Target: Afterword by the Blogger

In my previous post, there were two main points that I wanted to make:

  1. The Target boycotters weren’t doing a good job of making it clear what exactly they are boycotting.
  2. I had a hard time understanding the idea of boycotting a corporation because they support candidates with whom I disagree.

I stand by the first point and partially by the second, but I have a new viewpoint. Before I go into the details, though, I want to thank the people that commented or had conversations with me in person on this topic. I was genuinely interested in hearing other points of view and I really appreciated my friends’ willingness to discuss this with me.

Through these conversations, I found (at least) one flaw in my reasoning. I debated the idea of boycotting a company who makes donations that support a candidate who disagrees with me. If we were talking about fiscal policy, that would be one thing, but in this case we’re talking about basic human rights. And those shouldn’t be debatable.

On NPR the other day, I heard a California voter who voted for Prop 8 saying that he felt it was unfair that one judge was able to negate the voice of the majority of California voters.  I immediately found myself arguing with the radio, saying “It wasn’t that he overturned your law because he disagreed with it.  He overturned it because it was unconstitutional.  Just like any law that forbids Mormon churches would be overturned.  It doesn’t matter if you vote for it.  You can’t pass any law you want in this country – you have to abide by the rules that are our foundation.”

So that’s how I see this now.  Tom Emmer does not support equal rights for all Americans.  That goes against everything I (and we) stand for.  And, Target, by making this donation and declining to make a comparable donation to a gay-rights organization, you have said that you do not support equal rights for all Americans.

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2 Comments

Filed under Bleeding-Heart Liberal

2 responses to “Target: Afterword by the Blogger

  1. hey, thanks for your updated thoughts on this. I agree with you, but even if I didn’t, I appreciate that you’re willing to reflect on a sticky, complicated topic!

  2. A little late to this convo. But I think you are right in both posts!

    Target can clearly do whatever it wants, but, in the marketplace, consumers vote with their feet.

    I might choose to patronize (or not) a store based on a lot of factors, some seemingly obvious (convenient, good prices, high quality stuff) and some less obvious (cute guy works at counter, makes me seem sophisticated, support store owner’s politics). I fully support people boycotting based on any factor they choose. Lots of conservative people may hate Ben and Jerry’s politics, but the desire for yummy ice cream may be more important.

    If a company chooses to make a political donation, it also tacitly agrees to reap the consequences. Lots of companies have policies of not making political donations because they do not want to deal with consequences. Target clearly made its choice, and here we are.

    Much love!

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