Completely Off Target ...
It's brief. Here's what it says:
"At Target, diversity is much more than a goal or campaign. It’s a core value we integrate into every area of our business — from our suppliers, to our teams, to the shopping experience in our stores. We foster an inclusive culture that allows our high-performing and diverse team to drive innovation."
Well, that doesn't square, does it? Why would a company that prides itself on social issues contribute to an anti-gay candidate?
Surely there must be more to the story. At the very least, we should give Target a change to explain, right?
And here's what Target had to say (emphasis mine):
"Target is proud to call Minnesota and communities across the country home. To ensure economic growth in those communities it is critically important to be able to provide jobs, serve guests, support communities and deliver on our commitment to shareholders.
Target supports causes and candidates based strictly on issues that affect our retail and business interests. In fact, Target’s Federal PAC contributions year-to-date are very balanced between Republicans and Democrats, and we work collaboratively with legislators and officials at all points on the political spectrum.
Target fosters civic engagement through a wide variety of nonpartisan efforts aimed at enhancing team member and citizen participation in the political process. We encourage team members and citizens to engage in civic activities in the ways that are most meaningful to them, as we believe that engaged communities are healthier and stronger communities.
Target is proud of the diversity of its team, and we greatly value the wide range of perspectives offered by all of our team members. It is this diversity that creates our unique and inclusive corporate culture while helping our company remain relevant and competitive."
Well, sure. We expect a business that's grown as large as Target to keep its bottom line in mind.
But you know what else affects business interests, Target?
And you know what else affects business interests, Target?
Customers who cease to shop in Target stores.
Here it is in handy graphic form:
Bad PR --> Customers who cease to shop in Target stores
When I first heard about this story, I was saddened, but as a recovering journalist, I wanted to look into the matter further. As we all know, all too well, it's far too easy to push one side of a story. Some people really do care about being fair and balanced.
So I went to Target's Pressroom, hoping to see a statement. The most recent press release is from July 22 and titled "Target to Open First Manhattan Store in East Harlem this July." Not a word on this story.
Today, on my friend Jim's Facebook page, I saw
But Rondi (I hope that's how she spells her name; my apologies to her if I've misspelled it) isn't alone.
I won't be shopping at Target. I have friends who won't be shopping at Target. And they have friends who won't be shopping at Target.
Will it be enough to greatly impact the company's bottom line? No, I'm sure it won't.
But I'll know that I'm not supporting a company that supports an anti-gay candidate.
In case anyone's wondering, I'm not gay. But I have many gay friends and I love them to pieces. What hurts them hurts me.
Then again, what hurts them, ultimately, hurts all of us.
Because acceptable discrimination does not exist.