A Florida orange boycott was floated by Martin Luther King III, the oldest son of the civil rights icon, at the NAACP convention in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday. He proposed the boycott as one way for people nationwide to express their opposition to Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law.
King was quoted in The Blaze as saying, “We may have to look at not consuming Florida orange juice. The true way generally when people don’t understand your plight is…to exercise your buying power elsewhere.”
George Zimmerman was found not guilty on Saturday of all charges in connection with the shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The widely criticized verdict brought national attention to the already-controversial Stand Your Ground law.
In addition to the Florida orange boycott, musician Stevie Wonder and others have suggested boycotting travel to Florida and simply not visiting the state at all until Stand Your Ground is appealed.
A CBS Miami report implied that the state’s response so far has been muted.
A hospitality expert told their reporter that the boycott would have little effect unless long-planned conferences started to cancel. University of Central Florida’s Abraham Pizam said, “Within the next couple of weeks, if any major conferences are canceled, then you start to worry.”
Governor Rick Scott has thus far shrugged off the threats: “We are having record tourism, 91 million tourists last year, two record years in a row, we’re on track, up about 4 percent last year, so we’re heading in the right direction.”
However, the new awareness of the Stand Your Ground law in the wake of the Zimmerman trial could make people think twice about visiting. A poster on the Visit Florida tourism page noted:
“I can’t in good conscience visit Florida again. We’ve taken three great vacations there, but the Zimmerman trial has opened our eyes to the overt state-sponsored racism. Florida is off our list. Plus it’s dangerous. Just who’s following us with a gun? Yuck.”
But for those who wouldn’t have traveled to Florida anyway — or who don’t get to decide where the convention is held — the Florida orange boycott was offered as another option for peaceful protest of Stand Your Ground laws.
For example, The Philly Post reported on a Trayvon Martin support rally in Philadelphia Love Park where protestors were photographed carrying signs that asked people to boycott Florida oranges.
[orange photo by Kazyavka via Shutterstock]