This is a tale of two Americas, one based in the conservative South, the other on the liberal West Coast.
After the Lowe's home-improvement giant pulled its ads from TLC's All-American Muslim reality show, a local state senator this weekend helped spark what appears to be an all-out movement to boycott the chain's stores.
Lowe's, based in North Carolina, appeared to be responding to pressure from the Florida Family Association, which called the show …
… propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law. The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.
Yeah, how dare Muslim Americans act like normal Americans. How dare they!
The group says TLC has an “agenda to inaccurately portray Muslims in America.” Cause we all know they're all terrorists. Just like all Latinos are illegals (and great basketball players). And all old, Jewish people drive really well.
Torrance-based state Sen. Ted Lieu fired up his taxpayer-funded PR machine over the weekend and scored with national headlines, including this AP story.
He sent a letter to Lowe's CEO Robert A. Niblock warning that if he didn't get those ads running again there would be hell to pay. Legislative hell:
If Lowe's continues its religious bigotry, I will encourage boycotts of Lowe's and look into legislative remedies.
Chatter about boycotting the chain seems to have taken on a life of its own on Twitter. And, when asked by Fox 11 News last night why he wasn't focusing on the state's major problems instead of going out of his way to hitch his wagon to this national story, Lieu answered that people could always shop at Home Depot. Really.
Lowe's action is bigoted, shameful, and un-American. I call on Lowe's to rescind its action and apologize to Americans who are Muslim.
Lowe's has responded via social media a couple times. On Twitter it stated:
We did not pull our ads based solely on the complaints or emails of any one group. It is never our intent to alienate anyone.
Then on Facebook, it apologized:
It appears that we managed to step into a hotly contested debate with strong views from virtually every angle and perspective – social, political and otherwise – and we've managed to make some people very unhappy. We are sincerely sorry.
… If we have made anyone question that commitment, we apologize.
But … it didn't say the ads were coming back. And, frankly, we don't think that's going to happen. Lowe's core demographic isn't in Santa Monica or Berkeley or Dearborn, Michigan, the Muslim American community where the TLC show is shot. It's in the NASCAR belt, and the chain is a huge NASCAR sponsor.
These are folks who like to watch copies of the same car, painted differently, go around in circles all day long.