Monday, December 12, 2011

Lowe's misses chance to turn away bigotry

The Observer's Tuesday editorial:

Corporations are notorious fence-sitters on public issues, and understandably so. They’re in the business of making money, not taking moral stands, because you don’t want to take sides on topics that might divide your customers. But sometimes an issue confronts you, and like it or not, the fence disappears.


Lowe’s Inc. missed an opportunity to make the right choice this week when faced with outrage over advertising it pulled from a weekly cable TV series about Muslim-Americans. Instead, it issued a sorry-but-not-really apology, and in doing so, the Mooresville retailer has appeared weak-kneed in the face of bigotry.


Lowe’s stopped advertising on TLC’s “All-American Muslim” after complaints from the Florida Family Association, a conservative group that’s well practiced in getting advertisers to flee from shows that don’t fit the group’s worldview. “All-American Muslim,” if you haven’t seen it, chronicles the lives of five families from Dearborn, Mich., a Detroit suburb with a substantial Muslim population. The show touches on the discrimination and profiling Muslims face in the U.S. because of their faith.


That message is lost on the Florida Family Association, which says on its web site: “The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.”


Lowe’s, after receiving emails from FFA members, decided to yank its advertising, which prompted Ted Lieu, a state senator from California, to threaten his own boycott last week. Lieu called the Lowe’s decision “un-American.”


Cue the hollow apology. Lowe’s issued a statement Sunday saying it was sorry for having “managed to make some people very unhappy.” The statement explained that people had strong views about “All-American Muslim,” and that Lowe’s believes “it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.”


Translation: This Muslim thing isn’t our fight.


The company said Monday it’s not going to resume advertising on the show.
Certainly, corporations can choose to advertise how they want, and it’s likely that marketing folks at Lowe’s saw “All-American Muslim” as intriguing but benign – a show that thoughtfully asks its viewers to examine their preconceptions on Muslims. It’s possible Lowe’s didn’t know its ads were running on that specific show.

But when faced with the demand to pull the advertising, Lowe’s became part of the fight, like it or not. What to do then? The company could have said: “Advertising buys have finite runs, and when this one concludes we’ll evaluate where our advertising is most effective.” Maybe that wouldn’t have satisfied the Florida Family Association, but it would’ve allowed Lowe’s to nod to the group’s concerns, yet maintain the values it trumpets on its web site, which says: “Lowe’s is committed to treating each customer, employee, community, investor and vendor with respect and dignity.”


Instead, Lowe’s made a decision to side with a group that encourages discrimination by declining to distinguish peaceful Islam from extremism – a group that promotes bigotry Lowe’s surely doesn’t condone. It’s not too late for the company to show us that.

21 comments:

Wiley Coyote said...

Where was the Observer when Glen Beck was getting hammered and boycotted by the same type left leaning bigots?

Where was the Observer when groups like the Sierra Club, UAW, the Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics. etc were boycotting YUM brands creating economic terrorism soley because they bought tomatoes from farmers who employed migrant workers?

Leave it to the Observer to cry foul over something a corporation has every right to do....

All this does is validate the hypocrite rag of a paper you are....

27d0a8ac-2523-11e1-aeb2-000bcdcb2996 said...

Lowe's can do whatever the H--- it wants with its advertising dollar. This is America, CO, whether you like it or not.

todd said...

Last gasp's of a soon to be defunct editorial board an a paper barely hanging on...liberalism is dead, as these three should be able to tell by the discenting response's that their weekly whinefest's create. They aren't even smart enough to pad the editorial board with at least one middle of the road op/ed member.

Jim said...

Dear Editorial Board: go back and reread the legend of the Trojan Horse.

DistrictSix said...

Until we become a Coke a Cola commercial, the Observer, and mainly the editorial staff, will continue to harangue us.

John said...

