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To Bigoted Politicians, From Target: "Merry Christmas!"
December 21, 2010 12:51 PM   Subscribe

The anti-gay donations that Target apologized for? They never stopped.
posted by hermitosis (92 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dang. I was hoping I could stop not shopping there.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:55 PM on December 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


Target! We are fucking done professionally.
posted by theredpen at 12:59 PM on December 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


Are these specifically anti-gay donations, though? They're all to politicians that espouse homophobic opinions and policies, sure, but that could just be a side effect of donating to the Republican party to see corporate regulation eased.
posted by kafziel at 1:00 PM on December 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


He already apologized for making offending donations, so I don't see where the problem is. Did he say he was going to stop making them?
posted by jsavimbi at 1:02 PM on December 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yeah, it's tough on Target when 50% of political parties are devotedly anti-gay.

Hell, even Obama's against gay marriage, which counts as pretty anti-gay in my book.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:04 PM on December 21, 2010 [14 favorites]


Shit, and here I've been lauding Target for giving bushels of money to Maria Bamford.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:05 PM on December 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


Are these specifically anti-gay donations, though? They're all to politicians that espouse homophobic opinions and policies, sure, but that could just be a side effect of donating to the Republican party to see corporate regulation eased.

I think you're probably correct as to the intent of Target in making the donations and the bigoted candidates being a side effect of this...

But it would be more in line with Target's supposed desired public image if they were to push toward having their money tied to finding candidates which are pro-business and not anti-gay. If you're a huge corporate donor, newly freed to pour money into elections, surely you could push the agenda around a bit. Target could wield their corporate muscle for good here, and they aren't.
posted by hippybear at 1:05 PM on December 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


kafziel: "They're all to politicians that espouse homophobic opinions and policies, sure, but that could just be a side effect of donating to the Republican party to see corporate regulation eased."

Target should still be held to account for financially supporting anti-civil rights bigots. If they think it's good for business, we should help them understand that it's actually very bad for business by no longer doing business with them.
posted by mullingitover at 1:05 PM on December 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


Maybe this is oversimplification, but if you're going to donate money to a political fund, you really don't have the right to say "oh, well we don't agree with all of their policies". Because you just voted with your dollar; you voted "I agree".

If they can reap rewards from donating to politicians, so to can they reap the downfall of being associated with them. You can't have it both ways.
posted by Dark Messiah at 1:09 PM on December 21, 2010 [34 favorites]


Just out of curiosity, are there any large discount stores that aren't actively evil? I already don't shop at Wal-Mart 'cause it's gross in there (and also the evil, of course).
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:11 PM on December 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Costco is supposedly relatively non-evil. From what I understand, they treat their employees quite well compared to the rest of the industry. No idea on how they donate, etc.
posted by kmz at 1:12 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Don't you have to pay Costco to shop there? I don't want to have to give somebody money for the privilege of giving them more money.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:17 PM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Planful?" I'm going to quit shopping there in protest of this hideous neologism.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:18 PM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dang. I was hoping I could stop not shopping there.

Seriously, it's really inconvenient to have to hate them in DC. Where the hell else am I going to get toilet paper in bulk within a block of the Metro. Oh yeah!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:20 PM on December 21, 2010


I wonder if it isn't a bit of a wash. Target supports candidates who are pro-business, but also anti-gay. But Target also supports the arts in a major way, and underwrites the Twin Cities Pride parade. They do do good, and they do good that balances the bad that their candidates do. I've still mostly eliminated my monthly trips there, but I have found it hard to get really mad at a company that is just doing what makes sense for a company.

Incidentally I've been a little surprised at how bent out of shape people have gotten over the Target donations but how Best Buy has kind of skated. I mean, it made the news that they were also major contributors to MN Forward (snort), but it's not like I've spent the last six months seeing everyone updating their Facebook status with "Are we allowed to shop at Best Buy again? Because I need a new television".
posted by padraigin at 1:21 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mannnnnnnnn.

People just do NOT want me to be a lazy consumer. Listen -- I don't want to have to resort to Kohl's, okay? (Don't even mention ShopKo.)
posted by Madamina at 1:21 PM on December 21, 2010


Costco is supposedly relatively non-evil.

