Does your favorite candidate for the legislature or statewide office support Vermont businesses? How about racial justice? If both answers are yes, then consider asking them if they are spending their ad budgets with Vermont media — or with Facebook.
Why does this matter? Because sending Vermont dollars to Facebook is not “buying local” and runs counter to racial justice. Facebook gives a voice to the highest bidder, even if that voice is sharing inflammatory hate speech.
Here in Vermont and around the nation, people are rallying to lift their communities by supporting the local economy and standing up against racism.
One example is Buy Local. This is a collection of efforts to encourage people to use the dollars they spend on everyday necessities with local businesses, building community wealth along the way. In fact, Vermont’s own state government is funding dozens of Buy Local initiatives this summer across the state.
Another case is #stophateforprofit. This fast-growing global campaign asks “all businesses to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality and justice and not advertise on Facebook’s services in July.” Click on the link above to see how Facebook is on the wrong side of history, putting corporate profit ahead of American’s core values.
Corporations of all sizes are taking the pledge. Among many others, Verizon, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Honda, Patagonia, Levi’s, and Ben & Jerry’s, have pledged to stop advertising with Facebook for the month of July.
In this context, Front Porch Forum joins Seven Days and other Vermont media in calling on candidates for statewide office or the legislature to take a stand too. It’s time to stop sending Vermont money to Silicon Valley billionaires who have repeatedly failed to use their power to curb hate. It’s time to ask Vermont candidates to put their money where their values are – with local media that put Vermont values first.
Many of the dozens of small locally owned media businesses in Vermont are struggling financially. Now is the time to step up, for those who can, and Buy Local with their advertising dollars. Where do your candidates stand on this choice?