Reeling from the public stoning over donating money to help elect Republican Tom Emmer governor of Minnesota, you would think Target’s public response had moved beyond that shortsighted statement from CEO Gregg Steinhafel — about how Target makes political donations based on business, not civil rights. But it hasn’t. As an exchange with Target shared by a reader shows, it’s clear the company values more what Emmer could do for it (read: keep business taxes low) than what LGBT consumers can.
A reader forwards this message he sent to Target:
I’m writing to inform you that I’ve closed my account with you and will no longer be shopping at Target due to Target’s donation of $150,000 to MN Forward, which in turn donated that money to Tom Emmer. I have seen your company’s response to the criticism you’ve been getting and find it to be insulting. Specifically, this quote gets to me:
“We rarely endorse all advocated positions of the organizations or candidates we support, and we do not have a political or social agenda.” – This statement is unacceptable and is morally reprehensible. Would Target have supported Adolf Hitler had he promised to cut taxes for businesses? What about Stalin?
By supporting Emmer, you are, in fact, supporting all of the ideals he stands for – one of which being:
Tom Emmer is anti-gay marriage, proclaiming “I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman,” supporting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Additionally, Emmer has supported You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Intl., Inc, a conservative ministry whose leader, Bradlee Dean, told radio listeners recently that Muslim countries that call for the execution of gays and lesbians are “more moral than even the American Christians.”
By supporting these individuals financially, Target has effectively destroyed its goodwill towards the gay community – and has thus lost my business until it can rectify this situation.
I sincerely hope Target reconsiders its campaign donation and rescinds it immediately. If Target truly wishes to remain impartial, it should not be donating to any candidates – or it should be supporting the ones which maintain all of its ideals and not just some.
And received this form response:
Target has long believed that engaging in civic activities is an important and necessary element of operating a national retail business. What’s more important than any one candidate’s stance on a particular issue is how we nurture thoughtful, long-term growth in the state of Minnesota.
Our support of causes and candidates is based strictly on issues that affect our retail and business objectives. To continue to grow and create jobs and opportunity in our home state, we believe it is imperative to be engaged in public policy and the political process. That is why we are members of organizations like the Minnesota Business Partnership, the Chamber of Commerce and many others. And that is why we decided to contribute to MN Forward.
MN Forward’s objective is to elect candidates from both parties who will make job creation and economic growth a top priority. We operate best when working collaboratively with legislators on both sides of the aisle. In fact, if you look at our Federal PAC contributions year to date, you will see that they are very balanced between Republicans and Democrats. For more information please visit www.target.com/company, and view the Civic Activity page.
Target has a large stake in Minnesota’s future, which is why it is so important to be able to provide jobs, serve guests, support communities and deliver on our commitment to shareholders. As an international business that is proud to call Minnesota home, it is critical that we have a business environment that allows us to be competitive. Our guests, team members, communities and shareholders depend on Target to remain competitive.
Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback.
Target Executive Offices
Now it’s likely that Target has been inundated with messages about its $150,000 donation of cash and services to the pro-Emmer PAC named MN Forward, so it makes sense they’ve prepared a form response to handle most of those queries, like the one above. But when Target receives communications from consumers intent on completely withdrawing from shopping with Target, they better wise up: This isn’t some irrational campaign that a few dozen people are engaged in. If America’s queers take the the hundreds of millions we spend at Target annually and move them somewhere else, it will certainly impact their bottom line. And their street cred.
And don’t even get us started once we get all of our straight girlfriends to ditch Target too. Six dollar tank tops are available at H&M too, ya know.