Does Lowe’s Hate Muslims?

Most Democrat legislators I know are extremely comfortable introducing a plethora of bills designed to intrude on the daily lives of Californians and California businesses. They have no trouble letting the government tell you what to eat, warn you of impending chemical doom or making sure your (or your neighbor’s) dog doesn’t replicate without the blessing of the government.

They also don’t mind over regulating business to the point some would say is driving industry out of our great state. And, if it isn’t enough to stifle business expansion with ever-tightening industrial regulations that seek to protect the populace from every conceivable ill, real or imagined, now one Democrat would also like to tell business where they must spend their advertising dollar.

Senator Ted Lieu is a democrat from the Southbay area. He is a prolific Tweeter who has taken the political correctness thing to an entirely new level. Recently, he has been tweeting about an issue between Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers and a reality-based television show on  TLC called, All-American Muslim. The program purports to show the lives of every day, average Muslim-Americans living in Dearborn, Michigan.  From the TLC website:

Each episode offers an intimate look at the customs and celebrations, misconceptions and conflicts these families face outside and within their own community.

Controversy arose when Lowe’s, who advertises heavily on nearly every major TV network in America, received communications from “every perspective possible”, including the Florida Family Association. Calling the show a lightning rod for political and societal views, the corporation decided to pull their advertising for the show saying, essentially, they did not want to become embroiled in any debates or discussions regarding Muslims, American or otherwise. Yes, they just wanted to run their business. It should have been as simple as that. It was a business decision.

It Wasn’t that easy, however. The Council on American-Islamic Relations immediately denounced Lowe’s, asking other advertisers to continue to support the show and stand up against “bigotry and hatred in this country”. Even one of the “actors” on the show, upon which the controversy is surrounded, blasted Lowe’s on Facebook and other social media. Factions from both sides of the debate have vigorously defended their stand on the issue.

Enter Senator Ted Lieu.

Lieu began tweeting about this issue almost immediately. First he bashed Lowe’s for pulling their advertising, saying he felt it was wrong. Then he sent a letter to the CEO of Lowe’s callling on him, personally, to stop the “bigotry against Americans who are Muslim.” Lieu apparently felt that was not enough so he has been sending tweets out with the hashtag, #boycottLowes. His latest tweets have stated that he plans to introduce legislation to prevent this kind of bigotry from occurring. In fact, in the letter to CEO Robert Niblock, he threatened both a boycott and legislative action unless Lowe’s apologized. The letter also called Lowe’s actions “profoundly ignorant” and “religious bigotry”.

Apparently, Ted doesn’t feel that business can be trusted to spend their advertising dollars wisely. What he sees as an act of bigotry was, according to Lowe’s, simply a corporation making a business decision for the benefit of the company. Rather than leave it at that, Lieu has now threatened legislative action. Kathy Grimes of the Cal Watchdog political website points out that any legislative action Lieu could take would be largely symbolic, probably taking the form of a Senate Resolution. We certainly hope it does not go farther than that.

Lieu’s grandstanding approach to this issue should not even be allowed to take the form of a resolution because the state senate has more pressing issues to deal with than whether a corporation was politically correct in making, what amounts to, a business decision. We hope that no business entity will ever succumb to the “will” of government when it comes to making business decisions regarding advertising. That would be another step down the slippery slope of socialism that Democrat lawmakers in this state seem to embrace.

We also hope that Lieu will find better things to tweet about with the new year. The state budget remains in peril. Prison realignment is quickly becoming a questionable balancing act for counties ill-equipped to manage such populations. And, as far as business goes, maybe he should get his comrades to take a look at why Waste Connections has decided to move their corporate headquarters from Folsom to Texas. The CEO stated the move was due “in part because the company sees California as a poor place to do business.”

In the meantime, the flap over where Lowe’s spends its advertising dollar will blow over, whether Lieu and the proponents of the so-called reality show like it or not. And, I seriously doubt there will be much impact on Lowe’s bottom line because of their decision. If there is, then they will have to decide for themselves if the call to pull the advertising was worth it. But, again, that is a business decision and one government should keep their noses out of.

Ted, if you want a real glimpse of Muslims living in America, I suggest you follow @MonaShadia, a writer for the LA Times. Her blog, Unveiled: A Muslim Girl in O.C., gives a great perspective on what it is like for Muslims here in California. Her unabridged, tell-it-like-it-is writing may give you a more realistic glimpse of the Muslim experience than a highly edited “reality” show. In any case, good luck with that legislation.

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About Jeff Gallagher

My day job is a peace officer for the 2nd largest law enforcement agency in Orange County. I live in and love Tustin where my family and I have resided for the past 17 years. I am a highly moderate libertarian that despises hardcore Republicans, Democrats and anyone else who is not willing to compromise for the good of the people.

Posted on December 12, 2011, in Local Government, Politics, state government and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Ted Lieu is right! Lowes is siding with those who view anyone who is not Christian as a terrorist. What if TLC had a show called “All American Jew” or “Growing up Jewish in America” or “Christian in America?” Do you think these shows would be controversial to the Florida Family Association? No! Why, because people of these faiths are are “mainstream” Americans. Muslims, on the other hand, are somewhat new to America or at least are newly noticed in America since 9/11.

    Let’s not forget that there is always a small percentage of religious zealots (Christians too!) who make the majority look bad. A small group of religious zealots attacked the U.S., not the majority of peace loving, Muslims.

    Did anyone blame the holocaust on the Catholics? No! But Hitler was Catholic and wanted to rid the world of Jews, brainwashing a large number of Germans in order to accomplish this. My point – stop blaming the Muslims for what a small group of radicals did!

    I, for one, will boycott Lowes and encourage others to do the same.

  2. Sherri, thank you for commenting. As you know, I respect your opinion and know that we can agree to disagree on this. I firmly believe this was a business decision brought on by a desire not to become embroiled in a hotbed issue.

    However, I must comment on your discussion of the Holocaust, Catholics and Hitler. I don’t know where you got your information regarding Hitler. Although his mother was Catholic and he was probably baptized into the church (some say he even served as altar boy), there is no indication that he was a practicing Catholic or gave more than lip service to religion in his adult life.

    In fact, he wrote many times in Mein Kampf that he was a “Christian” and that his views regarding the Jews were in line with “Christianity”. On the other hand, he plotted to eliminante priests and nuns and there is substantial evidence that he even plotted to assasinate the Pope.

    What Hitler truly believed in was a natural god, and longed to return to a pagan world where survival of the fittest and natural selection could take place to bring about his ideal Aryan race. But, his on-again, off-again allegiance to Christianity (no mention of Catholicism) was more probably just paying lip service to a religion that he felt he could not outwardly defeat through gross confrontation.

    And, yes, I have read Mein Kampf. It made about as much sense as the Unabomber manifesto, just longer. Maybe it lost something in the translation.

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