“Buy local” is a far more positive message than “Don’t buy from [insert country of choice].”
I get uneasy when I see buying locally phrased in terms of who we’re not buying from instead of who we are, when I see it presented as taking a stand against rather than for, when I see it twisted into a subtle (or not-so-subtle) way of turning those who live outside our borders into something other and inferior and apart. Buying within our own communities doesn’t change the fact that those in other communities, near and far, are living lives just as real and important and valid as our own, and have the same rights and needs that we do, including the right to earn a living. I don’t like to see buying locally presented in ways that deny these things.
I prefer to see buying within my community as a statement that all communities matter. And also as a reminder that beyond my own neighborhood and city there’s a larger global community, and that ultimately I’m connected to and a part of that, too.