And the Charlotte Observer never misses a chance to embrace bigotry!

heels81 said...

once again,it was "the
editorial board" which posted this..not an actual human who wrote this dribble and posted it, but an entire BOARD. yeah right. Someone wrote this who is on the board but does not have the guts to put his/her name to it. The media buy by Lowe's ad agency chose that program, and when they had complaints, they decided to pull it. Period

Jim 1311 said...

This claptrap sounds like something Fannie Flono wrote.

You Observer folks are worse than Senator Lieu, sticking your noses where they don't belong.

But maybe you'd prefer some politician telling you which ads you can or cannot run?

"Cue the hollow apology"? Indeed. How about cue the Observer's knee jerk editorial?

carolinathought said...

This a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation for Lowe's. I just wish when so called news oulets are copying and pasting from press releases, they would post the whole release. The trashier news outlets in Charlotte (WCNC) are taking a Jerry Springer approach to reporting on this. Please report the FACT there were complaints BEFORE FFA. No one group motivated Lowe's choice on where to spend their advertising dollars.

I work for Lowe's Corp. While we do have a Christmas tree up, every entrance during the holiday season greets you with a "Wish for Peace" with Christian, Jewish and other religious symbols. We embrace diversity and it is clearly evident the the mixture of employees and management at Lowe's.

I find it ironic and insulting that a city (because this is not on any national news site I have seen today) that thinks they can compete with Atlanta is throwing a NC based company under the bus. Who is Lowe's biggest competition? Where is there home office based? I deal with a lot of Lowe's stores nation wide. Which stores even know about this...the Charlotte region.
Bottom line, report the facts and use responsible thinking when reporting. Please.

Joshua McCorkle said...

Does no one here have the balls to comment on the issue? Just intellectual laziness to personally attack the writer without addressing the opinions they sumbit or the issue they've raised. But this way doesn't make your head hurt does it?

Friday Foodie said...

We are willing to tolerate anything in this country now just so we are not labeled as bigots or not "pc". Islam is a violent and bloody religion, and every Muslim upholds the tenets of world domination and death to non-believers. Don't believe me? Read the Q'uaran.There is no such thing as peaceful Islam. I applaud Lowe's for having the eggs to go against the pc grain and take a stand for what they believe in. And just to clue you in Senator, America is still a free country, and Lowe's has every right to spend or not spend their advertising dollars as they see fit. People like you are part of the problem.

KEHinNC said...

Maybe Lowes and other retailers should pull their ads from the CO.
Think of all the paper, trees and landfill space that would save.
Now where did I put that Lowes gift card.

rky84 said...

Funny that the CO is taking another company to task for supposedly lowering their standards for economic reasons.

blackspeak said...

The FFA is just another example of the power of white supremacy.PERIOD!

Unknown said...

No more Observer for me. I have read my last Observer article. What a joke!!!!

FrankWIll said...

What is worse - Lowe's choosing to advertise where they want or the Observer staff using a "Newspaper" to advocate their political agenda, use their paper to promote their Liberal candidates and attack those who stray and flat out lie about their "objectivity"? Either you are desperate for a job and doing the bidding of your Editor or you are dishonest people - hiding behind the guise of a newspaper to shape elections for your liberal candidates. Disgusting.

DistrictSix said...

@Joshua McCorkle

You are right, no one posted up to, and including your post, had any direct comment on the article.

It is wrong to attack a company that wants to avoid criticism from the public.

That is why so many sponsor so many minority events, and programs they would never sponsor for just majority events?

rwnutjob said...

Political correctness will kill us.

When the authorities call the Fort Hood massacre "workplace violence," the end is near.

Because Lowe's didn't want to sponsor CAIR's propaganda, they are demonized?

Sam said...

The only thing unpredictable about this Observer editorial is the lack of a Niki Haley negative mention. Nov 2012 is a comin!

Baxter T. Pug said...

The Observer does not believe in Free Speech. You are not a newspaper you are a Propaganda Machine. When you fail maybe we will get a real Newspaper.

snoopy28215 said...

This is bigotry in its highest form. They stereotype a certain group based on a difference of some kind. Until Low's makes an apology and means it, I will not step foot into a Low's.