I can't believe the internets are making me waste time on this

...but since yesterday's horrid article from the Washington City Paper (to which I will make sure not to give interviews in the future) now shows up on the first page of a scroogle search for my name, I have had to officially respond. We'll see if they run it, but in the meantime:

Boycott is Beside the Point

I am writing in response to the piece by Mike Riggs called "Whole Foods Protesters Miss the Salad Bar" (8/18). Unfortunately, Mr. Riggs' poorly written and demeaning article seriously misrepresents both the conversation I had with him and my stance on boycotts. I was outside Whole Foods, as I told him, to publicly condemn CEO John Mackey's attacks on healthcare and labor in the United States, and to stand up for single payer healthcare. I was not there to boycott Whole Foods, nor was Mackey's stance "the reason [I] switched from Whole Foods to co-ops and farmers’ markets." I do shop at those places, as I told Riggs when asked, and have for a long time. And I have stopped shopping at Whole Foods, something I did infrequently in any case. But individualized consumer action was neither the point of yesterday's protest, nor is it something I believe has any effect on the larger picture, which is one of corporate control over our political system, in which CEOs making millions of dollars a year and fighting against human and labor rights for the rest of us have a chokehold on national policy. The fight for healthcare and for democracy is a collective struggle for justice, not an individualized responsibility to buy from one overpriced grocery store or another.

Adrienne Pine
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
American University


And yes, I have learned my lesson

...while I previously saw boycotts as a valuable (if misguided) press tool, tactically embracing them while ideologically opposing them leads to too much confusion and vitriol. See Russ Mokhiber's great quote at the end of this video (once you get past the spirit healer):

This is the kind of thing I'll be saying to the cameras from now on; after all, I fully agree with it. "And let the organic tortilla chips fall where they may!"