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Good Morning Nanty Glo!


Friday, June 3 2005
Jon Kennedy, webmaster

My boycott of Ford

A lifelong "fan" of Ford company vehicles, I recently told my sons, who share a passion for cars, that I was leaning toward buying a new Mustang this fall as my next and quite possibly last new car (considering that by the time it would be paid for, I'll likely be living on a retirement fixed income). Now I have to look for another car brand from a manufacturer which has not declared culture war on Christianity and traditional humanist (in the academic sense of the word) values, as Ford has done. I've joined the boycott of Ford called by the American Family Association, but as a nonmember I'm modifying it somewhat. Though I've had many Fords and Mercurys over the years, including my first four cars, I was never able to instill in Michael and Kevin the brand loyalty I've had since first grade at Belsano School. It's probably because Mike and Kev have never experienced the visceral fear for life and limb that Blacklick Valley elementary school boys who dared stand up for any car not made by General Motors did in the late '40s/early '50s. But Mike and Kev are both keen on the new "retro-style" Mustangs and offered to join me on any test drives.

It might not be easy to find an alternative car made by a company not invloved in promotion of a sodomy-based lifestyle. The gay pride fest for greater Detroit, in Ferndale, Mich., is cosponsored (at the "silver"—top—level) by Ford and DaimlerChrysler. News reports about the boycott indicate that General Motors also has gay friendly policies like providing spousal benefits to gay partners of its employees.

The fine print in this ad in gay publications says that Ford will donate $1000 to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance for every Jaguar or Land Rover bought through this ad.

Press releases distort the news of the boycott by implying that it's about the latter practice, providing spousal benefits to gay partners of employees, but that is not even mentioned in the lead paragraphs of the AFA's boycott press release. Instead, it says, "From redefining family to include homosexual marriage, to giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to support homosexual groups and their agenda, to forcing managers to attend diversity training on how to promote the acceptance of homosexuality, to sponsoring a 'commitment (marriage) ceremony,' to sponsoring Gay Pride Parades, Ford leads the way." And the boycottford.com website gives particulars for all of these allegations, including much more, including a reproduction of pro-gay Ford advertisements including the one for Ford's Jaguar cars here.

My own objections are not to employing homosexuals without prejudice, as most large companies do, or giving their partners benefits, as about half of the largest American companies do, or respecting homosexuals as persons in all situations and befriending them, being a good neighbor to them when occasion permits. But I find patently offensive—to the extent that I can't financially support—Ford's endorsement of "Pride" in the gay lifestyle, both in ads like the one reproduced here and in the company's cosponsorship of gay pride parades from Detroit to London and many other cities. I can understand how company human resources (formerly called "personnel") officers can be swayed by calls to "fairness" by the "Human Rights Campaign," a gay organization that promotes gay marriage and "civil rights" based on sexual orientation. Even claiming that a world corporation like Ford or Toyota, IBM or General Motors has obligations to all segments of its population may get a pass from me. For example, if Ford puts car ads in the gay press —the same ones that it puts in the Jewish, Christian, Black, Hispanic, and Asian press and other papers of other minoirities and interest groups—there's some legitimacy to that claim. But if it tailors ads to make a Volvo parking brake look like an erect phallus and label it "we're just as excited as you," and it doesn't put any ads in the Christian press, Ford has obviously taken its stand on the dark side. (Volvo automobile is another Ford divison, along with Mazda, Land Rover, and Astin Martin.) (And on the other, ligher, side—I can't imagine myself ever buying a new GM car...but still—Chrevrolet last year rebuffed widespread criticism of its sponsorship of a nationwide tour of gospel music performers. Fair's fair.)

The AFA has been boycotting many companies over similar policies. The most successful have been ones launched against Disney and K-Mart. Despite almost unanimous claims in the press articles about the current boycott claims that the Disney boycott, recently suspended, had been ineffective, the fact is that ABC-TV, Disney's division the most accessible to the public, went into a ratings nosedive during most of the boycott, and many of the company's movies over the same years were box-office flops. And we all know what happened to K-Mart after it was boycotted for not acceding to requests to remove pornographic magazines from its bookstore divisions (and if you don't, it went bankrupt, was completely overhauled, "streamlined" (as in "downsized") and is now under completely new top management).

For the gay and lesbian take on this story, click here.


A complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonals for 2001 - 2005

Perspectives on aging

To err is human; to forgive, highly unlikely.

Sent by Trudy Myers  

Thought for today

When you are in any contest you should work as if there were - to the very last minutea chance to lose it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969)  

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