Spend Wisely

Fight the power by not spending money at certain places.

Photo: Mike Kalasnik

There are only so many things you, a normal person, with a job and a life and some bills to pay, can do in the face of the very specific terror this country is facing now. On Monday, Nicole rounded up a list that neatly demonstrated how we’re spending money on donations — in record amounts, in droves, in hordes — to places like the ACLU, who received a freaking $24 million in just one weekend.

How Much More Are We All Donating Right Now?

Spending your money thusly on places that will do good in the face of uncharted evil is great, but what about not spending money at business that are adjacent to that evil? That’s the theory behind Grab Your Wallet, an exhaustive database organized by Shannon Coulter that lists out all the retailers and businesses that sell Trump-adjacent or Trump-branded items.

There are so many.

The list is incredibly comprehensive. Like all those Facebook statutes you see floating around these days about how to call your senator, there’s a handy script for what to say or write when you contact the retailer, along with the pertinent contact info. What’s even more incredible is that a boycott of this scale is actually moving the needle. Racked has been doing some fantastic reporting on the movement and this piece from November shows the beginning of its influence.

Inside the #GrabYourWallet Trump Boycott

Last week, Racked reported that Nordstrom had dropped Ivanka Trump’s clothing and shoe line. Yesterday, T.J. Maxx employees were instructed to remove Ivanka Trump products from their special displays and to dump all the signs advertising that brand in the garbage. Spending money vindictively on donations or a pussy hat or whatever form of financial activism you feel comfortable with is great. Keep doing that. Do what you can.

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

Keep in mind that not spending money is its own specific sort of power, too. It’s a slippery slope, here. If you look too closely at any of the companies and brands that you do spend your money with, you’ll be sure to find something unsavory. Fast fashion is horrible. Your cell phone is bad, too. Put down that shrimp cocktail. Making ethical decisions with how you spend your money can quickly spiral from self-awareness to unchecked obsession. We can’t be all the things for everyone; no one person can do it all.

But if you feel like your donations aren’t enough, or if you want to do something more and feel like you don’t know what, maybe this is for you.

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