At their Annual General Meeting in Pittsburg earlier this month, Gregg W. Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Target Corp. got grilled big time; peppered with questions regarding the company’s political contributions to Republican Tom Emmer. Emmer, a gubernatorial candidate during Minnesota’s last election season is staunchly anti-gay and against same-sex marriage. He also has ties to an organization associated with a music group, You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Intl., Inc. which brings it’s anti-gay, supposedly-Christian hard rock ministry to public schools and other youth organizations. Some of Emmer’s campaign monies went directly to this group which set off a shit storm of controversy. The leader of the music group, Bradlee Dean, once told a radio audience that Muslim countries that call for the execution of gays and lesbians are “more moral than even the American Christians.”
Bradlee Dean went on record with the following from a story posted by the Minnesota Independent:
“Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America. This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination."
The group’s music also contains hateful, horribly homophobic lyrics inciting violence against gays.
Recently Rep. Ernie Leidiger invited Dean to open a legislative session at the Minnesota House of Representatives with a prayer, which resulted in another shit storm of controversy; with the Democrats denouncing the action and the Republicans remaining mum. On the plus side, bat-shit crazy, future GOP presidential candidate Michelle Bachman came to Dean’s defense, lauding his group’s focus and offering up a sort of prayer for them - successfully demonstrating once again just how stupid that woman really is.
Michelle Bachman is an ass (a crazy, dangerous ass). So is Ernie Leidiger. Bradlee Dean, too (Bradlee? - God is not pleased with you!). Tom Emmer is a huge ass. He, the hero of Hockey-Dads here in MN, is a real butthole. And Gregg Steinhafel? Gee. Yeah. I’m thinking if it has had its finger in the ass and that finger smells like ass – then, yep – I’m guessing major A-hole.
You see, Gregg hasn’t exactly apologized for that whole “we-support-those-who-call-for-the-execution-of-gay-people” thing. In fact, he found the questions – of which there were several – annoying and asked at one point if anyone had a question not related to political giving. Nor will he go on record promising that it won’t happen in the future. Yes, he did pay lip service, talking about having the right process in place, saying Target would be more careful in the future in regards to political donations – but, read between the lines and I think what he’s really saying is that Target will be more careful about not getting caught supporting anti-gay causes in the future. Gregg is kind of a snake. He has been ever since he came on board.
This whole anti-gay attitude at Target is odd, because without the legion of gays working behind the scenes at Target Corporate - without their creativity and input - Target would be, well, Wal-Mart (which recently banned Bradlee Dean’s group from soliciting their customers in their parking lots). I know, because I used to be one of those gays. I was at Target Corporate for six and half years. For several of those years I had a very homophobic boss – a real hateful ass, whose own children will one day grow up and hate him. But then for four and half of those years I had a couple of really GREAT bosses. Granted, I was not one of those gays that shaped the look and feel of Target (I’m not a fashion-fag – those that are set my eyes rolling), but I did contribute to it in my way. Yes, I was a peon, a nothing, but I was never interested in playing ‘the game’ – which pretty much explains why I had to leave after six and a half years.
When the story about the political donation to Emmer broke, the gay community called for a boycott of Target and I am happy to say I have not set foot in one since. I also sold my stock and cashed out my 401k. I am Target-Free now. I think everyone should be.
I now shop at my grocery store, a drug store and a dollar store. I buy my clothing at a large clothing/household goods retailer with no record of giving monies to anti-gay causes (no, not Wal-Mart). By the way, the clothing is of much better quality -Targets’ mens clothing has always sucked.
I no longer waste emotion on people as ridiculous as Michelle Bachman and Bradlee Dean; they will get what they deserve – although I do keep a wary eye out for them. After all, they are dangerous people – social terrorists - and I believe it is in my best interest to know where they are and what they’re doing. And I’d call for Gregg Stienhafel’s resignation – but you know what? I’ll let my money do my talking for me. My dollars are my power for change.
And that’s where your power lies, too.
So use your power wisely.