A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Justified Anger, Misplaced Targets

In the wake of the Gulf oil spill, many BP gas stations in the country have seen their sales plummet because of individuals boycotting BP stations. Some have suggested that the stations revert back to the previous name of Amoco in order to begin the process of amnesia that might lead to increased sales again. Whether such a move would work remains to be seen.

Let me say at the outset that I understand the anger at BP for what appears to be obvious negligence on their part. They cut safety corners in their deep water drilling protocols and their incompetence and outright greed of company officials have affected many people living on the Gulf Coast who depend on fishing and oil drilling for their livelihood. What they have done will affect people in that region for years to come.

So while the anger at BP is justified, targeting individual BP gas stations for boycott is not. The individual owners of these stations have nothing to do with the oil drilling of the company nor were they involved in the decisions that led to the Gulf disaster. They are simply small and independent business owners attempting to forge a livelihood and give work to their employees. They are the small business owners we Americans like to brag about as the backbone of our economy.

I am not a big fan of boycotts or embargoes, whether they are government sponsored or the result of a popular movement. Boycotts only hurt the people who can least afford it. I am continually amazed that so often those individuals who support boycotts are the ones who tout how concerned they are for the common laborer and the poor; and then they are willing to engage in a practice that hurts the very people they claim to care about.

Over the years when I stop to get gas I am one of those persons who looks for the cheapest price; but lately I have been stopping at BP stations. I do so not because I approve of BP's willful negligence in reference to deep water oil drilling, but because I want to support those small business owners who have come on hard times through no fault of their own, and who are hurting because of the justified anger but misplaced response of so many who should think twice.


Timothy Wayne Good said...

I think that it was initially justified as a short term immediate gut responce to apparent corporate callousness of the rights and concerns of individuals. It was an attempt to get their attention by getting the media's attention. I agree though that the colateral damage involved in such an action does not justify its continuation.

Greg Hazelrig said...

Good insights. I agree.

bthomas said...

Boycott BP? When we grow up, we are suppose to put away our childish ways.

Sharp said...

Another unintended consequence is that BP isn't going to be able to compensate anyone for damages if they're bankrupt.

Allan R. Bevere said...


An excellent point.