Can Gays (And Those That Love Them) Really Boycott Target And Should We Even Try?
Last week I came across a video that was posted on YouTube (thanks to gayagenda.com). The video features the mother of a gay son who makes purchases at Target, returns them telling the manager of the store exactly why and explains to us what it means to be a lone voice in opposition when corporations do wrong doing. The reason for her act was promoted due to the fact that the Target Corporation gave $150,000 to a Minnesota gubernatorial candidate who has connections to anti-gay groups. Watching the video and listening to this articulate mother and grandmother pulled at my heart strings and I silently joined her protest and haven’t been to Target to shop since (watch the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SipXbgyi68) but I started wondering if this is the best approach and if the message will be heard and frankly if I can live without Target! Can gays (and those that love them) really boycott Target and should we even try? – Don’t Get Me Started!
“What’s important in life is people. I love the people in my life. I love them more than anything I can buy at this store.” This is the quote from the mother and grandmother that got me the most. When you think of anyone in your life, aren’t they more important than a cheap messenger bag or not having to be seen in Walmart? Absolutely. And while it seems so simple in her delivery, I think it speaks volumes about us and just how much we’re willing to be inconvenienced in this day and age.
I say this all the time but I look back at wars like World War I and II where the entire country banded together, making sacrifices of rationing certain foods, turning in metals to make aircrafts and weapons and I look at today where unless you know someone allowed to serve in the military, your life is not affected one bit. Maybe the modern wars wouldn’t go on so long if we all were a little more inconvenienced more than just having to watch uncomfortable scenes and statistics of deaths on our televisions (of course I think many just change the channel). So too I think is the way of the modern way of civil protest. How many of you reading this right now had a clue about this issue? I didn’t. Had I not been looking at gayagenda (a gay news reporting site) I wouldn’t know about it at all.
I could make the argument that I don’t live in Minnesota (where the Target headquarters is located) so really, what is boycotting Target in Vegas going to do to them? Will it stop the executives at Target who rely heavily on gay designers, workers and I’m sure even executives to continue to keep Target on target with all consumers as a hip, trendy and affordable place to shop from supporting politicians who support anti-gay sentiment in the future? Probably not but the question isn’t whether or not it WILL affect them, it’s whether or not I’m willing to be complacent and apathetic therefore affecting my own psyche.
I don’t shop at Target every week but as the weekend went on I couldn’t help but think of all the things I wanted to purchase there. Why? What sort of strange mental illness causes you to start wanting something as soon as Jiminy Cricket playing your conscience on your shoulder tells you that you shouldn’t? It took mere moments for me to rationalize that by me not spending money at Target it might affect shifts and staffing causing the (what I can only assume is partially a gay staff) at my local Target to lose money and not be able to pay their rent. So was I really hurting the fat cats at the corporate office or was I hurting my fellow gays right here by not shopping there? I don’t think I spent more than $100 at Target last month so why all of a sudden did I want to get in bed with the “bad boy?” Certainly Target can’t be seen as some sort of forbidden fruit? (Okay, bad choice of words considering the subject matter.) And is my $100 going to change who corporate execs spend the company money on when supporting candidates and causes?
In a day and age where it’s easier to do what feels right for you instead of what’s right to do period I find myself knowing in the back of my head that at some point I’ll buy something at Target but for now, I won’t. Everyone of us has to make this call for ourselves but if you feel anything from watching this video or from this blog, I would hope that at the very least you’ll let Target know how off target they are – here is a link to the contact page and my email that I sent.
I was shocked to learn that a company that prides itself on diversity and community like Target would donate $150,000 to the campaign of Tom Emmer who has connections to anti-gay groups.
Where exactly would Target be without the gay designers and employees who have made Target what it is today?
I would hope that in the future you would donate money to candidates who are in sync with what the Target marketing campaigns try to make us believe about your corporation.
No Longer A Target Shopper!
Here’s the response from Target:
Dear Target Guest,
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts about Target’s political contributions and the voting records of certain candidates and elected officials.
Many of our guests make Target a part of their life and that’s why we appreciate hearing your comments.
Although I can’t provide the personalized reply I know you’d like to receive, I encourage you to visit our Corporate web site, to find statements and information about Target’s Civic activity and political contributions. Here’s the link: http://pressroom.target.com/pr/news/civic/default.aspx
I understand the disappointment and frustration that you’ve shared with me, so I’ll be sure to share your comments with our executives.
Target Guest Relations
Can gays (and those that love them) really boycott Target and should we even try? – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com
8/6/10 - Update!!
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