The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
Five Things We Learned Delivering Over Half a Million Orders for NoCo Restaurants
Five Things We Learned Delivering Over Half a Million Orders for NoCo Restaurants
November 8, 2023

  In May 2019, Nosh began as a humble restaurant co-op with just three people. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, while many businesses...

Leibee: We can separate politics and products

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

At least once in your life, you have likely purchased a product from a company, brand or person who you did not morally agree with.


At a certain point, we can separate the products we buy from the political values of the companies that make them. I’m not saying we should ignore the fact that some companies are openly homophobic or racist, but you can purchase products from them without condoning their values and morals.

The most obvious example of this dilemma is with the company Chick-fil-A, which is known to be openly homophobic, yet many people still eat there.

It’s a difficult situation — you might love a product or even consider it a staple in your life, but the name behind it has been known to be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. In instances where you know the history of a product is questionable, it’s up to you if you want to separate the products you buy from the company’s social and political values. However, you likely will not, nor should you have to, check the history of every product you buy.

Just because you enjoy and support a product does not mean you condone the behavior and values of the people or company behind it.

If you look at the website for Ben and Jerry’s, they have all their political and social values laid out and explained. When you buy their product, you know exactly what kind of company your money is going to and what issues you are supporting. However, not all companies have this information laid out, and some companies are not open about their politics at all.

A recent major controversy has been about the famous makeup producer Jeffree Star. Videos surfaced years ago of him making racist comments. While Star has apologized and recognized his actions since then, people are still skeptical of buying his products because they don’t want to support someone that said things like that. 

However, there might be others who — while they don’t want to support a racist person — still enjoy Star’s products and the quality of his makeup separate from who he is as a person. Some say you cannot separate Star and his values from his products; others say you can.

This is a moral dilemma, but ultimately, the decision of how to spend your money is up to you, and you shouldn’t be shamed for that decision.

Just because you enjoy and support a product does not mean you condone the behavior and values of the people or company behind it. You can buy a product because you like the quality of it without it meaning that you support or encourage the behaviors of its creator. 


This goes back to the age-old debate: Can you separate the art from the artist? While this is a question with no right answer, it’s similar to the question: Can you separate products from politics?

Everyone will have their own ideas on this, but it’s ultimately an individual decision, and no one should be shamed for their decision either way.

The products you purchase don’t have to be a reflection of who you are as a person. They don’t have to have meaning. They can just be the products you enjoy because of the quality, having nothing to do with where you stand politically.

If most people were truly honest, they likely wouldn’t stop buying the products they rely on and have an attachment to, even if they found out they disagree with the company morally or if the company said horrible things in the past. Continuing to buy those products doesn’t mean anything more than you enjoy the quality of the physical product.

Yes, we can make it political because most things in life can be twisted into a political or social perspective — but it doesn’t have to be. If you want to be wary of where your products are coming from and the companies behind them, that is okay. If you choose not to, that is okay too.

Katrina Leibee can be reached at or on Twitter @KatrinaLeibee.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Katrina Leibee, Editor-in-Chief
Katrina Leibee is serving as The Rocky Mountain Collegian's editor in chief for the 2021-22 academic year. Leibee started at The Collegian during the fall of her freshman year writing for the opinion desk. She then moved up to assistant opinion editor and served as the opinion director for the 2020-21 academic year. Leibee is a journalism and political science double major, but her heart lies in journalism. She enjoys writing, editing and working with a team of people to create the paper more than anything. Ask anyone, Leibee loves her job at The Collegian and believes in the great privilege and opportunity that comes with holding a job like this. The biggest privilege is getting to work with a team of such smart, talented editors, writers, photographers and designers. The most important goal Leibee has for her time as editor in chief is to create change, and she hopes her and her staff will break the status quo for how The Collegian has previously done things and for what a college newspaper can be. From creating a desk dedicated entirely to cannabis coverage to transitioning the paper into an alt-weekly, Leibee hopes she can push the boundaries of The Collegian and make it a better paper for its readers and its staff. Leibee is not one to accept a broken system, sit comfortably inside the limits or repeat the words, "That's the way we've always done things." She is a forward thinker with a knack for leadership, and she has put together the best staff imaginable to bring The Collegian to new heights.

Hey, thanks for visiting!
We’d like to ask you to please disable your ad blocker when looking at our site — advertising revenue directly supports our student journalists and allows us to bring you more content like this.

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *