When I discovered that Trayvon Martin, a freshly turned 17 year old Teenager, returning to his Father's home after a snack run, had becom the target of what amounted to be nothing short of a modern day lynching, and that the person who followed, tracked, pursued, stalked, confronted, and ultimately pulled the trigger of a pre-loaded firearm, killing Trayvon Martin in cold blood, was now shielded from arrest due to an insidious law written by ALEC, (in league with all of the Corporate backers mentioned in the above, including the NRA)....
I became ill with grief.
The Stand your Ground Law came to fruition in 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina, where several Police Officers were held responsible for the shooting deaths of unarmed people suspected of looting.
The American Legistlative Exchange Council, a Bill writing firm, wrote the bill and Florida's Lawmakers pushed it through in response to some wicked outrage Conservatives had about the officers being charged for murder. ALEC, via the NRA, and right-wing Neo-Nazi's that have infiltrated key positions of within our Local and State Legislatures, used the power of the pen to allow gun toting private citizens to now be the dispensers of justice and allow the use of deadly force, without penalty in the event of looting after a Natural Disaster.
Soon other States adopted the Law. At last check, at least 33 states have adopted "Stand Your Ground" .
The reason I felt partially responsible is because the ALEC group is funded and sponsored by some of the largest Corporations, and Tycoons in the country, including Wal-Mart. Prior to the tragedy, I used to spend a minimum of $100 a week at Walmart. Sometimes $300 a week.
I also spent about that same amount on Gasoline. As a mobile DJ I do a lot of traveling. When I learned that Exxon/Mobil, and Conico Phillips were also supporters of ALEC, I almost began to cry.
ALEC is also responsible for the Voter ID Laws that nearly wrecked the re-election of President Obama. When I learned that my hard earned dollars were feeding the coiffeurs of companies that were taking my money by day, while stealing my right to vote at night, I then became angry.
When I discovered that Trayvon Martin, a freshly turned 17 year old Teenager, returning to his Father's home after a snack run, had become the target of what amounted to be nothing short of a modern day lynching, and that the person who followed, tracked, pursued, stalked, confronted, and ultimately pulled the trigger of a pre-loaded firearm, killing Trayvon Martin in cold blood, was now shielded from arrest due to an insidious law written by ALEC, (in league with all of the Corporate backers mentioned in the above, including the NRA)....
I became ill with grief.
Something had to change.....
On March 28, 2013 I checked a list of supporters for ALEC (www.alecexposed.com) and immediately began my own personal boycott of all of the companies that I found to be involved with ALEC.
I lead a very simple life. I work, I shop, I put gas in my car, and spend most of my free time fixing up my home. And so among the hundreds of corporations listed, there was only a handful that stood out. Among the list was Wal-Mart. Other corporations I had dealings with included Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips (Union 76), Sprint / Nextel, Intuit (Quicken Software), Coca-Cola, Bank of America, and a few general merchandise manufacturers.
Initially, I joined the petition by MoveOn .org to encourage firms to leave ALEC. And within a few days, some Corporations did announce that they would be pulling out from sponsoring ALEC, such as Coca-Cola, Kraft, and McDonalds. However, many corporations did not, such as Wal-Mart. And so I decided to use my power to send a message.
I immediately rounded up all unopened merchandise I could find around my home, along their respective receipts, and took them down to Wal-Mart for a refund. I then made it a point never to shop there again, and I am proud to say I have not spent a dime in a Walmart Store in over a year.
I have also exercised my power to no longer be complicit (to the best of my abilities) with big oil and gas companies that support ALEC as well. These companies not only support legislation that is tearing our country apart, but they also routinely make up lies about refinery production issues, that in turn cause record breaking spikes in gasoline prices strictly for political purposes.
Then while the average family is at the dinner table each night trying to figure out how to make ends meet as a result of the sudden rise in the cost of gas needed to get to work, or school, Exxon/Mobil quietly takes that extra bump in profit and donates it to Presidential Candidates.
For a company to manipulate it's market in order to artificially inflate their profits, and then use said profits to support rabid Bill mill groups, while funneling PAC donations to political parties, is a kin to extortion in my opinion, and I refused to stand for it.
As a testament to my new found conviction, last summer during a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I drove over 50 miles on less than a 1/4 tank of gas, literally fumes until I came upon a small off brand fuel station. I could have gotten stranded in the middle of the California desert at 3 a.m. in the morning, but I promised myself that I would never give my hard-earned cash to any person, or corporation that does not have my best interests in mind.
Beginning in June of 2006 I owned two top of the line Cells phones, with Sprint/Nextel subscriptions. Over the course of seven years I paid an average of $150 per month to maintain two phone numbers. When I learned that Sprint was an ALEC supporter, it took me a while to wean myself, but as of April of this year, I have dropped Sprint as my cell phone carrier. Although Sprint has since announced it will discontinue its support of ALEC. I believe the damage to my communities, along with my trust, has already been done.
A quick tally of the money I was spending annually with just the three companies I mentioned above is in the neighborhood of $13,800 per year. ALEC, along with the corporations that support it will no longer receive my $13,800 a year to support ALEC, and their cohorts. I will instead spend my money to support the causes I believe in, such as the Trayvon Martin Foundation.
If you feel the same way I do about the unnecessary shooting death of Trayvon Martin, as well as the miscarriage of justice with regards to the Criminal Trial, I urge you to follow my lead and stop giving your hard-earned money to institutions that support ALEC.