The Washington Post is receiving pushback for publishing an article painting conservatives who support the Target boycott as “extremists” and opponents of democracy.
The Washington Post published an article titled: “Target gets caught in cultural crossfire over Pride month items.”
The article about supposed right-wing extremism stemming from a retail boycott begins with the account of a female customer allegedly upset because Target was “carrying Pride month merchandise.” The woman reportedly using her own scissors to cut her Target credit card in front of the guest services at a Target location in South Florida, and informed employees, “I am never shopping here again.”
The manager of the store told the outlet that there were “several tense encounters that workers have reported over LGBTQ+ items.” Ticked-off customers allegedly accused Target of “shoving your woke agenda down our throats,” and employees were reportedly called “child groomers.”
The article touched upon bomb threats that targeted several Target stores in multiple states. However, local news reports said the bomb threats were made by an individual who claimed to be angry that Target was cowardly for turning their back on the LGBTQ community and “decided to cater to the homophobic right-wing redneck bigots who protested and vandalized their store.”
The article written by a retail reporter and a business reporter noted that Target decided to pull some items because of the backlash. Queer and transgender designers blamed “domestic terrorists” for Target taking their controversial products off the shelves.
The article painted the Target boycott with a broad brush that conservatives were upset that the national retail chain was selling LGBTQ merchandise. However, the article did not mention that the boycotts really took off after it was revealed that the big-box chain was selling “tuck-friendly” bathing suits, LGBTQ onesies for babies, and products from a transgender designer promoting Satanism, violence, and drug use.
“Though Pride month and other inclusivity initiatives have been around for years, they’ve increasingly become litmus tests for consumers, forcing companies to fully commit on social issues or yield to critics,” the article read. “Target, one of the largest American general-merchandise retailers, said it has offered products celebrating Pride month for more than a decade.”
The article cited “experts on extremism” to point the finger at right-wing influencers for inciting an “anti-democracy movements.”
Lindsay Schubiner, who studies violent movements for the anti-extremism watchdog Western States Center, told the Washington Post, “It’s not like any of this is all that unpredictable. We don’t always know exactly where these sort of anti-democracy actors are going to point to next, but the increase in threats and harassment from anti-democracy movements in the U.S. has become so frequent that this is something that absolutely just needs to be planned for.”
Schubiner claimed that “bigoted and anti-democracy groups” will attempt various boycott tactics to “see what will stick.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, president and chief executive of LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD, said, “As soon as you cede ground to extremists, you give them more permission.”
Ellis claimed that Republican lawmakers such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) “demonize” the LGBTQ community.
The WaPo article stated, “According to experts on extremism, the boycotts — and the threats and harassment that have extended from them — are part of a diffused but focused campaign that’s inflamed by influential conservatives exploiting TikTok and right-wing media.”
The article named conservative commentator Matt Walsh as an “anti-LGBTQ” rabble-rouser who stirs up boycotts against woke companies.
A sizeable number of Twitter reactions to the Washington Post article laughed off the accusations that the Target boycott was based on extremism of any kind.
A person explained, “Today in the Narrative: if you stop shopping at places that endorse child sex changes, you’re an extremist.”
One Twitter user said, “Parents not wanting their children being exposed to a satanic sex cult while they’re shopping at Target is not an example of extremism. Real extremism is offering LGBTQ-themed onesies for babies.”
Another user stated, “You’re calling a normal and fairly muted response to a corporate-sponsored upheaval in our social norms extremism.”
Target has lost billions in market value since the boycott began, and the retailer’s stock is recently down 14%.
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