But at least we are now seeking clarification of terms. We should probably be thankful for small things.
Rosenau has been defending the folks over at Intolerance Central (that's the Proposition 8 opposition) by trying to claim that gay blacklisting of people who financially supported Prop. 8 is perfectly acceptable since it is the same as a boycott, but that pro-Proposition 8 boycotting of businesses who opposed Prop. 8 is totally unacceptable because it is the same as blackmail.
I know. I thought the same thing. This is what moral confusion looks like.
In a comment on one of my preceding posts, Rosenau asks:
Could you, for the sake of those of us whose dictionaries have the word "miscegenation" but are oddly lacking "miscagenation," distinguish what makes a blacklist different from a list of companies to boycott? And while you're at it, throw in a definition of blackmail.Gladly.
- A boycott is an economic action directed at a business entity whereby notice is given to the entity that it risks loss of business as a result of certain activities the prospective boycotter finds distasteful. It threatens loss of business and seeks nothing more than the proper behavior of the corporate entity. A boycott is considered perfectly legal and ethical.
- A blacklist is a list of individuals that one or more people are threatening with loss of employment or other economic harm. It seeks the harm of specific, named individuals for the purpose of revenge on the part of the blacklister. Blacklisting is legal in terms of criminal law (although the economic harm is actionable in civil court), but is considered unethical.
- Blackmail is the extortion of money from an individual through the revelation of some damaging information unknown to others for the economic benefit of the blackmailer. Blackmail is considered both illegal and unethical.