Sunday, August 15, 2010

Uptown's Target Site Of LGBT Protest

From Windy City Times: "About 50 people turned out Saturday, Aug. 14 for a protest of the new Target store in Chicago, on Broadway just north of Montrose. " Read more about it and see photos here.

Update: Read Gay Chicago Magazine's coverage of the protest here, by Gary Barlow


  1. I laugh at these protest because the average person can care less. As long as a store has a good selection and good prices....nothing will detour them from coming. Maybe 1 out of 100 will take notice but say 5 out of 500 may actually stop going there for a bit. But like all habits...they will come back slowly. Sure it stinks that not everyone can be completly politically correct and do the right thing but did they really think they were going to open up anyones eyes with this protest???

    It would be the same thing as telling everyone who shops at Aldi to stop shopping there because it is food that feeds gangbangers. Sorry....just isnt going to happen. With all the stuff happening in the area....I am sure this was off everyones radar.

    I will say that it was nice to be able to walk over to Target this weekend. It is very nice inside.

  2. @frank - agree with your whole post. Except who are you or me to say what's the politically correct right thing to do? (a term I detest personally)

    Welcome Target. Be the anchor that helps clean Uptown up.

    - Jimo (that's gay Jimo)

  3. The point is to send a message to Target's home office not people like Frank and gay Jimo who apparently prefer Americans just shut up and obey their corporate masters.

  4. The protest sign in one of the photos captures a great sentiment: "I shouldn't have to be doing this."

  5. Timothy.....I dont obey corporate America and do as they wish. I am just sick of people constantly boycotting things. This country isnt perfect....none are in fact. People can never just be happy with what they have...they always have to dig and find something bad in everything.

    I can tell you this....I highly doubt Corporate Target even heard about the boycott outside the store. The people that live in this area could care less. They are more concerned with not getting shot than where some money was funded to. They are looking for good deals and a nice selection of goods.

    I think the Target is the start of a lot of great things in this area. It is going to be a positive force in the community. Not saying that they are going to be leading and do things always but with them there it is a somewhat beacon of hope that there is some good here.

  6. I agree Frank. I cannot think of a better store to help be a positive force on our community. As I drive by I see alot of people parking their cars and getting off buses all headed into Target. It sure has been a long time that I have seen so many others coming into our neighborhood and flooding the streets on Broadway to shop..-

  7. Frank Castle, America is a great country, because we have all have a right to express our opinions (within limits). And just because a protest isn't popular with you, doesn't make it invalid.

    So what if only 50 people showed up to protest. Does that make what Target did, right? If someone harmed someone you loved, and you were the only person who complained, does it make your loved one's pain less important, because only one person cared?

    You said you are tired of people nitpicking and complaining, but aren't you COMPLAINING about their complaining?

    Everyone who cares about Uptown, hopes that Target is the beginning of great things happening in the area. But... I hate to burst your bubble. Did you know that people said the same thing about Truman College? A neighborhood doesn't change because a new building is erected. A neighborhood changes when the people change.

    So let’s be real. If Target is intensive to one group's issues, they might be insensitive toward your issues, too.

  8. Hey Timmy....I was never complaining. I was just stating a fact that the protest had zero impact on the business of Target. A small protest isnt going to get people to not shop there. If it is convienent people will always continue to go there. It is like a drug. Once they get it into thier is near impossible to change.

    If you boycotted every place that you had an issue with you would never be able to go any where. It drives me nuts with these hippy wanna-be's that come out and boycott where someone else spends money. That would be like me standing next to you in a store and telling you what to buy. If you have issues with a place...then just dont shop there.

    Target is going to be a good thing. As people go there they may stop at other stores and restraunts along the way too. I am sure around Christmas time it will really pick up.

  9. With all the gun violence in this area and loitering They chose to protest Target store? Give me a BREAK!!!

  10. I guess my thoughts are.....Target is the best thing to have happened here in Uptown, since the collapse of the 'fish farm' fiasco. (or the closing of the Wooden Nickel)?

    Seriously, I love Target, and arguably this is only bright spot in our Alderman's legacy?

    Target here, is all good.

  11. Frank, again, you are making broad generalizations.

    You said the protest had zero impact on Target’s business. Okay. Where is your proof? If one person decided to bypass Target, because of that protest, then an impact was made. The fact that we are here discussing the protest, is further proof of its impact.

