By Naveen Athrappully
Consumers’ Research issued a “Woke Alert” on Tuesday warning Americans not to buy from five prominent businesses in the country this holiday season.
The consumer watchdog listed Best Buy, Activision, Target, Nordstrom, and Home Depot as the firms to avoid while shopping. “These five companies went Woke, and now they’re vying for your business on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Keep these companies’ woke antics in mind when you’re shopping for deals,” Consumers’ Research said. It advised people to “tell these companies to stop their woke ways.”
Electronics retailer Best Buy committed to fill one out of three new non-hourly corporate positions with black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) employees by 2025. The company also intends to fill one out of three new, non-hourly field roles with women by this time and provide $44 million in college preparation and career opportunities to BIPOC students.
In August, O’Keefe Media Group revealed that one of Best Buy’s management training programs was discriminating against white applicants. A qualification criteria for joining the program was that the candidate should identify as black, Latino, Hispanic, Asian, or Pacific Islander.
The revelation was met with calls to boycott the company. “It’s time to Bud Light Best Buy,” Kingsley Wilson, of Washington, D.C. Young Republicans, said in an Aug. 9 X post. The public backlash prompted Best Buy to temporarily move its profile on X to “private,” per Consumers’ Research.
Video game publisher Activision faced a federal civil rights complaint from America First Legal (AFL) for its “illegal, racist, sexist, and discriminatory hiring practices,” according to an Aug. 15 post by the advocacy group.
In 2021, Activision mandated that the company raise the number of women and “non-binary” employees in the firm by 50 percent in five years, said the watchdog. To achieve this, Activision created scholarships only for women, non-binary, and “gender fluid” individuals.
The company’s network groups aimed at helping employees advance in their careers are only open to “Asian and Pacific Islanders, Black, ‘Latinx,’ LGBT+, ‘SWANA’ (Southwest Asian and North African), and women,” AFL stated. “Those who are white, straight, or men are not given the same opportunities as their peers to network and advance their careers at Activision.”
The company embedded “DE&I (Diversity, equity, and inclusion) leaders” within their business and also into their games, according to AFL. Activision developed a tool called “Diversity Space Tool” which measured video game characters based on their culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, body type, ability, age, and ethnicity.
“It’s unbelievable that in 2023—some sixty or so years after the civil rights movement—major corporations would obsess over the race and sex of the employees in their workforces,” Gene Hamilton, AFL vice president, said at the time.
Target faced backlash after promoting LGBT Pride products in May—some of them targeting children. Consumers immediately called for a brand boycott, prompting the company to withdraw the LGBT-themed children’s products from all U.S. stores and websites or in some instances, to reposition the products in its retail outlets.
A video of a Target customer in a store’s kids’ section showed LGBT clothing and books for sale. A tag on a kids’ dress read—“Thoughtfully fit on multiple body types and gender expressions.’ Another clothing tag said—“pride toddler legging.” One piece of clothing had a tag saying “tuck-friendly construction.”
Two books being sold in the kids section were titled “Glad You Came Out!” and “I’m So Happy That You’re Queer!”
Some of the items in Target’s Pride collection were designed by UK-based designer Abprallen, who identifies as a transgender gay man and is a proclaimed Satanist.
“To make matters worse, when recently confronted on national TV about these products, Target CEO Brain Cornell tried to sweep the controversy under the rug by flat-out lying, stating ‘Well, I think you and I both know those weren’t true,’ Consumers’ Research stated.
Luxury store chain Nordstrom is affiliated with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which runs the “Welcoming School Program.”
The program aims to “create LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support transgender and non-binary students.” HRC gives Nordstrom a 100/100 score for its promotion of LGBT policies at the workplace.
Over the past years, Nordstrom has donated almost $1 million to support LGBT activities. It has taken part in over 35 Pride festivals and parades across the nation.
Home Depot has also teamed up with HRC for the Welcoming Schools Program, which Consumers’ Research says is “specifically geared towards indoctrinating schools on how to promote LGBT ideology among vulnerable students under the guise of ‘inclusivity.’”
The Epoch Times reached out to the five companies for comment.
Many states are taking action against companies engaging in discriminatory employment policies.
In a July 13 letter to CEOs of Fortune 100 companies, attorneys general from 13 states pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling against race-based admissions in colleges “should place every employer and contractor on notice of the illegality of racial quotas and race-based preferences in employment and contracting practices.”
“If your company previously resorted to racial preferences or naked quotas to offset its bigotry, that discriminatory path is now definitively closed,” the letter said. “Your company must overcome its underlying bias and treat all employees, all applicants, and all contractors equally, without regard for race.”
In June, a jury in New Jersey directed Starbucks to pay over $25 million in compensation to a white former employee who accused the company of firing her because of her race.
Speaking to The Epoch Times, Dan Morenoff, executive director of the American Civil Rights Project, suggested that more such cases could soon come to court. “When the plaintiffs’ bar sees that these are real sources of recovery, I would be surprised if you didn’t see a lot more of these cases being brought.”
States like New Jersey, New York, and California have laws against discrimination, with most of these statutes having “provisions for uncapped punitive damages,” he said.
“When you’re talking about uncapped punitive damages and entities that are among the largest in the world, it’s difficult to even put into words the scale of that Pandora’s box of liability that corporate directors have chosen to open.”