In Business, History, Law, Politics, Social commentary on May 18, 2016 at 12:20 am

“Attention, Target customers. Do not be deceived. Target would have you believe that they love mothers and children. This is a deception.

“This is not love, and they’ve [Target] proven it by opening their bathrooms to perverted men.  

“I am a mother of 12, and I am very disgusted by this wicked practice. Target does not protect mothers and children.”

So screamed a fundamentalist Christian woman as she waved a Bible and strolled through an unnamed Target department store.

Her rants were captured on a video posted to YouTube on May 12.

Click here: Mother Marches Through Target With Her Family To Protest Transgender Bathroom Policy! – YouTube

They were triggered by the chain’s announced policy on April 19 that its customers can use any bathroom or fitting room that matches their gender identity.

“We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity,” read the official Target statement. 

“Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.” 

Target corporate headquarters

The announcement won Target much praise on social media. On Target’s Facebook page, the following posts appeared: 

“I want to tell you that I will forever be a Target shopper.” 

“You have, again, shown that  your stores are inclusive and meant to be a safe haven, and I intend to repay your loyalty with my own.” 

But others were enraged, and made no effort to hide it. 

“Shame on Target,” read one post. “Restrooms have placards depicting gender on them for a reason. I will not step foot in another Target.” 

Since its April 19 announcement, more than 1.2 million people have signed a pledge to boycott the store owing to its transgender policy.

The protesters’ goal: Force Target to reverse its policy–or, failing that, to hit the retailer in its pocketbook by persuading customers to shop elsewhere.

But Target CEO Brian Cornell has refused to budge: “We took a stance and we are going to continue to embrace our belief of diversity and inclusion,” he said on CNBC.

Critics have been holding protests at Target stores across the country.  And they show no signs of ending. 

Many are demanding access to bathrooms of the opposite sex to prove that “perverts” can now prey on women and children as a result of the policy. 

One male protester entered a Target store and asked an employee if he could use the women’s bathroom because that’s where he felt comfortable. The employee gave him permission and said that if any women complained, “they can come and we will speak to that.” 

Continuing with the video: 

The porcine, pony-tailed woman, wearing a purple blouse, and accompanied by about a half-dozen children and adults, continued to yell as she strode through a Target store.  

Her movements and shouts were filmed–clearly by a member of the group.

“Mothers, get your children out of this store.  Mothers, have enough decency to get out of this store.  It’s a dangerous place.”  

“This is not loving. What Target has done is very hateful. It’s hateful towards families. It’s hateful towards mothers. It’s hateful towards children.  

“America, when are you going to wake up? When are you going to stand up for the right things, America?”

Sales may drop for at least a short period, speculated YouGov BrandIndex, a firm that measures consumer perceptions of major brands on a daily basis.  

Before the boycott, 42% of consumers said they would consider shopping at Target the next time they had to visit a department store. In the last two weeks, that share has fallen to 36%.  

But the boycott may prove short-lived.

Eighty million Americans shop at Target’s stores every month. So a loss of 1.2 million shoppers would amount to 1.5% of Target’s customers.  

And being able to buy affordable goods will eventually overcome the boycott, said Larry Chiagouris, a professor of marketing at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York:  

“The boycott is not going to last very long. There is a big difference between signing a petition compared to not taking advantage of a big sale at Target. People will always take advantage of the sale.”  

And when insults, threats and boycotts fail to gain the results they desire, Right-wingers can always be counted on to resort to violence.

Anita Staver, president of the Orlando-based Liberty Council, a theocratic law group, says she will be taking her gun inside the restrooms at Target stores from now on.  

On April 22, she posted on Twitter: “I’m taking a Glock .45 to the ladies room. It identifies as my bodyguard. @Target

Meanwhile, the Bible-waving Christian fundamentalist angrily strode out the Target store, still shouting:

“Are you going to let the Devil rape your children, America?  It’s time to stand up and have a voice instead of bowing to the homosexual perverted agenda that’s taking over this nation! 

“You need to run and flee this place.  I wouldn’t spend a penny of my money here.

“This is wicked. This is confusion. This is twisted. This is abominable in the sight of God.”   

With Donald Trump, the presumed Republican nominee for President, making hatred and violence socially acceptable for the Right, a peaceful resolution of this controversy is by no means assured.

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