Costco is run by Democrats, and makes political donations to the Democratic party. It has on occasion contributed to Republicans, and such donations would likely be counted as anti-gay based on the rubric of the article that is the subject of this post.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:22 PM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


padraigin, it might be because people need stuff like bulk toilet paper and stuff a lot more often than they need new televisions.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:22 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


$50/yr. membership, or $100/yr with 2% back on purchases (including pharmacy purchases which are already cheap). The big problem with Costco is that unless you have a huge family, you are buying in such big lots that you are effectively warehousing 3-6 months worth of whatever you buy. So for people with big families or ridiculously large pantries, I guess it works out.

I keep meaning to organize some kind of Costco buying club to meet, shop, and divvy up purchases in the parking lot, but it seems like a lot of hassle.

Still, depending on your health care situation it may be worth a Costco membership just for the pharmacy savings.

Just out of curiosity, are there any large discount stores that aren't actively evil? I already don't shop at Wal-Mart 'cause it's gross in there (and also the evil, of course).

I kind of liked Mervyns before they went under.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:26 PM on December 21, 2010


Don't you have to pay Costco to shop there? I don't want to have to give somebody money for the privilege of giving them more money.

Yeah, you do have to pay for a membership, though if you have more than 2 people in your household and there's a convenient warehouse it's probably worth it. I admit I let my membership lapse because we only have a household of 2 and the closest warehouse is too far away to be convenient. But I think I might re-up to get a new TV.
posted by kmz at 1:28 PM on December 21, 2010


Don't you have to pay Costco to shop there? I don't want to have to give somebody money for the privilege of giving them more money.

I think between our executive membership rebate, Costco American Express rebate, and savings on certain things vs buying elsewhere my girlfriend and I come out even or slightly ahead on our membership.
posted by ghharr at 1:29 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Politics aren't one-dimensional, m'kay? Also, $40,000 also isn't a whole lot of money.

Small Business owners are far more politically active. I'd have to guess that the combined small businesses in a tiny town would easily exceed the $40k donated by Target, and that most of that would go toward anti-gay politicians (given that virtually none actually support full marriage equality).

Also, don't get me started on what goes on behind the scenes in the supply chain, in the murky world of distribution and "mom & pop" businesses. Target are practically saintly compared to some of those guys.

Back during my days in the meatpacking/distribution industry, I was shocked by the number of bona-fide Nazis I met (not being hyperbolic -- actual unabashed Nazis). The rest of the guys (never encountered a single woman on the job) were all loony fringe-right folks. One was the mayor of a tiny town on the Jersey Shore.

Knowing their positions in the supply chain, I'm pretty sure I'd have starved if I tried to boycott all of them. It was absolutely pervasive throughout the industry.

By comparison, the fact that Target kicked $40k toward a handful of guys who don't want me to get married doesn't really bother me. Despite my many misgivings about megacorps, they generally can't get away with pure evil, like some of the Small Business guys do (especially the ones who operate behind the scenes). They also usually tend to pay their taxes.

I find it very difficult to be outraged at this, even though it directly effects me. Anti-gay politics have been par for the course for so long that I only pay attention to the proliferation of positive messages, rather than the few remaining anti-gay holdouts. I'd be far more livid about Target supporting politicians who oppose the 9/11 First Responders' Healthcare bill.


Apologies if that was rant-y. My experiences as a meat truck driver pretty much caused my faith in humanity to tank.
posted by schmod at 1:30 PM on December 21, 2010 [22 favorites]


The thing is, Target is easy to boycott. The day Apple turns homophobic, I'd feel real consumer pain. But Target? I'll direct my dollars elsewhere, and I won't even feel it.
posted by VikingSword at 1:32 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is my surprised face.
posted by 40 Watt at 1:33 PM on December 21, 2010


I think the difference between Best Buy and Target is that Best Buy doesn't really put forward much in the way of a progressive image to consumers, so expectations are lower.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 1:34 PM on December 21, 2010


I keep meaning to organize some kind of Costco buying club to meet, shop, and divvy up purchases in the parking lot, but it seems like a lot of hassle.

