The lizard brains who occupy power in the Texas legislature are denying basic rights and freedoms to American citizens. It’s another key victory in their Culture War, which they’ve been fighting for how long now? Definitely since the 1960s.
With the state legislature’s latest move to restrict access to abortions after six weeks, people who care about human rights are understandably angry. Women are justifiably furious. And all this rage has to be directed at something.
South By Southwest is the latest convenient target. “Advertising and media leaders, especially women and women of color, are calling for people and brands to withdraw from Texas-based events like SXSW,” according to Ad Age. That none of this is South By’s doing or fault matters not. This is the state of affairs in a society divided and confused.
Laura Mignott, CEO of DFlash, said, “I have amazing friends in Austin and my heart breaks for them right now because they’re living in this insane dystopia. I can’t tell my brand clients to activate there.”
Why is that? Will the anti-choice fascists be in attendance next March in downtown Austin? No. Will the boycott hurt them somehow? No.
Because there is a real need to do something, and a desire to point a finger at someone, “Texas” is now the enemy. Not the Texas GOP and its cretins inside the Capitol building. Just Texas. The fact that Texas is a state with 29M people in it, incredibly diverse, increasingly urban, and one of the largest economic engines in the world, is not part of the discussion today.
The idea that Texas is not the enemy is also nowhere to be found.
Do Something Positive to Help
Dallas-based Match Group, which owns dating app brands such as Tinder and OKCupid, announced Thursday it will set up a fund to support employees impacted by the law. Bumble made a similar move. These are positive actions that will help people.
Instead of boycotting South By, why not use the event as an opportunity to sound off on the issues? The weight of your voice will be amplified instead of just missing.
Fight the Power, Not Each Other
Did you know that every city in Texas except Fort Worth is dominated by Democrats? Did you know that Joe Biden lost to Don Trump in 2020 in Texas by just 630K votes (out more than 11 million votes cast)? The state of Texas, like every state in the nation, is purple.
To help elect Democrats in Texas and restore decency and law, are you willing and able to help Beto O’Rourke register 3M new Texas voters? Success on that front will change the score on the ground in Texas in 2022 and 2024 and for many years to come.
Get Strategic or Get Lost
Where is the strategic response to this? That is my question and it’s been my question for years.
Has the Democratic National Committee invested huge resources in Texas and Florida to make damn sure their candidates win in 2022 and 2024? Why not?
Does your company have a policy in place to protect women and men in Texas who provide aid to a person who needs an abortion? Are you willing to provide such aid? Are you ready to sign your name to a public document stating that you will help women in Texas get an abortion when needed? I am asking myself these questions and the answer is yes.
The moves by Texas state legislators and other far-right American radicals are going to keep coming until they’re removed from office and public life. So, my patience for symbolic gestures is long gone. The people who did this all have names, offices, places to stay in Austin, and homes in some other Texas community. Who they are is no secret. So, let’s put their names on a list and distribute the list to all Austin businesses and landlords who would like to deny service to them and their enablers.
Let’s fight the real enemy.