But the gays are mad and demanding boycotts of the store that we have so affectionately called “Tar-gay” for years. And the apology Target made isn’t good enough and its refusal to “make it right” by the Human Rights Campaign by donating to a pro-LGBT candidate has some of us even more pissed off. And now we have flash mobs in Target stores (which is actually a cool form of activism) and people in Atlanta posting on their Facebook pages we should boycott the bastards. Hell, we should picket outside their store. Don’t give them our money, they say, because Target is evil and hates gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Give. Me. A. Break.
Why do we always have to have such a knee-jerk reaction to something like this? The real problem isn’t Target giving a contribution to an anti-gay candidate. The real problem is just how our political system works. Since the beginning of time, money will almost always buy you power. Businesses want to make money, politicians want power, businesses will donate money to candidates who promise to make them money. And there you have the vicious cycle of how the world oftentimes works.
If we boycott Target, we have to do a reality check and boycott everything that has anything to do with something we disagree with. Check the label in your shirt. Where was it made? Who made it and under what conditions?
The anger toward Target is understandable. Hopefully the bigwigs running the corporation will have heard our voices and will be wise enough to at least think twice the next time they contribute to a political candidate who doesn’t support equality for all people.
But Target is low-hanging fruit. It’s always fun and easy to pick on a big corporation. Maybe if our anger was leveled locally with this much fervor we could make small steps toward real change. When the Atlanta Eagle was raided last year by the Atlanta Police Department and the notorious Red Dog Unit, our community raised its voice in thoughtful anger. But not for long.
When the employees who were arrested and then went to trial and vindicated in court on March 11, the bar was empty that night. Why didn’t we come together to celebrate this victory and post status updates welcoming this significant victory right here at home?
And if you pay close enough attention, there is some good reporting out there at The Awl that shows Target really does not have a good record on LGBT rights in the first place.
There are numerous battles to be fought. Sometimes it’s just so overwhelming you just want to go on a shopping spree and forget the world’s problems. For that, I recommend thrift stores.