Pro-tip: Find a friend/neighbor of the opposite sex, make them your Costco "wife," and split the cost of the membership.

(I don't personally do this, but know a handful who do. I share a membership with some family members, and the occasional weekend shopping trips provides a nice opportunity to bond with family members that I usually wouldn't get to see. The cashiers are always happy to split orders/payments, as long as you ring up the orders sequentially.)
posted by schmod at 1:35 PM on December 21, 2010


> Don't you have to pay Costco to shop there? I don't want to have to give somebody money for the privilege of giving them more money.

If it's a good fit, you can end up saving quite a bit of money on Costco, especially if it's convenient to fill your car's gas tank there.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:40 PM on December 21, 2010


> Pro-tip: Find a friend/neighbor of the opposite sex, make them your Costco "wife," and split the cost of the membership.

Bonus, if you have an Executive Membership, you get a percentage back on their purchases. Friends shop without having to buy a membership, and you get the rewards. Win-win!
posted by Burhanistan at 1:42 PM on December 21, 2010


The day Apple turns homophobic, I'd feel real consumer pain.

You can rest easily. Apple was one of the most outspoken organizations fighting against Prop 8, and donated a considerable amount of money to that effect. Google also issued a surprisingly frank statement against the proposition.

It's unlikely that either company will reverse its position anytime soon.
posted by schmod at 1:43 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


He already apologized for making offending donations, so I don't see where the problem is. Did he say he was going to stop making them?

Are you kidding me? No, seriously, I'm hoping my sarcasm meter is completely broken and you're just being facetious.

No, but really, I apologize for punching you in the face. But I didn't say I would stop, and what's an apology anyway, it's certainly in no way any kind of admission of being wrong, so here I go again! *SMACK*
posted by splice at 1:44 PM on December 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


> Are you kidding me? No, seriously, I'm hoping my sarcasm meter is completely broken and you're just being facetious.

It read as sarcasm to me.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:47 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Luckily for me, Target really doesn't sell a lot of stuff that I would actually want.
posted by box at 1:50 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Burhanistan: Pro-tip: Find a friend/neighbor of the opposite sex, make them your Costco "wife," and split the cost of the membership.
Isn't this rather the point of this post?
posted by nowonmai at 1:52 PM on December 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


I can't stand single-issue organizations, and it's ridiculous to expect a large organization made up of individuals to have a single stance on anything. Do people also "boycott" their friends for having differences of opinion?

Also, today Apple pulled a Wikileaks iPhone app, so they obviously hate free speech.
posted by meowzilla at 1:55 PM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Do people also "boycott" their friends for having differences of opinion?
Depends on the issue. There are certainly issues that I would unfriend someone over.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:58 PM on December 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


Nobody's saying that every single Target employee is anti-gay--they're saying that Target's PAC donates money primarily to anti-gay candidates.
posted by box at 1:58 PM on December 21, 2010


> Isn't this rather the point of this post?

I didn't make that original comment so please attribute it to the one who made it...
posted by Burhanistan at 1:59 PM on December 21, 2010


Burhanistan: Pro-tip: Find a friend/neighbor of the opposite sex, make them your Costco "wife," and split the cost of the membership.

Isn't this rather the point of this post?


Hm. Weird that I didn't mention that in my original comment. The friends I have who do this are two gay dudes living together, and they share their membership with a pair of lesbians who live in their building.

No idea if Costco will issue a pair of cards to a legally married gay couple, although it's very likely illegal for their Virginia locations to do so, thanks to the incredibly strong wording in the amendment that got put in their constitution.

That said, this portion of the Marshall-Newman Amendment is frequently overlooked, and I do not believe there is a precedent for its enforcement.
posted by schmod at 2:06 PM on December 21, 2010


This commercial just keeps getting more and more infuriatingly ironic as the days go on.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:08 PM on December 21, 2010


It would be great if people would stop attributing that comment to me.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:10 PM on December 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Aren't auto-quoting scripts just the greatest thing ever, Burhanistan?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:11 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


No idea if Costco will issue a pair of cards to a legally married gay couple,

I'm pretty sure you don't have to be legally married to get a family account. When my wife and I signed up (in Canada, admittedly) they never asked to see our marriage certificate or anything like that. I think you can even get a family account with your sibling/cousin/parent/whatever.
posted by arcticwoman at 2:19 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Target should still be held to account for financially supporting anti-civil rights bigots. If they think it's good for business, we should help them understand that it's actually very bad for business by no longer doing business with them.

