I did not comment much at the time about the surrender of Lowe's to the rhetoric of hate promoted by a shell organization that parades under the name "Florida Family Association." In my view, it has come to the point that if a group uses "family" in it's name, nine times out of ten, the organization is actually little more than a hate group deceptively masquerading as something less ominous. The only differentiation between one such "family" association and the next is the identity of who they hate. It may be gays, it may be Muslims, or it may be blacks - or all of the foregoing. Yet too many businesses are either to lazy or too stupid to check out the real nature of their critics before surrendering to hate. The New York Times did a great job ripping both the Florida Family Association and Lowe's a new one in an editorial on Friday. Lowe's spinelessness makes me want to drive the extra mile or two to go to Home Depot instead. Here are some editorial highlights:
It is incredibly sad that one person with his own one-man hate group can tap into anti-Muslim sentiment and lead reputable companies to make foolish judgment calls.
At least two advertisers — Lowe’s, the home-improvement retailer, and Kayak.com, the online travel firm — have pulled commercials from “All-American Muslim,” a new reality series on the TLC cable channel, since the show was condemned by David Caton, an anti-Muslim and anti-gay activist, and the shell organization he founded and runs, the Florida Family Association.
Businesses have a perfect right to decide how to spend their advertising dollars. But, in pulling out as they did, Lowe’s and Kayak sent a distasteful message to their customers, their employees, and to the larger public.
Mr. Caton has called on companies to end their sponsorships, arguing that the show is dangerous and misleading “propaganda” because it portrays Muslims as “ordinary folks” just like other law-abiding Americans, not as extremists and terrorists.
Both Lowes and Kayak deny that they were moved to act by Mr. Caton’s campaign, citing instead the show’s controversial nature and, in Kayak’s case, reservations about its quality. “All-American Muslim” may not be the best TV show, but the controversy was manufactured by one man. By appearing to bow to bigotry, the companies earned a self-inflicted black eye.