Friday, November 14, 2008

Small Donors, Boycotts, And Discomfort

You may have heard by now, especially my SoCal readers, of the huge dust-up over El Coyote - a restaurant with a high level of gay patronage, the manager of which gave $100 to the Yes on 8 efforts via her Mormon Church. Things are getting pretty ugly, with manager Marjorie Chrisoffersen tearfully saying that she won't personally donate to No efforts and causes now, though a restaurant representative said El Coyote would be donating to Lambda Legal and other similar causes. This didn't go over so well:

She continued: "It saddens me that my faith keeps you away from The Coyote. I can not and WILL NOT change my lifelong commitment to the Mormon Church. I can not and will not change my commitment to you."

At which point she opened the floor to questions.

At which point, she shouldn't have.

A gentleman by the same of Sam, who said he was an ex-member of the Mormon Church, asked if she was willing to donate to NO on 8.

She started crying.

A representative of the restaurant stepped in and stated that El Coyote was going to donate to Lambda Legal and the Gay and Lesbian Center and Sam said, I asked HER what SHE was going to do.

Marjorie said: "I will not."

At which point the place went insane.
So, you know where I stand on Prop 8 and what I feel about the No on 8 campaign and what's gone on since Election Day.

Even I'm not sure, however, how I feel about this single restaurant getting this sh*t kicked out of it for a manager's small donation (I haven't seen anything that says she gave more than $100, I haven't done the primary source research on it, and for purposes of this discussion, I'm not sure it's necessary).

Maybe I'm too critical, but, I would be much more than $100 that those who would torch El Coyote and spit on Marjorie probably didn't volunteer for the campaign. Maybe some gave money. Maybe some gave money and volunteered, but I'm going to guess not so much. And, of course, even if they had volunteered, they wouldn't have been given anything meaningful to do because the campaign was a cluster of ineffective, epic proportions.

One person's time donated to the campaign and put to good use would be worth far, far more than $100, or even, frankly, $1000.

This sort of crap distracts from the bigger failures of the campaign and from the work that needs to be done before we can hope to change what we let happen.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't this just show that we all need thinking time. Surely nobody really wants to be that screwed up.

Anonymous said...

Just to be clear, Marjorie is one of the owners of the restaurant. She is not just a random manager. Marjorie is more than entitled to blindly follow the church. It is also the right of the community that has financially supported her for decades to spend their gay dollars somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

I agree. It's a free-market and a free-country and actions have consequences.

Anonymous said...

It's always been easier to boycott a big corporation like a Walmart when you don't like something they are doing than it is to boycott a local business.

However when you stay away from a local business, you generally have a much bigger impact while the boycott of a corporation is generally just shrugged off.

But that brings the negativeness of a political fight into your own neighborhood which is something most people would prefer to avoid.

Anonymous said...

Still missing is any word or official call from the No side powers-that-be for more effective activism in the form of organizing and preparing for the future. It's good that blogs can't go hoarse because I'll be yelling about this until it happens.

Anonymous said...

So "No on 8" came up just short this campaign. Next step: win the next campaign.

Yet all I see is the No side (or its anarchist post-campaign tag-alongs, as I think you accurately describe them CD) doing its best to harden the resolve of the Yes on 8 supporters; proving as true the most malicious and absurd charges from the Yes on 8 campaign; completely alienating anyone who might have been on the fence; and overall doing their best to allow the YES on 8 side as to position itself as the moral, rational, friendly holders of the high ground. That's an absurd view of the Yes on 8 crowd, but in this battle for tolerance, equal rights, and respect for our fellow human beings, I am shocked, saddened, and appalled by these stupid actions by the side I normally would support.