Hey, you know what's awesomely effective for getting retailers to change their behavior? A boycott by a fairly small segment of their consumer base.

Look, Target is donating to conservative politicians because it knows those politicians will ease regulations, lower their taxes, and in general make it far easier for them to keep as much of their profit as possible. Unless 10% of Target shoppers are actually gay activists (not just activists who are gay), it is doubtful that any kind of boycott would have a noticeable impact.

Republican bigots are bigots for only one of two reasons:
  1. They actually believe what they are saying
  2. They believe that saying what they say will get them (re)elected
Either way, Target telling them, "Hey, you know what would be neat? If you liked gay people more" is going to be wildly ineffective no matter how much Target is giving them. Republicans and Democrats both seem very open to input from business when it comes to making economic and fiscal decisions but less so when it comes to making decisions in social or cultural contexts.

Maybe the best possible thing to do would be for Target to keep doing what it's doing, but then have it promote a lot of gay-friendly merchandise, such as movies and books that portray homosexuals in a positive light, and create selection of "him-and-him" and "her-and-her" merch targeted to the committed homosexual couple.

You can rest easily. Apple was one of the most outspoken organizations fighting against Prop 8, and donated a considerable amount of money to that effect. Google also issued a surprisingly frank statement against the proposition.

And yet, they too donate money to Republican candidates, although not perhaps the bigots that Target does.posted by Deathalicious at 2:22 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Apologies, Burhanistan & schmod, that was careless of me. I'd edit it if I could!
posted by nowonmai at 2:22 PM on December 21, 2010


Don't you have to pay Costco to shop there? I don't want to have to give somebody money for the privilege of giving them more money.

I roughly pencilled it out that I save 150% of my annual membership on gas. So then anything saved inside the store is gravy.
posted by Danf at 2:22 PM on December 21, 2010


So then anything saved inside the store is gravy.

A 55-gallon drum of gravy, to be specific.
posted by box at 2:37 PM on December 21, 2010 [18 favorites]


This thread has led me to find out that there's a Costco in south Austin. We don't shop much at Target anyway, but it's time to consider an alternative now that we have storage space for bulk goods.
posted by immlass at 2:37 PM on December 21, 2010


I roughly pencilled it out that I save 150% of my annual membership on gas. So then anything saved inside the store is gravy.

Are you comparing your savings to buying gas at the next nearest station to the Costco? I found that the presence of the Costco fillup station acted to push prices down nearby; I could buy gas at Costco, sometimes requiring me to wait in a very long line, or I could buy it across the street for only a few cents more.

If I wasn't already a member of Costco for other purposes (you might be able to justify the savings if you do a lot of 4x6 prints...) it would not have been enough savings to make the annual membership worth it.

Yes, it was cheaper than several miles down the road but that isn't a reasonable comparison.
posted by phearlez at 2:38 PM on December 21, 2010


Just a note on Costco - if you bake regularly, you come out way ahead. In the grocery store, 4 ounces of yeast will run you $8. At Costco, that same $8 will get you 32 ounces, same product, same brand. There's your $50 membership fee right there, before we even get to the huge savings on flour.
posted by Nothing at 2:40 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


No idea if Costco will issue a pair of cards to a legally married gay couple

All they want is you to say you are at the same address, just like arcticwoman mentioned how it goes down in Canada. I have been Costco married to almost every friend I have at one point or another.

Of course they may just think I am a player. My Costco persona lives a much more exciting life than me.
posted by roquetuen at 2:44 PM on December 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Sys Rq: This commercial just keeps getting more and more infuriatingly ironic as the days go on.

