The Slatest

Right-Wing Trend of Buying or Not Buying Things to Own the Libs Reaches Nadir With Accidental Boycott of Semen

On the right, Ben Shapiro holds a piece of wood outside a Home Depot. On the left, a tweet by Matt Schlapp about boycotting "come" products.
Guys? Photo illustration by Slate. Photos via Twitter.

Americans increasingly absorb and engage in political discourse online. Also, major corporations have become increasingly mindful of consumers and employees’ interests in social justice. These two trends have intersected to create a uniquely dumb category of activity: the ostentatious and not particularly believable right-wing social media claim to have totally disavowed the products of whichever company has most recently made a public statement that was supportive of civil rights or diversity. (Or, occasionally, to have embraced the products of a company that has gotten itself in the news for positioning itself against such causes.)

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In recent years, as the Daily Beast documented, companies that right-wing entities have called for boycotts of, or claimed to be personally boycotting, have included Amazon, Budweiser, Gillette, Keurig, Macy’s, Netflix, Nike/the NFL, Nordstrom, Starbucks, and Target. There was also a related movement to buy more Goya products because its CEO supports Donald Trump. None of these market interventions have been sustained or effective; really, they’re better understood as facets of the right-wing media spam economy than as attempts to actually get large companies to change their policies.

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And on that note, here are two moments in time from this week in the world of modern American conservatism. What you need to know in advance is that the Atlanta-based Coca-Cola company has criticized Georgia’s restrictive new voting law and that a group of Georgia religious figures (which is large and organized enough to possibly actually make a difference) has called for a liberal boycott of Home Depot for not criticizing the law.

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The first image is Conservative Political Action Conference director Matt Schlapp (apparently) failing to notice that autocorrect has changed his claim to have stopped drinking Coke (which would have been at least the sixth time he’s made that claim on Twitter) to a claim to have stopped drinking “come.” The second image is a screenshot of an Instagram story in which mega-pundit Ben Shapiro proudly shows off the small piece of lumber he bought in order to support Home Depot.

That’s politics, baby!

In the seven years I’ve been covering news and politics for Slate, I’ve written about some of the United States’ best and worst moments, people, and ideas. Your continued support of Slate Plus will allow me to continue to give our country’s high-stakes struggle to define itself the coverage it deserves. Thank you! —Ben Mathis-Lilley, senior writer

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