Paradoxically, the American right started a war against Target and other companies that support the LGBTIQ+ community during pride month.
If the American right is characterized by anything, it is its defense of the free market and economic growth. It is therefore paradoxical that, in recent weeks, personalities and media such as Matt Walsh and Fox News, who represent the most conservative right wing in the country, have waged a fierce war against companies like Target. The rejection of these companies is due to the fact that they showed their support for the LGBTIQ+ community during pride month, which is celebrated throughout the world throughout the month of June and which, particularly in the United States, sparks controversy over the so-called culture war.
Right-wing attacks on companies
In the month of June, hundreds of companies and brands around the world usually launch campaigns in support of one of the most invisible communities throughout history. Pride month celebrates diversity and commemorates the Stonewall riot, which protested against the constant raids carried out by the New York police in which rights against LGBT people were violated.
Currently, this community occupies a position that would not have been possible then and, thanks to the efforts of individuals and groups, public policies in favor of the rights, recognition and representation of LGBTIQ+ people were generated . Although the advances have been great, there is still discrimination on the part of the most conservative sectors of society.
In the United States, the conservative right wing came out strongly against the community. For example, in the last year there was a great effort to prohibit the presence of drag queens in public spaces, access to medical and hormonal treatments for minors who wish to carry out a gender transition, and discussions about gender in schools. public.
The American right’s war against the “woke” phenomenon, as it is scornfully called, has reached the private sector. Companies such as the Bud Light brewery and the Target, North Face, Kohls, and Chick-fil-A department stores, Woolworths, among others, were the target of criticism from conservatives. But these criticisms do not simply question the campaigns, but go further. They claim that these companies are “woke” and evil, and that they “desperately” seek to instruct children in a radical and even satanic gender ideology. His speech also asserts that it is about brainwashing that will corrupt their souls, lead to their death, and ultimately mean the destruction of society.
As absurd as it may seem, this speech reached millions of conservative Americans who replicate these words and ideas , which promotes not only hatred towards specific companies and brands, but, above all and more importantly, towards the LGBTIQ+ community and the people who support it. make up.
Pinkwashing and the community response
Faced with this situation, companies have to make a decision. On the one hand, they can stand firm in their position and continue to defend their campaigns (which are, after all, mercantile) and continue to receive attacks from the right and their media, or take a step back and receive criticism from the collective.
Target, for example, made a move that came across as cowardly. It didn’t get rid of its pride month-themed clothing, instead moving it to the back of its stores, which is inconspicuous. Consequently, it received criticism from the LGBTIQ+ community, which saw the event as a clear example of pinkwashing.
Pinkwashing is known as a marketing strategy that consists of being sympathetic to the community for simple commercial purposes. In this order of ideas, it is criticized that companies and brands take advantage of pride month to carry out campaigns with supposed intentions of support , when they really seek to reach more audiences and increase sales.
This situation reveals, on the one hand, how inconsistent the US right is when attacking companies when one of its bases is the defense of the free market and economic growth; and how problematic it is for companies to take advantage of this type of celebration for purely financial purposes. The LGBTIQ+ collective continues to fight for their rights to be guaranteed with dignity and that, beyond campaigning or not, companies ensure their rights and their representation.