[Content Note: Homophobia; Christian Supremacy; class warfare.]

Yesterday, after my garbage governor signed Indiana's "religious freedom" bill into law, the predictable progressive backlash began with an outpouring of blanket generalizations about how people in Indiana are a waste of space (without a trace of irony that such broad statements include queer Hoosiers), admonishments to progressives in red states that we should just move (nope), and a #BoycottIndiana hashtag was started on Twitter. I pushed back, hard, on the suggestions for a boycott.

screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'Anyone saying #BoycottIndiana can kiss my fat ass. You'll just hurt the most vulnerable Hoosiers. Congrats, you're just like our government.'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'If you are calling for #BoycottIndiana, you are literally doubling the pain our reprehensible gerrymandered government is levying on us.'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'Fuck you. Fuck your sanctimonious bullshit. If you #BoycottIndiana, you align yourselves with Indiana GOP/ALEC, not average Hoosiers.'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'I am a progressive Hoosier who loathes #RFRA. I can't even tell you how much #BoycottIndiana does not feel supportive. It is hostile.'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'And it is so goddamn ignorant of what we actually need.'screen cap of a tweet containing a tweet by George Takei urging people to boycott Indiana, followed by my comment, reading: 'This shit right here? When you #BoycottIndiana, you are HARMING LGBT HOOSIERS. This is so aggressively clueless.'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'Don't come at me like #BoycottIndiana is the only option. If you have $ to withhold, then you have $ to donate to progressive Hoosier orgs.'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'DO NOT tell me to leave my home. Do not go there.'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'Just stop. Stop pretending that people on the precipice have the luxury of principled resistance.'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'You cannot expect people who are absolutely desperate already to support a boycott that could make them lose their jobs, their homes.'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'This week, a court ruled Indiana public schools can cancel bus service for school children to save $. But, by all means, #BoycottIndiana.'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'One out of every six Hoosiers depends on food stamps/pantries to get enough to eat. But, by all means, #BoycottIndiana.'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'Northwest Indiana has never recovered from the decimation of the steel industry. Jobs are scarce. But, by all means, #BoycottIndiana.'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'No one gives a single fuck about Indiana until they get to show how progressive they are by thoughtlessly crowing about boycotting the state'screen cap of a tweet authored by me reading: 'Look, if you want to boycott, your call. But be honest that you're withholding $ from working people, not just the state government.'

And those working people include queer business owners, as well as queer employees of inclusive and supportive employers, and also queer employees of shitty and horrible employers, because that's the only job they can get in a state with far too few jobs.

What does this boycott even look like? Are the people advocating a boycott of Indiana going to boycott soy products just in case those soybeans were grown in Indiana? (Haha just kidding. They don't know enough about Indiana to know we grow soybeans here. "One soy latte, please!") No more steel—it might have been forged in Indiana! Better skip the corn on the cob at your Fourth of July barbecue this year; that corn might have been grown in Indiana.

Shit, you'd better stop reading this blog. I was made in Indiana.

(Although my mom is from NYC and my dad is from California, so I have coastal DNA. Decisions decisions!)

If you're a person who criticizes sanctions against foreign nations because you understand that they harm the people of the nation more than the government, but then turn around and advocate boycotting states, you're not a progressive—you're a fauxgressive.

And if you understand that this "religious freedom" bill was a reactionary act by people who were angry that the federal government did something they didn't like (force them to legalize same-sex marriage), then you should understand that a reactionary act by people angry at our state government because they did something you didn't like (codify bigotry) is just part of the same damn problem.

It's not thoughtful and it's not compassionate and it's not helpful.

And let's be honest here: It isn't like the vast majority of people who are cheering "Boycott Indiana!" had any plans to visit Indiana and spend money in this state, anyway. It's just a slogan to shout at a state they perceive to be full of fat, poor, lazy, conservative, straight, cis, white people.

Which underlines what's really the worst thing about this idea: It's reflective of a vicious stereotype that disappears the existence of the very people for whom the sloganeers purport to care.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus