The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lowe's low bow to bigotry and what can be done about it


A promotional graphic from TLC's 'All-American Muslim' show.
Lowe's low bow to bigotry was among the topics of conversation at two Plainfield holiday events last night. If you haven't followed the uproar, here's the skinny and what you can do about it.

Plainfield has a sizable number of Muslims -- both residents and business people -- with mosques and Islamic study centers, evidence of the diversity of our community which we celebrate.

'All-American Muslim' is a reality-type cable show following the daily lives of several very ordinary American families in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn who happen to be Muslim (see the website here). Part of the interest is in how the participants accommodate both their religion and their American-ness (for instance, handling football practice during Ramadan).

Lowe's pulled their ads after a campaign launched by the Florida Family Association (see the organization's website here), and defended its decision in an Associated Press story circulated Tuesday (which ran in the Courier, see here).

The reaction was immediate and visceral.

John Stewart charges the ultra-conservative FFA is displeased because the five families the show tracks aren't stereotypical enough (one is a high school football coach, one a deputy sheriff), as reported on The Wrap (see here) and Huffington Post (see here).

The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR) reports the real story is FFA's brand of 'Florida intolerance' (see here), and Think Progress portrays the FFA as a 'faux outrage generation factory' (see here).

Meanwhile, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons is buying up ad time and demanding Lowe's apologize and reinstate its ads to avoid a boycott (see here), and CNN reports that ads are sold out for this Sunday's show (see here).

In today's editions, the Detroit News reports that the fracas has increased interest in the show and that its promoter says advertisers are rallying (see here).

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

There are several options for folks to register their disapproval with Lowe's and to show support for the program --

PETITIONS
  • There are online petitions at "Change.org" and "Sign-on" demanding that Lowe's reinstate its ads.
BOYCOTT
  • Global Grind reported Tuesday that 20,000 had signed up to BOYCOTT Lowe's (see here), and US News & World Report staffer Leslie Marshall calls for a BOYCOTT on her USNews blog (see here).
PICKET
  • As reported Tuesday in the Bergen Record, Paterson's Muslim leaders joined with Rep. Bill Pascrell in decrying the Lowe's decision and announced a PICKET of the Paterson Lowe's store on Friday afternoon (tomorrow) -- see story here.


-- Dan Damon [follow]

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I actually never watched the show until all the issues came up, so it made me take a look. From what I saw, the show only educates those who have NO CLUE that MOST Muslims don't have the hatred media (and especially right wingers) want us to believe.

Anonymous said...

As an American business in a free enterprise country they have every right not to spend Their money any way they want. People in this country have the right to voice their opinion but a business doesn't? I'm going to Loew's to shop for freedom of speach for ALL!

Dan said...

@ 6:31 AM -- Of course Lowe's has a right to spend its ad dollars where it wants.

Now you tell me why they advertised on the program in the first place...then you tell me why they cancelled further ads.

Chickens?

Olive said...

Lowe's might not wanted to be associated to something that stirred controversy. It's like when a star a company hires as a spokesperson does something "bad" that people criticize, they get dropped. The company can't afford the negative imagine or association with any of their customers.

Not saying it's right -- just suspecting they are playing it safe -- staying out of it.