Wednesday, August 4, 2010

More on Target Boycott: Leader of Boycott Claims Target CEO Has Very Socially Conservative Agenda

Doug Grow’s profile at Salon today  of the Minnesota grandmother, Randi Reitan, leading the boycott-Target crusade adds a provocative piece to the puzzle.

What has many of us puzzled is why a corporation known in the past for its gay-affirming policies would choose to give a large donation to a rabidly anti-gay politician.  Since Target has a wealth of gay customers and customers with gay family members and friends, why take a step that slaps those faithful customers in the face?

Randi Reitan’s piece of the puzzle: 

She [i.e., Reitan] believes that earlier generations of Target leadership never would have made such a decision.

I believe he has a very socially conservative agenda,” Reitan said of [Gregg] Steinhafel, who has been CEO since 2008.

And so, of course, this makes me wonder all the more about the insulting treatment I received back in February when a member of Target’s corporate team called me to respond to questions I had asked about its purchasing policies (a link to that posting is in the link just above).  Given Reitan’s analysis, I have to wonder whether I encountered the new, institutionalized homophobia of Target’s corporate culture when I received that call (did the person calling profile me before making the call?), which let me know in no uncertain terms that my business is not appreciated and not needed.

All because I asked a polite question about how Target makes decisions to sell one product and not another.

If Reitan is correct here--and I can’t imagine her making these statements without information to back them up--I hope someone inside Target’s corporate structures will break silence and let the public know what has been going on at the company’s policy level, when it comes to dealing with issues of sexual diversity.

P.S. This past Sunday morning, the Boycott Target page at Facebook (a link to it is in the second link of this posting) had over 25,000 members.  Today, it has over 38,000 members.