The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday October 28th

Column: Spend your money ethically

gwen

Last week in a classroom discussion, we brought up the relationship between White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Dippin’ Dots. Long story short, Spicer has a long history of bashing Dippin’ Dots, and CEO Scott Fisher decided to extend an olive branch by offering to host an ice cream social at the White House.

My first thought was that Dippin’ Dots should be careful about associating themselves with the Trump administration. Although the letter was playful, boycotts could negatively impact sales and the image of Dippin’ Dots in the eyes of consumers (oh hey, #DeleteUber).

Some classmates disagreed, saying it was “just a joke” and a “great publicity stunt.” I, however, decided in that moment to never spend another cent on Dippin’ Dots.

It was an excellent public relations stunt, of course. However, that letter articulated to me that Dippin’ Dots is willing to entertain the individuals that occupy the White House and endorse and produce “alternative facts.”

And THEN, this weekend happened.

With each CNN update I recieved on my phone, I became more and more convinced I was living in a “Black Mirror” episode.

Between the Trump administration issuing the immigration ban, reviving the Dakota Access Pipeline and firing the acting Attorney General, I’m dreading to see what’s coming next.

What somewhat surprised me, though, was the public opposition from major companies in response to the immigration ban. Starbucks pledged to hire 10,000 refugees globally, Lyft pledged to donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union — and after some backlash, even Uber set up a $3 million legal fund for immigrant drivers.

So, I checked up on Dippin’ Dots and found no press releases, statements or pledges in response to the immigration ban.

My point is this: pay attention to those who are silent, whether it be a neighbor, friend or CEO of a major corporation. It may be a little time consuming, but in times like these it is important to recognize allies in whatever form they may be in. Our responses to this administration and any other executive order that comes our way can be controlled. We have the power to decide to whom and to what we invest our interest, energy and time.

Some days, no thanks to my CNN updates, I feel helpless. Despite my attempts to scan, swipe and keep moving, by the end of the day my concern catches up with me. So, I’m going to keep paying attention. I’m going to control to whom and to where my money goes. That, thankfully, is one of the few aspects of my life that I can control.

Now, I will choose Lyft over Uber and I will continue to support Starbucks and I will definitely pay more attention to the sentiments of CEOs and scan the news for policy changes. Y’all should too. We have to more than read about it — we must act on it.



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