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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: Don’t shame people for not boycotting for Palestine

%28Illustration%29
Wren Johnson
(Illustration)

Let me start by prefacing that this piece is not meant to say “boycotting is bad.” I am in full support of boycotting brands, but some things that should be known when it comes to the act of boycotting. 

I also would like to preface that I am both pro-Jewish and pro-Palestine, and this column is not meant to be antisemitic or Zionist. 

The act of boycotting has been around for hundreds of years. In fact, it was popularized in the late 1800s by Charles Stewart Parnell during the Irish land agitation of 1880 to protest high rents and land evictions. 

Boycotting was also big during the Civil Rights movement after Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat for a white man on a bus. Many people boycotted the bus system in Montgomery, Alabama. 

Now, since the rise in awareness of the Israel-Palestine conflict, many people are boycotting businesses, including McDonald’s and Starbucks. 

McDonald’s has been under fire for giving free meals to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), and Starbucks is being boycotted for suing its unions over posts in support of the liberation of Palestine. 

While both companies’ actions are bad, we shouldn’t shame people for not boycotting these companies. There are many reasons why people aren’t able to boycott these companies.

For some people, including students on campus, if they don’t want to go to Starbucks, they’re not left with many options other than Fairmount Coffee Company or Credo Coffee Shop, which may not fit very many people’s personal values either since they are both affiliated with religious organizations and/or located inside a church.

Other on-campus coffee shops, such as Cargill in Woolsey Hall and the Groundhouse, have limited hours throughout the week and on the weekends. 

These limited options for your everyday cup of coffee can leave some people stuck in the middle on where to go when they spend most of their time on campus.

Also, boycotting can also have some classist undertones. Wichita, as a city, has 44 square miles of food deserts. Wichita State University is located in and around several of these food deserts, which means, for some people, the two McDonald’s restaurants within a mile of each other on Hillside are the only option they have.

Not to mention, McDonald’s is a franchise, and all McDonald’s here in Wichita are owned by Lane Enterprises, who happen to be a family of local business owners. By boycotting McDonald’s, you could be hurting the local economy. 

The specific branch of McDonald’s that gave free meals to the IDF was a branch that was based in Israel and not the U.S. or McDonald’s as a company.

In the same article, McDonald’s franchises in other middle-eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey put out statements saying that they were disassociating themselves from McDonald’s in Israel. 

Because McDonald’s is a franchise, all owners have different opinions on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Some of the other owners across the world, like the ones mentioned above, could very well disagree with the decision the branch in Israel made — we just don’t know. 

All I am saying here is, before you boycott, please do your research on these companies because while most are corporately owned, some are not. If you see someone drinking coffee from Starbucks or eating food from McDonald’s, don’t judge or shame them.

View Comments (6)
About the Contributors
Jacinda Hall, Podcast Editor
Jacinda Hall is the podcast editor for The Sunflower. Hall is a junior majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism and minoring in English and literature. Her favorite quote is by Kurt Cobain: “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.”
Wren Johnson, Illustrator/Designer
Wren Johnson is an illustrator for The Sunflower. Johnson is a third-year Communications major that loves chickens. In her free time she likes to read, draw, and hang out with friends. Johnson uses she/her pronouns.

Comments (6)

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  • A

    AnonymousNov 17, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    This article clearly shows that the person who wrote it doesn’t want the boycott..
    Giving silly reasons not to boycott..please readers let’s not fall into these traps..babies lives in Palestine are more precious than rich business Owners who can turn to other businesses..
    We will still boycott no matter how you try to brainwash people
    Boycott Mc Donalds Starbucks

    Reply
  • AnonymousNov 17, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    This article clearly shows that the person who wrote it doesn’t want the boycott..
    Giving silly reasons not to boycott..please readers let’s not fall into these traps..babies lives in Palestine are more precious than rich business Owners who can turn to other businesses..
    We will still boycott no matter how you try to brainwash people

    Reply
  • A

    AnonymousNov 16, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    Using the excuse that people choose to purchase starbucks because they have “limited options for [their] everyday cup of coffee” is ridiculous. if you think that having that overpriced cup of coffee is more important than the lives of innocent Palestinians just say so.

    Reply
    • A

      Amanda dsouzaNov 16, 2023 at 11:43 pm

      Exactly! Just don’t have coffee outside. Make it at home. children are dying and this is what the west prioritises.

      Reply
  • AnonymousNov 14, 2023 at 12:40 pm

    The entire country is being overrun with politically correctness to the point of supporting terrorists at war with the United States. “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Is a call for genocide of the Jewish people.

    Reply
    • A

      AnonymousNov 16, 2023 at 1:36 pm

      Hmm, that is a pretty bold statement there considering Israel is actively committing war crimes against innocent Palestinians and murdering thousands of children and babies while Israel lied about 40 beheaded babies which lead to the horrific murder of a 6 year old Palestinian boy in Chicago because oops they made a mistake. Israel bombed hospitals because “Hamas is hiding in there” but their only evidence was a piece of paper that the IDF claimed to have been a list of Hamas soldiers only for it to be a calendar with the days of the week. Chanting “Palestine will be free” is not supporting a terrorist group, it is calling for a ceasefire because Palestinians are humans. No where in that statement does it call for a genocide of the Jewish people. This is an ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people happening right before our eyes, don’t try to play the victim.

      Reply