1. It’s Monday, June 12, 2017.
2. It’s hot in New York. Yes!
3. It’s the 93rd birthday of George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States.
Couldn’t stand him at the time. Still don’t think he’s a great POTUS.
But he looks like Lincoln compared to the incumbent.
4. It’s the first anniversary of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The gunman killed 49 people before being slain himself in a shootout with police.
It must be a hard day for the families and friends of those killed. I wish them strength to get through it, as they’ve gotten through the pain of the past year.
5. A good friend used to talk a lot about his “dollar vote.” Yeah, you cast votes on election day, and they mean something.
But so does what you choose to spend your money on. If you don’t support something represented by a company or product, buy something from someone else.
People – even people who aren’t well to do – have power in their wallets. They need to know when to use it.
Here’s how that works.
6. Delta Air Lines and Bank of America are among the sponsors of New York’s Public Theater. Or they were until yesterday, when they withdrew support for one of the most prominent American dramatic companies over a production of “Julius Caesar.”
The production resets Shakespeare’s classic tragedy in 21st century America, and the Caesar character looks quite a bit like the current President of the United States.
This doesn’t sit well with people who support Trump – including his son. And their complaints reached corporate offices that don’t like to piss off would-be customers.
So Delta, which says the production does not reflect its “values,” has withdrawn its support for the Public Theater. B of A didn’t go that far – it just took its support from this particular production.
The play’s producers say their production doesn’t advocate the assassination of anyone. But watching a Trump-like figure get stabbed on stage doesn’t sit well with his supporters.
Here’s the thing: Delta and Bank of America have every right not to put their money behind something they don’t believe in. And, because supporting the arts is as much a marketing tool as altruism, it defeats the purpose in their eyes if backing this kind of production costs them business.
Now, of course, if you support the Public Theater’s right to stage this production of “Julius Caesar” in Central Park this summer, you can make your feelings known through your pocketbook.
Maybe you’re thinking of opening a new bank account. In that case, maybe Bank of America’s stance is something to consider. If you’re flying, and there’s an option, maybe you’re not ready to fly Delta this time.
There are two other examples of how this can apply.
7. Next week, insultingly on Father’s Day, Megyn Kelly’s new NBC show will interview Alex Jones, the head of the right-wing infowars.com Web site. Among Jones’ abhorrent positions is that the killing of 26 elementary school students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 was a hoax.
This has, understandably, upset the parents who lost 5- and 6-year-olds that December day.
One of them is Nelba Márquez-Greene, whose Ana Grace was among the 20 children killed. She tweetstormed at Megyn Kelly last night after it was announced that the Jones interview would air next week.
The last of the tweets was: In @megynkelly ‘s America, cruelty gets u on national TV on Father’s Day. #SandyHook grieving dads will go to the cemetery. #thisisnotnormal.
Of course, this being social media in the 21st century, this poor woman is getting hit with trolls parroting some of Jones’ offensive line – that the kids weren’t really killed, that there’s no coroners’ reports released, that any pictures of dead children were really actors.
Here’s where you come in.
Megyn Kelly and NBC are not airing this interview purely as a public service. They expect to sell advertising to generate revenue for NBCUniversal, allowing it to report a profit to shareholders and pay the between $15 million and $20 million of Kelly’s annual salary.
So for starters, let’s find out who’s going to advertise on this program and not buy anything from them. All of us who are offended by this.
It worked with the Bill O’Reilly flap. It can work again. Don’t buy anything advertised on “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.”
And if that’s not enough for you, consider not buying anything advertised on NBC all of Sunday night. Hopefully somebody will come up with a list of these companies.
8. The second example is the effort by Senate Republicans to ram an Obamacare repeal down the nation’s throat.
If it’s anything like the ridiculous TrumpRyanCare plan that passed the House, more than 23 million Americans will lose health insurance coverage in the next decade. And those of us with coverage will lose a lot of it – especially if you have a pre-existing condition.
Now if you’re from a state with a Republican senator, you have some leverage. These people answer to you, and your efforts to lobby them to stop this proposal carry some weight.
But if you’re like me, with two wise senators who are Democrats, it’s a little harder. Why should a supposed fence-sitter on this issue, say Jeff Flake of Arizona, listen to anything I have to say? He doesn’t answer to me. He answers to someone in Winslow or Phoenix.
So here’s the best way for New Yorkers, Californians, Illini and others with two Democrats in the Senate.
Like Santa, we’re making a list and checking it twice. The states whose senators vote to gut health care go on the naughty list. They’re NOT where we’re going to vacation this year. Companies from the states don’t get our business if we have a choice with one whose senators vote to stop this.
Yes, we’re blacklisting them.
It’s our money. We have the right to do with it what we want.
If there’s a way to channel the anger financially, let’s do it. It’s ridiculous to have these kinds of things happen – the Alex Jones interview, the gutting of health security – and think we’re helpless.
We’re not. We can cast our dollar votes ahead of casting our ballot box votes to change this mess.