When I read Fabiola Santiago’s Op-Ed piece on Publix https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/fabiola-santiago/article248817950.html?mc_cid=1ec6218bf3&mc_eid=b8eb60c724, I really wanted to just laugh it off as the latest nonsense that passes for writing these days. In the piece, she suggests a boycott of Publix Supermarkets for the political contribution of the founder’s daughter to the rally on January 6. In addition, she points to a developing story about Publix being awarded thousands of vaccine doses after a large political contribution to Governor De Santis. I admit I have not fully examined the facts or evidence on either of those stories. Then again, I’m willing to bet neither have most of the Miami Herald readers and social media users who Ms. Santiago is rallying to boycott the grocery store.
Her writing drips with judgment such as the comment about how “slimy” it feels to shop there, “unless you have a conscience.” She also makes into fact the rather giant leap about the January 6 Trump rally leading to the insurrection at the Capitol. To tie Mrs. Jenkins Fancelli’s monetary contribution to the insurrection before all the investigations have been closed is irresponsible at best. I’m in no way taking a position that excuses what took place in the Capitol. It was horrible and the perpetrators should be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent of the law. But the phenomenon that is cancel culture is getting out of control.
Has Ms. Santiago stopped to consider the irresponsibility of her words? Publix is one of the largest employers in Florida. It’s also one of the few employers I know that has regularly hired both high school kids and elderly citizens for decades. It is not our role as responsible citizens to bring down business because we don’t like the owners’ politics. And what about the employees who’s livelihoods she’s nonchalantly playing with by suggesting a boycott during a time of extreme economic hardship?
If, after reading factual news articles and carefully researched analysis, you come to the conclusion that you cannot support a business, by all means that is your right as a consumer. And it’s one of the positive outcomes of capitalism. But the coordinated efforts by one or a small minority to gather a mob to do economic harm to others is, in my opinion, something we should all be concerned about. Because today it’s being employed against conservatives by liberals. But we are oh so fickle. Who knows how and when that tide could turn?