Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Should Friends Let Friends Support Disney?

A Christmas approaches, and Friends look for gentle gifts for their kids, avoiding war toys, some might look to Disney... As a plain Friend, I try and avoid clothes made by children, or for wages that are unfairly low, or produced in violation of standards of fair treatment. Disney has often been the object of expressed concern by human rights groups, for example, in China Disney has violated China's labor laws by forcing workers to work overtime, from 11 - 16 hours a day, for 6 - 7 days, paying workers 13.5 - 36 cents an hour when the minimum wage in China, to meet the needs of a small family, is 87 cents an hour...
In July of 2006, workers in the Chinese factory which produces materials for Disney rioted, as they had no effective way to protest the conditions, delayed payment of salary, forced overtime, poor quality meals in their factories - for which they must give a quarter of their salary..., I don't know how other Quakers feel about Disney, but I regard supporting Disney to be similar to wearing cotton back in slave days.


At 11:26 AM, Blogger earthfreak said...


I'd have to agree with thee, but it's difficult - I suppose it was difficult not to wear cotton too. I am often disappointed in the lack of fire among modern Friends about some of these things. But then I suppose there wasnt' universal opposition to anything with a taint of slvery then, either.

I work with middle schoolers in first day school. TOday we had only a few, and no formal "plan" - so we just sat around and talked, which I often really enjoy. But today the conversation was all about going to the mall and shopping. (one girl in particular, another brave soul proudly proclaimed that she doesnt' like the mall and all her clothes are secondhand - though it was clearly not the "cool" position to hold.)

How to help these kids to use a bit more discernment without making them feel guilty? It's a tricky proposition.



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