Sunday, August 1, 2010

Update on Boycott of Target for Donation to Virulently Anti-Gay Politician

An update on boycotts of Target after the corporation gave a large donation to an anti-gay political figure in Minnesota who has ties to a group that has spread a kill-the-gays message:

1. There's now a Boycott Target page at Facebook, with over 25,000 members as of 10 A.M. CST today.

A posting at that site a moment ago: "My partner & I spent on average $3600 a year at target... NO LONGER!"
2. This grandmother (who is also the mother of a gay son) has produced a video saying she and her family won't shop at Target anymore, though they've been regular customers in the past.  Her take: 
I love the people in my life.  I love them more than anything I can buy at Target.  And I'm going to boycott Target until they make this right.
And why support such a boycott?

First, money counts above all, when we want to have our voices heard in the political and economic sphere.  Money is an extension of ourselves--of our voices--when we use it to let corporate or government leaders know the standards to which we expect them to be held.

Second, the choice or a corporation to give money to a virulently anti-gay political figure (one with ties to groups using kill-the-gays rhetoric) is not just a politically savvy step on the part of the corporation, and should not be viewed that way.  The corporate world either creates a climate of tolerance and respect for minority groups, or it creates the opposite, through its political donations and political activities.

Third, it's precisely because Target has had the reputation of being a gay-affirming buisiness that we need to hold its feet to the fire about this donation.  You don't encourage people to imagine that you accept them and defend their rights--you don't encourage them to shop at your stores--and then stab them in the back with a donation such as the one Target has given to Emmer.