Why?
posted by monkeymadness at 3:04 PM on December 21, 2010


If you're hearing-impaired, it's worth entering into a dubious Costco marriage for hearing aid batteries. $9.39 for a pack of 30.

(I didn't have to get Costco-married, fortunately; I bummed Mr. F's dad's card last time I was visiting the homestead. Eat it, TSA, I have... a lot of tiny batteries!)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 3:16 PM on December 21, 2010


More love for Costco here. My living-in-sin fiance and I both got cards there on the same plan ($50/year), and all we had to do was prove we live in the same apartment. I can get a 40-pound bag of (relatively high-quality) dog food for $20. The last dog food I used was closer to $50. Also, having a Costco membership saved me about $1500 when I bought my car. So yeah, over the past year, that adds up to almost $2000 in savings.

Who needs Target?
posted by specialagentwebb at 3:17 PM on December 21, 2010


This whole Target scandal made me shop there more, just to piss people off.

I mean, seriously, you're going to penalize a company because they gave money to a PAC who gave money to the GOP candidate that has given money to a group that gave money to a guy that wants gays dead.

That's not an actionable item. That's a game of telephone.

It's just #amazonfail all over again, only they really did give money to Emmer.
posted by dw at 3:19 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


They do do good, and they do good that balances the bad that their candidates do.

That is entirely in the eye of the beholder.
posted by hermitosis at 3:20 PM on December 21, 2010


I noticed my local Walgreens now carries a nice little selection of same-sex marriage/commitment cards. My local Target does not. My local Target does, however, have an extensive selection of "Happy Birthday Dad" cards involving fart jokes.

Obviously there's a market or Walgreens wouldn't carry them. (I do not live in a same-sex marriage state but civil unions are coming!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:28 PM on December 21, 2010


Costco really doesn't care who else is on your family card as long as you have the same address. I shared an account with my housemate for many years and now share it with my sweetie. Just has to be at the same address.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:34 PM on December 21, 2010



If you're hearing-impaired, it's worth entering into a dubious Costco marriage for hearing aid batteries. $9.39 for a pack of 30.


Good deals on hearing aids also. . .
posted by Danf at 3:37 PM on December 21, 2010



At the Fort Myers Costco you do not have to be a member to partake of their pharmacy's prescriptions.
As per Mrs. notreally.
posted by notreally at 3:51 PM on December 21, 2010


I assume you're kidding kwine but I'm just going to go ahead and say "no he isn't" so it's in the record. Our man Burhanistan has been beat up a little bit unfairly in this thread.
posted by yo! at 4:05 PM on December 21, 2010


motherfuckers!
posted by the_bone at 4:12 PM on December 21, 2010


My (same-sex, married in Canada) wife and I have a Costco membership which we signed up for in Virginia before we were married. We have never had a problem, believe that we make the enrollment fee back handily and go shopping at Costco when we are hungry for pizza because it sincerely has the most New York-like slices in the area (sad, but there you go). We buy paper goods, socks, cheese, bestsellers, and have purchased large items like patio furniture.

Antidisestablishmentarianist has it with:

I think the difference between Best Buy and Target is that Best Buy doesn't really put forward much in the way of a progressive image to consumers, so expectations are lower.

I really thought that Target would move to settle this quickly and am disappointed that I can not in good conscience shop there yet. If they let this go much longer, they will lose the "anti-Walmart" cred they seemed to work so hard to achieve.
posted by Morrigan at 4:21 PM on December 21, 2010


I just spent ten minutes on the Target website. I had read this article elsewhere and wanted to let them know they've lost a customer, but there is no good way to leave a general purpose email on their site.

Not only does their 2-faced style stink, so does their web mojo.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:41 PM on December 21, 2010



He already apologized for making offending donations, so I don't see where the problem is. Did he say he was going to stop making them?


