The American Family Association’s Target boycott has not had the intended effect, and they are doubling down. In the past week, they’ve aimed to add names to their boycott list, and further pressure Target to change the company’s bathroom policy.
The AFAs initial boycott petition reached over one million signatures, and the right-wing political action group claimed success when the company’s stock fell.
— American Family Assc (@AmericanFamAssc) June 10, 2016
However, Target CEO Brian Cornell responded, and Advocate reports, he said the boycott wasn’t doing any harm.
To date we have not seen a material or measurable impact on our business.
On June 8, the AFA expressed frustration that Target wasn’t responding. The organization sent a representative to a shareholder’s meeting, and attempted to sway the company there. In the AFA’s own words from a press release, the rep was “snubbed.”
The group promised to continue with the boycott, saying that when it continued through Father’s Day shopping and Back to School shopping, the stores might begin to feel the boycott more.
However, it was only after the shooting in an LGBT club in Orlando that the AFA declared a specific, numeric goal. Fifty people, including the shooter, died on June 12, when Omar Mateen entered The Pulse and opened fire.
Update: 50 dead in FL nightclub, worst mass shooting in U.S. history https://t.co/nWm7ZCj8Ad
— American Family Assc (@AmericanFamAssc) June 12, 2016
Two days later, they announced their new signature drive — seeking 50k new names to boycott Target. That’s one thousand new signatures, one thousand people promising to boycott Target for trans-friendly policies, for every person who died in the Pulse nightclub on a night when transgender talent was performing.
“We have Target’s attention but we must make them listen. Help us add 50,000 more names to the #BoycottTarget pledge this week.”
By Friday afternoon, the AFA declared that they had indeed reached that mark.
We set out this week to add 50,000 more signatures to the already 1.3 million. We are over 1.35… https://t.co/FqS9LEcHA9
— American Family Assc (@AmericanFamAssc) June 17, 2016
In the week since 49 individuals were murdered, the AFA’s Bryan Fischer has continued to lash out at the LGBT community, including a specific claim that the attack wasn’t a hate crime, and at Target’s inclusive policy.
The attack on the homosexual night club was not a hate crime. It was a war crime. Islam is at war with the West.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) June 14, 2016
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) June 18, 2016
As you can see, he used the opportunity to again promote the Target boycott.
Pink News also obtained a newsletter in which the AFA directly connected the mass murder to the Target boycott, following a statement promising prayers for the victims with the announcement of the new signature drive.
Meanwhile, Target released a statement mourning the loss of the victims, including two employees of the company. In the statement, CEO Bryan Cornell announced that the company would be donating a quarter of a million dollars to a fund to help victims and their families.
Our hearts and thoughts are with those impacted by the tragic events in Orlando, including members of our Target family. ❤️
— Target (@Target) June 13, 2016
Incidentally, though Target’s stock did hit a lot in May, Market Watch shows a rise since then.
The company continues to make it clear they aren’t bending for the Target boycott, and that they don’t believe it is hurting their bottom line.
[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]