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By now, some of you may have seen that “#BoycottDove” is trending on social media. You might have seen the hashtag and thought to yourself: “Oh, hell, has Dove put out another ad with some Black woman washing her Blackness away?” Well, no. This is the other kind of boycott.

This is the kind of boycott where the same people usually decrying the largely fictitious thing known as “cancel culture” participate in the non-phenomenon they pretend to hate so much by calling for the cancelation of something or someone who has offended them. (Actually, white conservatives have been practicing “cancel culture” since long before the term was coined, but whatever.)

Right now, the platform formerly known as Twitter is flooded to the brim with white tears over Dove partnering with a Black Lives Matter activist to promote body positivity.

So, now, you’re thinking, “Oh, that’s why.” Well, yes, that’s why—but there’s also a little more to it.

In 2020, when America exploded into months of coast-to-coast anti-police brutality protests largely prompted by the murder of George Floyd, Zyahna Bryant, a student activist at the University of Virginia, overheard a white student, Morgan Bettinger, say something she thought was racist during a protest. Bryant was, apparently, wrong.

According to Newsweek, Bryant claimed she heard Bettinger refer to BLM protesters as “good speed bumps.” But later, Bryant admitted she may have “misheard” Bettinger, who told Reason magazine she had mistakenly driven down a street in Charlottesville, Virginia, where protesters were demonstrating. She said she saw a dump truck blocking the road and she parked her car to talk to the driver. Bettinger said she remembered telling the truck driver, “It’s a good thing that you are here because otherwise, these people would have been speed bumps” — not that the protesters would have made “good speed bumps.” The driver reportedly corroborated Berringer’s version of the conversation to police.

Bryant, for her part, reportedly tweeted that Bettinger said the protesters “would make ‘good speedbumps’” along with a video showing Bettinger backing down the street in her car while Bryant and others followed.

“She then called the police and started crying, saying we were attacking her,” Bryant claimed.

So, Bryant was loud and wrong and because she was loud and wrong there was reportedly some disciplinary action taken against Bettinger, though it’s unclear what action exactly.

But now, folks are big mad at Dove after Bryant announced via Instagram that she was a “Dove ambassador” and hoped to push the idea of “fat liberation.”

And thus, the “Boycott Dove” hashtag was born.

They’re out here throwing away their Dove products as if the company doesn’t already have their money because conservatives never learned from their failed Nike and Keurig boycotts.

Elon Musk, the patron saint of pretending to be anti-cancel culture, also joined the white-and-fragile outrage chorus line.

And, of course, no Caucasian meltdown would be complete without white people asserting that Bryant’s Dove partnership is an example of completely fictitious “Black privilege,” because white conservatives neither understand nor care what social privilege actually entails. (If only there were some academic study that critically examines things like race and presents a viable theory.)

So, there are a couple of reasons I don’t care about this boycott or about Bryant and Bettinger’s story, and I don’t believe Black people in general should care about it either.

The first reason is demonstrated in one tweet in particular.

“It’s time for us to give Dove the Bud Light treatment,” one salty X user wrote. “#LiberateDove from our lives. Our $, our choice.”

The tweet is a reference to the boycott Bud Light faced over its partnership with transgender actress Dylan Mulvaney, who, as far as I know, is not accused of ruining anyone’s life with a false anti-trans allegation. Mulvaney is just trans, and that was enough reason to boycott.

Likewise, there is not a single part of me that doubts for a second that what’s really behind this Dove boycott is white people’s pre-existing resentment of BLM, the fight against systemic racism and the thing they perceive as anti-white “cancel culture” and “wokeness.” Bryant’s attack on Bettinger was simply the icing on that white grievance cake. (There’s also a fatphobia cherry on top, demonstrated by all the tweets that go out of their way to refer to Bryant as “morbidly obese.”)

The second reason I don’t care and you shouldn’t either is this: What Bryant did to Bettinger is only a micro version of what white America has been doing to Black people on a macro level for—well, all of Black American history, really—but also recently.

White people decided critical race theory is a farce without demonstrating that they knew anything about the decades-old academic study but displaying their ignorance by claiming it teaches white students to hate America and be ashamed of being white, which CRT does not and never has. As a result, red states across the country are canceling non-whitewashed Black History and replacing it with Caucasian-friendly history that is demonstrably inaccurate and based on actual propaganda aimed at actual indoctrination. Go ahead and check some of these angry white people’s tweet histories and see if they’ve ever advocated for a boycott against anti-CRT and anti-woke legislation.

While you’re at it, check to see if they called for a boycott against Donald Trump over his “big lie,” which resulted in a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, more than a hundred Republican legislators attempting to overturn a legal election, and Black election workers like Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea Arshaye “Shaye” Moss, having to flee their homes in fear for their lives.

In fact, much like how Bryant “misheard” Bettinger, Trump and Rudy Giuliani mistook (or pretended to mistake) a video of Freeman and Moss doing their jobs for a video of them fraudulently manipulating ballots and, as Giuliani said to the Georgia state legislature, “obviously surreptitiously passing around USB ports as if they’re vials of heroin or cocaine.” Freeman and Moss were obviously doing no such thing, and Giuliani eventually admitted he made false statements regarding his allegations.

But please don’t hold your breath waiting for those boycotting Dove to show they also boycotted anything with Trump’s name on it. I don’t remember “#BoycottTheMaskedSinger” trending after Giuliani was revealed as the mystery contestant on the popular reality TV competition.

Anyway, it’s worth mentioning that if you follow the “Boycott Dove” hashtag, you’ll find just as many people mocking and denouncing the boycott as those advocating for it.

This boycott based on fake outrage isn’t worth anyone’s time.

And, not to be petty, but folks who come in last in the Leg-Washing Olympics don’t need to be boycotting any soap products to begin with.

OK, that was kind of petty.


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