Yesha Callahan

Open Thread: Will Boycotting Florida Make A Difference?


After the George Zimmerman verdict, Florida has become “Public Enemy #1”. It’s alleged that more celebrities have decided to  boycott the Sunshine Stand Your Ground State.  Stevie Wonder was the first celebrity to announce he was done with Florida in protest of George Zimmerman’s acquittal and the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. Until the law is “abolished … I will never perform there again,” and that goes for any state that has a similar law, he said, according to NBC News.

Yesterday, Huffington Post reported, then retracted, a news report that Rihanna, Jay Z and Justin Timberlake were joining in the boycott.

The thing is, Florida isn’t the only state with “Stand Your Ground” laws on their books. At least 23 other states have similar laws providing varying degrees of legal protection to those who use force in perceived self-defense.

A boycott would definitely hit Florida in the pockets. But will people hold their convictions and keep the momentum of boycotting going, even after the news coverage has died down?

Open Thread: Do you think boycotting Florida will make a difference?


  1. July 23, 2013 - Reply

    Stevie Wonder is no longer selling out arenas so his protest makes little difference. Even if Rihanna and Jay Z protest..they perform there what..once or twice a year?
    I honestly don’ t think this boycott will change a thing.sad to say

  2. July 23, 2013 - Reply

    But what about students who attend FAMU and Bethune-Cookman College? What are they to do this upcoming semester? Do they boycott their schools?

    And what about the faculty and administrations at Florida’s HBCUs?

    • July 23, 2013 - Reply


      They can support black owned businesses. The main purpose of the boycott is boycott businesses and organizations that discriminate against us because the color of our skin. Being black is not a crime!

    • July 23, 2013 - Reply


      Who cares! I’m a FAMU Alum and I hope they skip out on all FL events…though this ‘protest’ will accomplish nothing.

  3. July 23, 2013 - Reply

    Well I like that people are taking a stand. But I’m kind of on the fence on how this could possible effect the wrong group of people.

    I think we have to be careful how we boycott Florida. A big part of Florida’s economy is based in tourism. A lot of young people (especially young black people) and the working poor are employed at these parks, hotels, and other tourist attractions. When tourism slows down, hours get cut, pay checks decrease for waged workers. Maybe the boycott should focus on specific companies in Florida that have known affiliations with politicians who support the stand you ground law. Policy influences change, ultimately this movement needs to be strategic on how they can change this policy without hurting locals. We also need people who are trained in writing and presenting polices (someone who knows how the system works) to help with the paper work/foot work side to policy change. But again I like the idea and I think it’s a shot in the right direction.

  4. July 23, 2013 - Reply


  5. July 23, 2013 - Reply

    I’m boycotting Florida. I don’t know how much it will help, but for someone who lives outside of the U.S. it feels like I’m doing something to show my disapproval and disgust about the murder of Trayvon Martin. The reputation of the state and of the country is suffering – I don’t want to spend my tourist dollars in Florida if people who look like me cannot receive justice and can be gunned down legally. I also don’t trust that my black husband, black cousins or potential black sons are safe in Florida so I can’t rationalize going somewhere that my family isn’t safe.

    • July 23, 2013 - Reply


      I hope you don’t plan on visiting NYC either if that’s the case. Or another major city that has a history of racial profiling.

      I completely agree with trying to use money as a way to boycott but let’s remember all of the people who look like trayvon Martin and other young black men who work at these tourist attractions to make money. When tourists don’t come, hours get cut, hours get cut, and paychecks get cut.

      I think the economic part of the protest should focus around specific industries or companies that support stand your ground/and or back Politician who support stand your ground.

      • July 23, 2013 - Reply


        Honestly, I hadn’t thought sbout it like that, but I have to choose when to spend my tourist dollars. I’ve visited Florida many times, but right now, Florida is not the spot I would choose to go. I’m not an American. I don’t know about every racial profile case. This one struck a chord and I plan to follow my heart on this.

  6. July 23, 2013 - Reply

    black people are too fragmented to boycott effectively……

    • July 23, 2013 - Reply


      THANK YOU!

      We aren’t even united as a people!

  7. July 23, 2013 - Reply

    The plan is to Boycott major Florida attractions and venue’s. Instead support Black owned businesses and keep the money in the community. That’s what I heard from my hubby (hearsay) while he was speaking to his mother (lives in FL).

  8. July 23, 2013 - Reply

    My question is…why is this a good idea on the basis of the Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws? Z plead self-defense. This law ultimately wasn’t even a factor in this case. And, if you read the details of Alexander’s case, you’ll find that SYG didn’t fit there either. So, what’s the goal and how will this make sure brown boys aren’t presumed guilty when they’re simply walking along minding their business?

  9. July 23, 2013 - Reply

    Florida is just the tip of the iceberg. The issue isn’t confined to Florida. They should really be addressing the law makers & gathering support, they certainly have the access to do so.

    • July 23, 2013 - Reply


      Basically, don’t speak about it, be about it!

      We can forget Jay boycotting his home, NYC!

  10. July 23, 2013 - Reply

    Exercise in futility. Florida’s law don’t exist in a bubble. The same outcome would’ve occurred in countless other states. It’s time for people to take responsibility and boycott unjust laws and bought/corrupted state legislators. The NRA should not be influencing, directly or indirectly, our laws nor compromising our safety.

    • July 23, 2013 - Reply

      @A nation of Hypocrites

      NO corporation should not be influencing, directly or indirectly, our laws nor compromising our safety.

      There, I fixed it! I think that’s the entire problem with our political system in this country.

  11. July 23, 2013 - Reply

    “boycott unjust laws and bought/corrupted state legislators”

    remove ALL conservative and republicans from office…….

  12. July 24, 2013 - Reply

    I knew that “report” of a long list of black celebs boycotting was probably inaccurate. They don’t do anything unless it financially benefits them in some way, this is what Belafonte was talking about.

  13. July 24, 2013 - Reply

    Entertainers boycotting Florida because of it’s laws and legislation is about as stupid of an idea as can be. Really. People have to stop giving in to such knee jerk reactions. I want celebrities to get involved politically. Not have shows in Florida.

  14. July 24, 2013 - Reply

    I wish we would put effort in NOT supporting those who funded Zimmerman’s defense like the Koch Brothers. How about boycotting brands like Brawny, Dixie, Angel Soft and other products under the Koch umbrella. The African American community has so much consumer power but we just can’t come together to effectively make change with it.

  15. July 25, 2013 - Reply

    Other groups I’ve researched have attempted unsuccessfully to boycott Florida. I’m drawn to this topic because of all the Internet buzz about it, If anyone has information regarding any successful boycotts of Florida please let me know. I’m very curious. I have studied groups who have boycotted Florida, but nothing amounted from it. In fact, my stocks in Disney have risen. Business is good for Disney! Tourism in Florida is doing amazingly well from all the research I’ve done. They have multiple porn conventions, in addition to producing porn in Florida. They have Gay pride conventions and Gay Day at Disney. Even one of the largest music festivals in the world is held in Florida. In fact, they even have a gay spring break week in Key West. So many people from all over the world come to Florida. It would be hard to target all these groups and encourage them from coming, especially people who come to Florida for all the porn conventions. Seems like much too difficult of a task.

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