Three Manitoba political organizations representing 64 First Nations in Manitoba have banded together to begin a campaign against racism. The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) will be taking the lead role. Alongside the SCO 33 First Nations, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak have agreed to begin an economic boycott of the Winnipeg Sun.
The verdict is in! The Winnipeg Sun has consistently over the course of thirty years been racist against First Nations and its people. Freedom of the Press does not include the right to incite hatred against an identifiable group of people. The Winnipeg Sun has shown racism against First Nations within its opinion pieces, stories and editorials.
An effective boycott requires an understanding of economics. Simply boycotting by not buying the Winnipeg Sun would not on its own be sufficiently effective. Boycotting the major advertisers in the Winnipeg Sun can and will bring results. We have identified 55 businesses that advertise in the Winnipeg Sun in the list provided. We will begin to contact all those identified advertisers in the month of December.
On January 1, 2015 we will announce three businesses that we will ask First Nations to boycott. It is not possible to boycott all Winnipeg Sun advertisers however as a First Nations market we together represent over $2 billion in the province of Manitoba. We do not want our First Nations money going to support the Winnipeg Sun.
In 2013 over 56,275 new vehicles were purchased in the Province of Manitoba. When an individual purchases a new vehicle, the price includes the cost of marketing to get that consumer into the car dealership. A lot of what we pay for when we buy a new vehicle includes money spent on advertisers like the Winnipeg Sun.
Although 55 advertisers were identified, we will begin slowly to show our economic strength in January 2015. For the interim we will begin with only car dealerships and only those car dealerships who continue to advertise in the Winnipeg Sun. We will contact all the dealerships with our concerns. We cannot ask our people to stop buying new vehicles and we cannot boycott all eighteen car dealerships that advertise in the Winnipeg Sun. A package of the evidence of racist articles, opinion pieces and editorials will be sent to the car dealerships and other advertisers.
All people have a choice – a right to do with their money what they want. We will ask our people to stop buying from three of the eighteen car dealerships that we will identify. We do not want to hurt innocent businesses. If the car dealership commits to not advertising in the Winnipeg Sun for the 2015 calendar year, their name will be removed from the boycott list.
We can and will pick up support from other groups that are continual targets of negative attacks by the Winnipeg Sun. Do those that vote for the NDP or Liberals understand our concerns? Are Muslims concerned with how the Winnipeg Sun consistently projects a negative image of all Arabic and Persian Middle East people? We believe in Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Expression but that does not include the right to incite hatred nor do we have to spend our money with those that support racism in the Winnipeg Sun.