UPDATE: An hour after this went up, Towleroad posted news that Target had changed its political giving policies. (All because of me? Alas, probably not.)
Don’t get too excited, though — from what I can tell, Target hasn’t actually changed its giving priorities, only the way in which gift recipients are identified. In other words, Target’s political contribution process will now have more oversight, but Minnesota Forward and other PACs may continue to get sizable donations, provided their goals align with those of Target.
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The problems began last summer, when it was revealed that Target had made $150,000 in campaign contributions to the Minnesota Forward PAC — a group created to prop up conservative, LGBT-hating politicians like gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.* When Target was called on it, the company didn’t apologize, it didn’t offer to “make it right” (whatever that might’ve meant). No, Target said, in essence, “It’s our business. Buzz off.”
As we all know, Target has continued making donations to conservative politicians and PACs. And the company shows no sign of changing paths.
I, for one, was annoyed — not because Target made the donations, since businesses have a right to give money to whomever they like (and apparently, as much of it as they like, because companies are just like people, only with more snack machines). No, I was annoyed because I felt sucker-punched. And just as bad, I was annoyed that Target’s idiotic communications department didn’t come up with a nominal “make it right” plan. That’s what they’re paid to do: keep everyone thinking happy thoughts about Target.
I haven’t shopped at Target since, and I’ve encouraged family, friends, and complete strangers to avoid the stores, too.
Months later, I don’t know if the larger Target boycott — which was never a well-organized affair — is having an effect, but I found it interesting that last night’s Top Chef was all about Target. Because we know who watches Top Chef, right? Andy Cohen and his Big Gay Army. From where my gay ass sat, it seemed as if Target wanted to reintroduce the LGBT community to those big red walls.
Now, if Target had simply hosted a Top Chef challenge, I might not’ve raised an eyebrow — at least not very high. But Target also ran a couple of Top Chef-themed commercials. And of all the Top Chef contestants they could’ve chosen for the ads, who did Target pick as its star? The adorable, straight, much-beloved ginger bear Kevin from season six.
Cute? You bet’cha, even with that terrible hair. But it’s going to take more than that to get me in a Target again, assholes.
* I take some satisfaction in the fact that Emmer lost his race. I don’t usually like to see money wasted, but when its $150,000 of bad money, I’m happy to make an exception.