"I'm sorry you feel that way" isn't an apology.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:58 PM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


What really frustrates me is that we live in a society in which it is a useful strategy for giant corporations to buy off politicians, not that Target is exploiting the messed up system.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 4:59 PM on December 21, 2010


COSTCO is targeting commerical accounts(bulk buying means more revenue) and has cast the individual shopper to the back bathroom. our family does not need 32 ounces of yeast and need a truck to transfer the purchases home. we shop at SAMS Club, they are individual small items friendly. to hell with Costco and yes to Sams Club. the lines are shorter and i found several prices a lot lower at Sams Club.
posted by tustinrick at 5:00 PM on December 21, 2010


Isn't the real issue that companies like Target have a lot of goods that are cheaply made overseas by children? Our concerns over monetary donations to political candidates are very "first world" concerns. And I shop at Target, so yes, I'm hypocritical about it.
posted by agregoli at 5:22 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Come on guys, give T some credit. You can't tell politicians what to do until after you buy them.
posted by psp200 at 5:30 PM on December 21, 2010


I can't use 32 ounces of yeast either. but from the political angle, shopping at Sam's Club obviously doesn't help anything.
posted by naoko at 5:30 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Diapers and Baby Wipes alone have been worth the cost of membership at BJ's. And baby formula. Membership is either $45 or $90. in the first 2-3 months of the year, what we save on those three items pays for our membership.

We also buy our milk there, because we go through 4 gallons a week and it's more than $1 less per gallon.
posted by zarq at 5:38 PM on December 21, 2010


I'm trying to find a list of political donations for BJ's and am coming up blank. They have partnerships with these non-profits, and their local giving programs apparently focus on "nonprofit organizations that primarily benefit children and families." They restrict their stores from giving to (among others):

* Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical disability, national or ethnic origin
* Political organizations, fraternal groups or social clubs that engage in any kind of political activity
* Religious organizations, unless they serve the general public in a significant non-denominational way
posted by zarq at 5:42 PM on December 21, 2010


Horrible fluorescent lighting, huge blaring TVs right inside the entrance, annoying aisle layout, pre-heated packaged food pushers, and cart-ramming zombie customers aside, Costco doesn't scratch the same itch for me as Target at all.

Costco's clothing, accessories, and household goods are ugly and frumpy. Most of the cat litter is scented and they don't carry the brand I prefer anyway. I like getting 500 Advil at once, but that lasts me a good long time. I don't need a jug of Jack Daniels. The packaged and frozen food seems pretty vile, but there's no way my two-person house can get through the volume of fresh produce you're required to buy. I don't buy best-sellersin hardback, nor am I interested in one milion Chicken Soup titles.

But mostly, I really react badly to the interior lighting and layout of Costcos and fall into a panicky attack of despair every time I enter one. For some reason, Target (most of them) is one of the few big box stores that don't have the lighting that sets me off.
posted by Squeak Attack at 5:47 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I'm sorry we got caught."
posted by klangklangston at 5:50 PM on December 21, 2010


>>This commercial just keeps getting more and more infuriatingly ironic as the days go on.

>Why?


Because.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:06 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Part of the problem, I think, is that Target markets itself with that anti-Walmart thing. But that doesn't mean it's an infoshop or a co-op or a farmers market or something.

It still pays crap wages and opposes unionization, it still contributes to sprawl and exurbanism and kills main streets, it still sells disposable stuff made from oil and manufactured in sweatshops. Admittedly, though, it doesn't systematically discriminate or encourage its employees to apply for food stamps or lock them in the store overnight.

So when folks say that Target is the anti-Walmart, what they really mean is that it's incrementally less evil. And when I say 'incrementally,' I mean that it's less evil enough that a significant portion of potential customers perceive a difference, but not so much less evil that it significantly cuts into the profits. That's all. And anyone who expects different is going to stay disappointed.

There might be a metaphor about politics in here somewhere.
posted by box at 6:11 PM on December 21, 2010 [12 favorites]


For background and context regarding Target and their executives' donations to anti-gay political candidates, calls for boycott, etc. I recommend as a resource Andy Towle's Target Hub.
posted by ericb at 6:28 PM on December 21, 2010


Sys Rq: I see. Thanks for the follow-up.
posted by monkeymadness at 6:43 PM on December 21, 2010


we shop at SAMS Club, they are individual small items friendly. to hell with Costco and yes to Sams Club. the lines are shorter and i found several prices a lot lower at Sams Club.

