mellowtigger: (banking)
[personal profile] mellowtigger
What is it about this election cycle that has increased the sensitivity of the gay issue?  A pessimist might think that corporations get the best of both worlds by handing out cheap goodwill gestures of support while funding government actors who can outlaw such support.  In other words, corporations can pretend to be "the good guys" while committing their most relevant support (election funding) to "the bad guys".  A pessimist might think so, anyway.

Goodbye, Target and Best Buy:

In spite of your considerable lip service to GLBT issues and causes, you turn around and give $150,000 to Tom Emmers (via MN Forward) in his bid for governor of Minnesota.  Emmers is a political candidate who opposes issues of GLBT equality by opposing gay marriage, by opposing gays and lesbians parenting children, and by supporting a music group that approves the imprisonment and execution of homosexuals.  I consider this issue more than just a momentary hiccup in your resolve to recognize simple human rights.  Our careers, families, and lives are at stake.  People like us die at the hands of people like Emmers. 

If that betrayal weren't bad enough, I learn that Gregg Steinhafel, your CEO, has given a personal contribution (the maximum allowable by law) to the campaign of Michelle Bachman, our own homegrown crazy person and U.S. Representative.  Gregg, I see that you are trying to distract me with more of the same platitudes.  You say, "Let me be very clear, Target’s support of the GLBT community is unwavering, and inclusiveness remains a core value of our company."  Yet when we give you our shopping dollars, you turn around and hand it over to people who aim officially to declare us second-rate humans.

Gregg, seriously, have you ever been invited to a memorial for someone beaten to death with nail-studded boards wielded by Christian thugs?  I have.  I will not give you money that you can then hand to people who encourage more of this insanity.  My patronage of Target and Best Buy has ended until you change your ways.  A commitment to human rights requires more than lip service.

Goodbye, Campbell's:

Seriously, Campbell's?  Just like Target, you've been such a welcome symbol in GLBT advertising.  Just like Target, you then turn around and spend the money we give you to support a group that thinks gay people are pathological.  You established a ten-year exclusive partnership, even?  What's so confusing here is that you previously took a solid stand against hate-mongering.  What happened?  This issue is one of basic human rights.  It's not merely a political fulcrum where you can hedge your bets by aiding each side equally.  Human rights don't work that way, sometimes good, sometimes bad.  You never really thought it was a serious issue?

No. Just, no. You don't get any more money from me until you change your ways.  See my question to Gregg, above.

Goodbye, McDonald's:

Your corporate equivalent in France created a nice little advertisement.  It created the impression of McDonald's being a hip environment for young people while still maintaining a warm bond with an older generation.  That's a hard feat to pull off, but they did it.  Then your COO, Don Thompson, goes and explains that such an ad will never air in America because... (paraphrased (and editorialized)) "well, it's hard to explain without sounding like a total bigot but it's because I'm a Christian."  Seriously?

Phrases like "cultural norms" and "core values" may have helpful meaning in some other context, but this context makes them a clear codeword for something that you dare not put into actual words.  You are a bigot, and as long as you pull the reins of the corporation, it will never avow equal rights for GLBT citizens.

Citizens are also customers.  I will not hand my money to you so you can continue nursing your delusion of superiority.  Corporations should not be in the business of teaching that some people are less deserving of equal service from the law than other people.  I'm not feeding you any more money until you change your ways.  See my question to Gregg, above.

To other corporations:

Sure, you probably hear all the time about boycotts from one offended group or another.  I reiterate, though, that this issue is one of basic human rights.  It is not some trite conservative-or-liberal political issue which can be compromised.  Lives (by which I mean human families and human blood) are at stake.  That's why GLBT people have historically taken their boycotts very seriously.  We understand the lives already lost by supporting those who would dismiss us... from politics, from corporations, from equality under law, from human consideration.

That's why our boycotts tend to matter more than boycotts by other groups.  We're not just keeping a boring political tally.  We're serious when we say that our lives are at stake.

Date: 2010-08-03 05:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just cross-posted this to Facebook. You sum up what we all are feeling very well. Thanks MellowTigger.

Date: 2010-08-03 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Un-effing believable!

Time for me to start writing letters again. :/

Thanks for the info!


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