    Then, you went on to say that most people will choose convenience over doing the right thing. Again, where is your proof? Who are these people you are speaking for? You certainly aren’t speaking on my behalf.

    If a business is supporting a cause that I find offensive - I have no problem with spending my money, elsewhere. This may sound strange, but some people’s standards aren’t lowered by convenience.

    Do I hope that Target’s presence in Uptown will improve the area? Yes! Certainly! But I’m a realist. Target isn’t responsible for lowering the crime rate in Uptown, or any of the other social ills plaguing the area. They are a retail department store. Not a magical, socially conscious, Genie.

    Hey, Frankie. Did you know that there is a Target on 85th and Cottage Grove? Ask the people over there if Target’s presence has stopped the bullets from flying in their neighborhood.

    If Uptown is ever going to be fixed, the people in the community will have to do it. And since you have suggested, several times, that most people will choose convenience over social responsibility, I guess positive change in Uptown, is a lost cause, huh?

  12. People have a right to protest and others have a right to ignore them.

    When big corporations donate money they need to be exceptionally careful as to where the money goes.

    They need to find innocuous charities that no one will be offended by.

    If you give money to some anti Gay marriage politician you will piss some people off.

    If you give money to some pro gay marriage politician you will piss some people off.

    If Target had donated to some pro gay marriage cause or politician I can hear some TV Reverend going all hellfire on Target.

    Meanwhile, his wife would be smiling proudly in the studio audience while his mistress and his boy toy were at their respective homes watching and smiling.

    Life is just funny that way.

    In any case I think Target will be a big plus for Uptown.

  13. Starck - are you SURE the "fish farm" is a no-go? Maybe the plans are already in place and the new alderperson is going to supervise its construction? I don't remember reading anywhere that it was taken off the table.

  14. Local Lassie... the property is still listed for sale on the MLS. Kind of hard to set up a thriving business with public TIF funds and hire ALL THOSE EMPLOYEES when you only have a maximum of nine months, especially when you don't even own the "locale."

    I seriously doubt the next alderman will have the undying devotion to farmed fishies that the current one does.

    Of course, even ducks that are lame just looooove swimming with the fish.

  15. @Frankie - "I laugh at these protest because the average person can care less."

    Laugh all you want but this protest is hardly in front of just our beloved Target, it is nationwide and has been covered by every major U.S. news outlet as well as some international ones. Target is taking note even if you are not, which is why they issued an apology on Thursday.

    "Maybe 1 out of 100 will take notice but say 5 out of 500 may actually stop going there for a bit."
    BTW - 1 out 100 is still one percent of sales which is massive. Last year they had $65 Billion in sales. Nothing to sneeze at.

    @jcrw - I guess they think that protesting Target's monetary aid to continue denying equal rights to a minority group of millions of AMERICANS is more important than loitering. You really should take that break you requested.

    Anywho, it's still cheap crap.

  16. I used to shop at Target all the time but because of the small numbers of protests that I noticed a bit back I have ceased shopping there. Now that the protests are growing much larger more people will take notice. It's a snowball effect. That's how a lot of these things start.

    As a gay man I find it hard to support a company that doesn't support me. I'm not going to give the money I work hard to make to people that want me to be a second class citizen.

    That said I was very excited for Target coming to the area. I was excited for more traffic coming from surrounding areas and hoping it would assist in decreased crime in Uptown. I do agree though that Target is not the savior here. The people still need to rise up and put a stop to it... Much like these people are crying out against anti-gay activity.

    I wouldn't underestimate the LGBT community. Just because you think that the majority will walk on by doesn't mean there won't be huge impact. Maybe you just know a different crowd. I know several people who have stopped making purchases at Targets in the area due to this.

  17. Just for fun

    Thanks to our Sponsors!
    We would like to thank our Platinum sponsor, Star Tribune; our Gold sponsors Delta, The Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and Goldstar; and our Silver sponsors Graves 601 Hotel, Bud Light, Best Buy, Target, and Valspar for their generous support of the Twin Cities Pride Festival.

  18. That's rich Yo, haha.....I guess it makes these protestors look more like shake down artists with a one sided agenda, if that indeed is the case. I guess it's not ok to go "both-ways" in their eyes (no pun intended), which is what I thought the whole protest was for !!! Thanks for the perspective.

  19. @ Yo - I suppose that if you take money from a sponsor hold your event and then that sponsor in the future donates to a politician that will actively try to keep you from having equal rights, you aren't allowed to be upset. Either that or you should build a DeLorean with a flux capacitor.