In case you tl;dr naoko's link, Sam's Club is owned by Wal-Mart (the Sam is Sam Walton). Holding it up as an alternative to Costco in a thread about corporate civic responsibility is a little strange. I feel a little progressive guilt whenever I hand over cash to a large chain retailer, but when comparing Costco to Sam's Club, the former is definitely the lesser of two evils.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 9:13 PM on December 21, 2010


The thing I find most frustrating about this "All good people must boycott Target" idea is that I have nowhere else to shop for some items. I could buy toilet paper and shampoo, say, at CVS, but I'm stuck with Target for any kitchen implement, for example. The next most accessible option to buy a pot would probably be the Wal-Mart that's a 40 minute bus ride away. Do they really want me to boycott Target in favour of Wal-Mart?
posted by hoyland at 9:28 PM on December 21, 2010


Unless 10% of Target shoppers are actually gay activists (not just activists who are gay), it is doubtful that any kind of boycott would have a noticeable impact.

And hey, you know what? Target can suck my fucking dick. Hard.
posted by IvoShandor at 10:26 PM on December 21, 2010


Look, I'm not happy that anti-gay anything is tolerated, but "$31,200 went to anti-gay rights politicians or PACs supporting those candidates" is just...well, not very much for a company that also shelled out 10 million in philanthropic grants last year. In the relative evil of major corporations, I don't know if I'd consider Target the best battle to pick.
posted by desuetude at 10:32 PM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Several mefites are aware of my connections with TGT . My initial hunch last summer when the news of the donation to Emmer surfaced was that this was intended as a "fuck you" to Mark Dayton (the MN Democrat governor-elect), whose family was running the company when Grampa sold it .

I do NOT condone these donations, in fact myself and other members of my family have joined a group of investors who have added a proposal regarding this issue to the ballot of the next shareholder's meeting.

Those who boycott TGT over this matter have no problem with me.
posted by brujita at 10:41 PM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


JESUS, BURHANISTAN, YOU HAVE ME IN SHOUTY ALLCAPS OVER YOUR

oh

oh i see now



carry on
posted by tehloki at 11:28 PM on December 21, 2010


I miss shopping at Target. And Costco. Wish we had them here.
posted by leahwrenn at 11:38 PM on December 21, 2010


Given people here and in the DADT threads who view Obama as anti-gay, I think you'd have a hard time finding any business that makes political contributions who hasn't given money to "anti-gay" politicians. For example, that would make contributing to either 2008 Presidential candidate an "anti-gay" contribution.

Donating directly to Prop 8 or something, however, would be an actual red flag to me. Given that a majority of national politicians in both parties don't support gay marriage, both parties are "anti-gay" by some definition.
posted by wildcrdj at 12:24 AM on December 22, 2010


What about all the homosexuals who work for Target? If you boycott the chain and they lose money then they'll have to lay people off. And who do you think they'll lay off first? That's right, gay people. Why does Metafilter hate homosexuals? I want my $5 back.

not really
posted by monkeymadness at 4:32 AM on December 22, 2010


And who do you think they'll lay off first? That's right, gay people.

Um.
posted by grubi at 8:14 AM on December 22, 2010


Recalibrate your irony meter and you'll be fine.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:40 AM on December 22, 2010


I have nowhere else to shop for some items. I could buy toilet paper and shampoo, say, at CVS, but I'm stuck with Target for any kitchen implement, for example.

I take it you're not actually located in Minneapolis then?
posted by Deathalicious at 9:07 AM on December 22, 2010


They're all to politicians that espouse homophobic opinions and policies, sure, but that could just be a side effect of donating to the Republican party to see corporate regulation eased.

but if they were donating to officials with active racist or sexist agendas, i doubt you would reduce that to a mere side effect.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 11:28 AM on December 22, 2010


Except that they are - again, this is a side effect of donating to a Republican - and what's being focused on is the fact that they also have anti-gay policies.
posted by kafziel at 12:28 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was told by a Republidoctor that encouraging a boycott of Target is akin to fascism. I called him hysterical and told him to get the fuck on. What say you MeFites?
posted by IvoShandor at 1:01 AM on December 24, 2010


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