Glickman, professor of history at Cornell University and author of “Buying Power, a history of consumer activism in America”, says that this spout of consumer boycotting is only the latest example of America’s long history of “justice through the pocketbook.”
“Boycotts are politics by other means: they use economic leverage for ethical causes.
“Boycotts often work to show those who may think that they are innocent bystanders that they are implicated in immoral practices, by virtue of their consumption practices. ‘Use your buying power for justice’ was the motto of the Depression-era organization, the League of Woman Shoppers.
“That idea of promoting justice through the pocketbook has been a powerful force in American history, and the expanding boycott against the NRA is just the latest example.”