    Just for fun

  20. Oh, Marc - relax.

    I neither said, nor implied, that people shouldn't be upset - I was simply entering new evidence into the equation.

  21. Yo - Your evidence was simply irrelevant to said equation. The fun stands.

  22. Irrelevent to demonstrate that the organization in question, despite this current topic of discussion, actually has a history of being pro-LGBT?

    I'm not defending the donation in question (I find corporate donations to any political entity to be unseemly), but I think many are also overlooking the fact that Target has been providing employees with domestic partner benefits for some time: regardless of sexual orientation.

    And let's not forget that HRC gave Target a 100 on their Corporate Equity Index and was also named a top company to work for, for working mothers.

    Target ain't perfect, mind you - hell, they've given Shiller money; but, there does come a time when people need to pull their nose from the tree to make sure that they're still in the forest.

    Did Target make the donation because they are actively working against LGBT ideals, or did they make the donation to an organization that they believe to be in their best business interests?

    Looking at the history of Target, I'm assuming the latter since their historical stance on the former seems to have been generally well recv'd by the same groups who are attacking them, now.

    But, if you're cool basing an argument that lacks historical perspective, go nuts.

  23. for the person who wrote "I highly doubt Corporate Target even heard about the boycott outside the store" you are completely and absolutly incorrect. Target employs a service (we used to call them clipping services in the days of newspapers) that gives them a daily map of thier coverage. Target is deeply concerned with thier corporate image and I'm sure regrets being caught with thier pants down over this one.

    Macy's in Boston got busted last year after Macy's buckled under right wing pressure to remove a window display in conjunction with Boston Pride. Macy's fell all over themselves to apoligize.

    And lets be honest folks, retail is full of gay people, it's one of the few places that gays and lesbian have felt appreciated.

    Furthmore, Target, I believe, has an HR policy on an inclusive workplace environment, not uncommon in retail these days. Your corporate masters writing checks to haters hardly makes gay people feel included, does it?

    I dont know exactly at what point Targe achieved sainthood, but its a business, not a holy relic to be worshipped. Target rolled in on the back of a disgraced alderman and got a sweet deal from a developer of dubious repute. Target therefore, has a bit of stink on it, IMHO.

    At the end of the day, all things being the same, if I could get the same garden hose at the same price from someone with a better corporate image, I sure as hell would.

    I'm going to scaling back my Target shopping a bit till I start hearing a few words of apology from them. Lets not forget, I can almost always get it cheaper at Amazon et al then Target. I already used my smart phone to locate merchandise at a better price by scanning in the bar code while I was standing in the middle of Target this weekend. That's only going to grow folks, so it's in Target's best interest to be a bit more inclusive. Its not about losing customers, its about the customers who never went.

  24. *sigh*.

    Again, it is still irrelevant as is all the lovely new info you have provided because it is simply more of the same - background noise. Have a seat it’s hypothetical story time:

    A man named Target (no relation to the corporation) has a lovely towheaded four-year-old son. He gives his progeny everything that the child needs and desires. Every night Target reads the four-year-old a story to get his imagination firing and each weekend they go for long walks so the child can explore his environment. Target even has a day care opened on the premises of the company he owns just so he can wander over during the day to say hello. Then, one Friday just after Target picks up the child from daycare, he repeated punches the shit out of the boy’s cherubic face.
    Is it now relevant that Target had never beat the shit out of his other previously unmentioned child and he only did this type of beating thing once? Nope, it's irrelevant.

    Back to reality: Does providing healthcare for a small fraction of the LGBT community or donating in the past to a Pride Parade in the Twin Cities make up for a huge donation to someone who wants to ensure that the whole demographic is denied equal rights? Nope. It is irrelevant.

    The dick part, lest we forget with all this background noise: Cherry-picking “evidence” and then giving it the subjective title of fun so that a reader might reasonably conclude that the subject group of the story is being duplicitous (see UptownPits immediate response to your post) is in fact being a dick. And this is further confirmed in that the rest of the information (the date of the Parade), which would have shown that your “evidence” was even more clearly irrelevant, is posted in a much larger font and in a much more visible location on the referenced website than the bit that you had to scan the page for in order to copy to bring over to this thread. See earlier hyperlink.

  25. Well, there's always Walgreens, etc. for school supplies, and Sears (remember them - just "down the road a piece" via Lawrence bus) for moderately-priced apparel and appliances.