Friday, December 08, 2006

Jingo was his name-o

I was poking around My Space and came across a profile of a classmate from high school, someone I was not friends with. I actually remember her as a big, mean girl who was red in the face a lot and made fun of my brother. Anyway, she had a post her page that went something like this:

Wasn't it last Christmas that Target refused to let the Salvation Army ring their bells in front of their stores?

Dick Forrey of the Vietnam Veterans Association wrote:

Recently we asked the local TARGET store to be a proud sponsor of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall during our spring recognition event. We received the following reply from the local TARGET management:
"Veterans do not meet our area of giving. We only donate to the arts, social action
groups, gay & lesbian causes, and education."

So I'm thinking, if the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and veterans in general, do not meet their donation criteria, then something is really wrong at this TARGET store. We were not asking for thousands of dollars, not even hundreds, just a small sponsorship for a memorial remembrance.

As a follow-up, I E-mailed the TARGET U.S. Corporate Headquarters and their response was the same. That's their national policy. Then I looked into the company further.
They will not allow the Marines to collect for 'Toys for Tots' at any of their stores. And during the recent Iraq deployment, they would not allow families of employees who were called up for active duty to continue their insurance coverage while they were on military service. Then as I dig further, TARGET is a French-owned corporation.

Now, I'm thinking again. If TARGET cannot support American Veterans, then why should my family and I support their stores by spending our hard earned American dollars!

And, have their profits sent to France. Without the American Vets, where would France be today? They, most likely would be speaking German and trading in Deutsch Marks.

Dick Forrey
Veterans Helping Veterans

Please send this on to everyone you know to let Target know we don't need them either!

I do need Target! I did a little poking around about the Target/Salvation Army relationship, because I had heard something about that in passing. It's old news. See here. I had also been thinking the Salvation Army since the last time I passed a ringer I had no cash on me, and thought if they only had a way of accepting debit, then they would do much better. People so rarely carry cash anymore. I guess the thing that bothers me the most about this kind of post, which gets sent out in en masse e-mails is not that they are criticizing France or French foreign policy. I am more bothered by the jingoism, and Bush-style, finger pointing mentality of "if you're not with us then you are against us." There are so many causes and limited dollars to support them all. Come on.

As I learn more about the world (Haiti and Rwanda, for example) I see France as this despotic refuge that once welcomed the Ayatollah Khomeini to wander the streets. Of course, Iran was demonized to anyone growing up in the late 70's/early 80's. Maybe he lived a quiet existence until Iran was ripe for revolution.

The bottom line is that Target is a classy store with policies that allow their shoppers to not be bombarded by groups soliciting. Instead, they have a strong philanthropic tradition and give over 2% of their annual profit away. That might sound like a paltry amount, but they make lots of money. They are not evil.


CBK said...

Isn't that, like, a false or incredibly misleading email? Snopes may have something about it. Target is based in Minneapolis, I thought.

Off to Snopes I go!

CBK said...

Ah ha!

Herself said...

Thank you. I hate those kind of mass, accusatory e-mails. I sent said classmate a note with corrections.