Friday, August 23, 2013

Peaceful Protest #3

From time to time a business will do something stupid, offensive, stupid AND offensive or just plain wrong - leaving us with CHOICES!

We can just ignore it, blowing the situation off. We can call/write/fax/e-mail and express our dismay, either individually or as a group. Or we can take more direct actions, often with significant economic impact, to show our displeasure.

The thirty some businesses that have publicly declared their intent to discriminate against and harass gun owners lawfully going about their business, in my opinion, merit the application of whatever lawful responses as might discomfit or economically impact them. Bigotry is evil.

The Bigoted Thirty(ish) are mostly on Capitol Hill in Seattle, several are bars where carry is unlawful per se, and while there are certainly gun owners on Capitol Hill - it's not really a bastion of organized and enthused gun owners. Regrettably, both stupidity and bigotry are contagious and need to be deterred whenever possible.

I'm reviewing a variety of options in this series of articles.

Online Activism

 These days a lot of folks make their dining, shopping, and entertainment decisions online using Yelp, Google Reviews, Facebook and what they hear or search out on Twitter. Yet again, I will re-iterate that I am not a lawyer and should anyone have legal concerns, they should *talk to a lawyer.*

Negative reviews, comments, tweets and Facebook posts can all serve to drag a business and its revenues down. Being untruthful can get you sued (and since even if you tell the truth you can conceivably get sued...and have to front the costs until you win) a certain amount of caution is indicated.

That said...

These reviews and comments are also places that you can make your opinion known and influence business decisions.

Example of a Yelp or Facebook comment:

"The food would have been adequate and the service acceptable if not for the foul stench of bigotry rolling off staff and management that left me nauseated and disgusted. Could not gag down my meal and left hungry and dismayed. How such foulness persists is beyond me. Suggest dining at Charlie's, Dick's or almost any less discriminatory establishment."

Comments like that, accompanied by the lowest available rating (Yelp, etc) don't precisely do a business good yet remain within the bounds of honesty. (IANAL) With Twitter, you are limited to 140 characters so an example of comment there would look more like:

Can't eat at XXXXXX. Too much bigotry, crime risk in my opinion. #seattle #bigots 

Again, honest and an expression of *your opinion*.

Don't be silly and use the examples verbatim. You can do better than that - be original. And stay safe out there.

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