Calling All Readers: Help me boycott Target in a creative way!

August 3, 2010 § 9 Comments


Nationwide retailer Target (alternative pronunciation: Tar-zhay) has wound up on many people’s consumer shit lists (mine included) due to the recent news that an executive at the Minnesota based chain donated $150,000 to a Republican candidate who is against LGBT rights legislation. But wait–there’s more! In the past, Target’s CEO has given money to such fine, upstanding individuals as Michele Bachmann.

I’m shocked and disappointed by this behavior, because according to the Human Rights Campaign’s Buying For Equality 2010 guide, it has a prefect score, meaning that it has policies supporting LGBT employees in place.

I want to do more than just write the requisite “I’m-not-going-to-buy-your-stuff” letters to Target higher-ups.

So, fellow readers and contributors, I’m looking for creative and effective ways to protest Target’s recent decisions that:

-Will not get me arrested (being asked to leave a store, or being banned from a store is fine.)
-Will not make other Target employees jobs more difficult. So, while Karen’s suggestions would certainly get the point across, that would lead to a lot of pointless work for employees that have little control over the retailer’s policies.
-Will be effective regardless of the number of people participating.
-Will be enjoyable to do.

Shopping should not have to be a constant weighing of the lesser of two evils. And I fail to see how maintaining a healthy business, and promoting basic human rights are mutually exclusive issues. Shame on you, Target.

UPDATE: Target’s CEO has issued an apology for their donation to Rep. Emmer, but many organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign aren’t convinced that Target’s apology is genuine, and want the mass retail to back up their words with actions. I’m still looking for protest ideas, because I’m not buying their apology, either.

UPDATE, PART TWO: I’ve come up with a pretty cool idea for a protest, which involves dressing up as Zombie Michele Bachmanns, and doing the Thriller dance outside a Target store. Are any readers in the Grand Rapids, MI area interested in joining in?

UPDATE, PART THREE (THOUSAND): A flash mob group performed an adapted version of DEVO’s “People are People” in the Target store. Check out their video below.


§ 9 Responses to Calling All Readers: Help me boycott Target in a creative way!

  • Major Payne says:


  • Kelly says:

    I want to say that I worked at Target for over a year. I also used to be the kind of person who refused to shop at Walmart… until I worked at Target. Target does everything negative that Walmart does, they just don’t get the same press because they don’t take up such a large market share. I guess I am just writing this to ask that if you are the kind of person who refuses to shop at Walmart, stop shopping at Target, too. For longer than it takes for them to fix the LGBT thing, which they will. Because, at least on a store to store basis, they are good with that. But there are even bigger issues at hand than LGBT discrimination: how they treat workers overseas and the “lowly” workers in general. I think this is outrageous, but not really surprising. Target is Walmart, in red.

    • Elena says:

      “Target Is Walmart in red”

      That is an excellent pont that not everyone may have realized up until this scandal.

  • doctorcrankenstein says:

    In Australia Target (pronounced Tarjehy) is nothing like Walmart (or at least what I have heard of Walmart, considering that we don’t have them here).

    I dislike the trolley option too as it would piss-off a lot of workers who have nothing to do with the companies political orientation, most of them probably wouldn’t even know about it. Don’t punish the workers for what the executives are doing.

    I think you could print out flyers and tape them to the shelves when no-one is looking. Worst case scenario you get perma-banned from the store. I don’t *think* you can get arrested for that.

    Depending how many of you there are you could hire out some floorspace in the shopping center and set up a stall protesting target due to it’s homophobic policies. If you got together with a local LGBT group they might be interested and able to help with the floor-hire costs. You can’t get arrested for that because it’s not defamation, It’s based on fact. You can probably get shut down by store management though.

    I dunno if that was any help but oh-well, I tried 🙂

  • April says:

    Glad you’re highlighting this. Another issue to be aware of is that Target’s CEO:

    He was opposed to an eating disorder inpatient treatment center in his city, Orono, MN, because he felt the patients would be a DANGER TO CHILDREN. Read up on what NOW’s Action VP Erin Matson has to say about this… she’s an anorexia survivor, from MN, and has a lot to say.


    Emmer SUCKS. I live in Minnesota, and will be doing all I can to not get that f’er elected. He’s terrible. And Target’s CEO seems to agree with him on WAY too many points.

    • Elena says:

      I just got done reading the second link….there are no words.

      I mean, Target has pharmacies. Wouldn’t customers who choose to fill their prescriptions (including birth control medications) bring in more revenue to the retailer? (If not from the drugs, from doing shopping while they wait for their scrip to be filled?).

      I’ve already prepared my “in-case-some-asshat-pharmacist-decides-to-not-fill-my-perscription” speech. It goes like this: “If you’re not going to fill my perscription, please write me a check for $215,000. If I don’t get pregnant, I’ll void the check. If I do, I’ll cash it. Does that sound fair?”.

      • April says:

        A friend of mine just took $600/mo of prescriptions away from Target in direct response to all of this. That’s a large chunk of money, and I’m happy he did it.

        I do personally believe that the CEO’s apology was genuine… but I don’t think that enough is being done to combat the damage the contribution has done. We need to see equal contributions to LGBTQ-friendly organizations and candidates, ASAP, and then I will feel comfortable shopping there again.

  • missy says:

    This boycott is killing me. What to do really, I dunno! Seems like the in store stuff will just annoy the people who work there, many of which probably do not agree with what is happening. I vehemently will not shop at Walmart and am sure Target is similar in some way, but Walmart is the worst. I try to shop only union shops, but with big box stores, that is now impossible and Walmart is to blame (in my opinion). The last that I remember was Bradlees (in the Northeast) and well, it was great but gone forever. What does the community at whole feel is sufficient for Target to do to make ammends? Should it be store location specific? All I know is that I love Target (the store/products) and feel that they will resolve it somehow, but do NOT love any of the stuff they are doing at all and have not been there since August.

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