So I was a little puzzled to read Enough's latest email blast:
Thought the fight for strong conflict minerals regulations in the U.S. was nearly over? Think again.Over the past year and a half, we've worked together to create momentum for conflict minerals reform so that our electronics products will one day no longer fuel the deadliest conflict since World War II. Last year you fought hard for conflict minerals regulations to be a part of the Dodd-FrankWall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Earlier this year, over 27,000 of you called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to create strong rules governing how companies must comply with these regulations by tracing and auditing their supply chains.
Now the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is threatening to undo all of your hard work.After a series of delays, a long uphill battle, and consistent corporate lobbying against provision 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC is set to release conflict minerals regulations in December.
By continuing to frame the issue as a contest between brave activists and greedy corporations, Enough is ignoring the multitude of journalists, academics, Congolese expatriates, and Congolese civil society leaders who have spoken out against the minerals campaign--most recently at this week's conference. This sort of brave-us vs. greedy-them rhetoric may work among the tinseltown crowd. But it's going to underwhelm the knowledge producers in this town. And I'm not sure it's wise to disregard them. Credibility is a little like virginity: very hard to recover once lost. How many human rights groups are going to endorse Enough's next campaign? How many Hollywood stars will sign up next time Enough approaches them? How seriously is Congress or the State Department going to take its recommendations? What decisions will its funders make next year or the year after? All of these organizations rely on serious people doing serious work to make their internal recommendations. And right now, if I were Enough, I'd be worried that these were the people I was losing.