Do I Have to Boycott Target?

I mean it will be fairly easy seeing that we don’t have Targets here in Alberta, but it’s my go-to store whenever I am in the States.

I love Target. The super-sized ones especially. One stop and a Starbucks to boot. What’s not to adore?

Apparently though the corporate arm of shopping nirvana decided to test out that whole “peoplehood” thing the Supreme Court granted companies a while back by donating $150,000 to the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota. Target is headquartered in Minneapolis and I am merely guessing, but I imagine that in spite of his stance against same-sex marriage, the candidate is pro business in a way that only Republicans can be.

So, the gay community – offended and rightly so – are calling for a boycott unless Target makes an equal contribution to some organization they support or that supports them.

I think there was probably a good reason why businesses have been forced to surreptitiously contribute to political campaigns in the past, don’t you? Betting Target would agree right about now.

Anyway, I was all set to back to school shop my little heart out in Great Falls next week because our trip to Yellowstone would have taken us that way, but Rob’s still reacting to one of his meds, and since we don’t know which one, we are scrubbing the whole summer vacation thing now.

I would have shopped Target anyway though. I understand the outrage, but think the “compromise” is a weeny cop-out.

You’ll boycott Target until you force them to make a second contribution to save face and void the first one?

How does an equal contribution to an entity or candidate who supports same-sex marriage cancel out the first one? The first $150,000 is out there already. Check cashed. Damage done. A second donation would be merely done to appease and lure you back.

Will you go back? Knowing that Target – despite its pro-gay worker and family practices in its company and at its stores – gave money to a Republican who hates gays only because they liked his stance on business?

Nothing will be any different after Target has been forced to capitulate. And they will cave. What’s $150,000 when billions are at stake? Money that will come out of your pocket and you’ll do it willingly then take home your goodies, spread them on the floor and roll around on them like an overheated pig in mud.

The same-sex marriage battle is nearly over now that it’s in the courts. The Supreme Court will either affirm the right (because they don’t really have any other legal choice) or they will kick it back to the states and we will have civil unions across the board. This has nothing to do with Target or idiot Republicans pandering for mid-term votes anymore.

Still, a person should do whatever helps them sleep best at night.

9 thoughts on “Do I Have to Boycott Target?

  1. I wasn’t sure how to feel about it myself until I saw the Wall Street Journal that the boycott did make their stock go down. Target absolutely has the right to exercise its free speech…and now “people” status. But whatever the issue is, I think the fact that this boycott is making a difference to their bottom-line will make all companies think long and hard before financially backing a candidate. They will hopefully learn from this that they need to have a statement ready with why they’re supporting this or that candidate, and what values it says about their company. It’s not just that they gave money to a candidate that doesn’t support same-sex marriage; it’s that they have been touted as a gay-friendly organization, so it did feel like a more personal attack.
    I am loving the opportunity to look deeper into my community for alternatives (and, of course, there’s always online shopping). A colleague has found that she’s saving money because she’s not making impulse purchases at Target anymore.
    If/when they resolve the issue, I think those that have boycotted will think about what’s best for THEM. I may find that I have no need to ever step foot in Target again, or I might happily want to shop there and support their (hopefully) more defined and clearly articulated stance. And that’s exactly how it should work.

    1. Thoughtful points.

      My personal take is that boycotts are often first line attacks rather than the last resorts they should be. We are so quick to drastic action anymore.

  2. we’ve been reduced to meaningless gestures as our primary form of ‘protest” or ‘awareness’ regarding issues we care about. whether it’s a pink magnetic ribbon on our cars, “liking” a facebook page that has a title that sounds good to us, or participating in a boycott of MegaCorp because one of the million business/corporate actions they executed today wasn’t in 100% alignment with our own personal beliefs – never mind what ELSE they did today that was…

    the least offensive path. see you there…. bring some of those muffins, please! i’ll bring the vegetarian greek fare…

  3. I was going to boycott Target, because I love a good boycott. But what is my alternative? Certainly not Walmart. Kmarts hardly keep anything in stock. I’m not rich enough to buy high end, or even get my odds and ends a the grocery store.

    Target isn’t as cruel to their employees as Walmart. They have fairer shipping and manufacturing practices. And on and on and on.

    If everyone who didn’t feel the way I feel about certain things boycotted me? I’d be left lonely.

    So while I HATE that they did this, I don’t think it warrrants a boycott.

    1. The single issue thing. Who has the luxury of punting people, business, politicians over one issue? Whatever happened to examining people and things as a whole?

      I blame Fox News.

      Boycotts need to be approached with serious thought for the aftermath because it cannot last forever – even the U.S. is finally giving up on Cuba – but people are so “quick-fix” needy and reactive.

      All I have is Walmart, which thinks nothing of its workers – I know because I listen to them talk to each other. But there are no options close and when I weigh driving a half-hour or more each way versus time, fuel spent, I shop at Walmart.

      Target is far less offensive and as I’ve gotten older I realize that much of life is finding the least offensive path.

  4. Hi Annie.

    I think people want to keep corporate business on their toes, and also want individuals with influence to be responsible for their actions. That said, people allow their emotions to get in the way of well focused action at times. It’s unfortunate that individuals tied to such companies that actually treat employees fairly can tarnish that company for certain concerned groups. In our recent times, those high powered individuals are beginning to learn that they will be accountable for their actions, and that the “little” people will have louder voices than in the past. I happen to love Target, and agree that the attention is going in the wrong direction. The Human Rights Campaign has tried to help people make better decisions, by highlighting the good record companies, like Target, actually have. In this fight for equality, we sometimes bite off our nose to spite our face.

    1. It was a terrible PR move on Target’s part, but in our vote a single issue age, it gets harder for entities and individuals to support anyone as nearly every politician is ready to jump the pandering shark for attention, if not actual votes.

      It would be nice to see the emotions reigned in and people seeking solutions grounded in reality. It’s easy to ramp up because what’s at stake is important which makes it harder to take the long view – which is that we need to present a calm, rational front. Target could have been shamed without the boycott.

      Totally agree with you about noseless faces.

  5. I totally support her right to be upset about the donation, but why waste the store employees’ time with the purchase and return? They have nothing to do with the donation. Her time would have been better spent writing a letter to the corporate office detailing her reasons for boycotting Target. They’re the ones who can do something about it, not the local employees.

    1. I absolutely think people should say something and speak with their dollars when businesses meddle in politics. If enough people did exactly what she did, it would cause higher ups to notice because it would eat into productivity and the bottom line.

      What annoys me is the fact that as soon as the boycotters win, they will shop at Target again and Target will essentially still be exactly the same as when they boycotted. Nothing will really be changed other than this odd middle school sense of “fairness” and the real evil that is Target – that it’s a purveyor of cheap Chinese stuff that’s undercut manufacturing jobs in the U.S. – is blithely ignored.

      Eventually marriage is going to be a right regardless of orientation. The world at large is racing towards that at the speed of light really and the U.S. will follow. The right wingnut blacklash is just proof of how much our society is changing even though it doesn’t appear to be doing it fast enough. We’ve come a million miles from where things stood in the 80’s in terms of equality. There is no constitutional refuge for denying marriage to all. None. Just as there wasn’t any for interracial marriage. Same thing, different day.

      The only good that might come out of this is that other corporations will think twice before exercising their “peoplehood” rights but my opinion is that if you boycott Target until they pay up or off and then go back to shopping their, you weren’t all that bothered in the first place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.