When I posted a link on Facebook yesterday about an uproar caused when  the Lowes home improvement store chain pulled its advertising from a TLC program about Muslims in America, it caused an uproar of its own. So, since not all blog readers are Facebook followers, I thought we’d talk about it here too, and see what you think.

In an Associated Press story about the controversy, it was reported that Lowes cancelled the ads on the reality TV show All-American Muslim, after protests by a Florida-based evangelical Christian group called the Florida Family Association. That action, in turn, caused criticism of the retail giant nationwide.

California state senator Ted Lieu (D) called Loews’ decision “un-American” and “naked religious bigotry” and said he would consider legislative action if Lowes does not apologize to the Muslim community and reinstate its ads.

Some people feel that, in bending to the demands of the Florida Family Association, Lowes is practicing racism and bigotry. Others say that any company should have the right to advertise (or not advertise) where it wants to.

I won’t get into the whole debate about whether Muslims are evil, or are merely a religion that has been labeled wrongly because of the actions of a relatively small number of radicals in this blog, because I don’t have room for that. But, while I don’t think it is a wise move for a company to bow to the demands of any special interest group, I also believe that Lowes does indeed have the right to spend their advertising dollars wherever they choose to.

Many are calling for a boycott of Lowes, and they, too, have the right to spend their money with any company they want to, and to not patronize whomever they care to. But think about it for one minute, if you are one of those calling for a boycott. Why is it okay for you to withhold your money from a company, but not okay for Lowes to do the same thing?

For a politician to threaten legislative action to force Lowes to reinstate the ads is completely ridiculous, not to mention that such action would be a violation of the company’s rights. What’s next? Do politicians decide where other companies can spend their ad budgets? What if they decide that something you are against deserves those ad dollars? Gay rights? The Catholic Church? Planned Parenthood? Fox News? The American Civil Liberties Union? Barrack Obama’s reelection campaign? Newt Gingrich? Which of those mandates would get your dander up?

Maybe Lowes’ decision was bigotry. Maybe they caved in too fast to one group without weighing all sides of the issue. But folks, it’s their right to do so. Nobody, and no company, should be required to support anything they don’t want to.

If you agree with Lowes, spend your money with them. If their choice offends you, vote with your wallet and go someplace else. That’s what free enterprise is all about. But do not think that you, or I, or any group, and for damned sure not any politician, has the right to force them to support a cause, a program, or a business they choose not to, for any reason.      

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33 Comments on Bigotry Or Free Enterprise?

  1. Roger Moreland says:

    Good post Bad Nick, I don’t necessarily agree with Lowes and I really don’t with those Florida religious fanatics, but I also disagree with those who think any company or individual should be forced to support something that they don’t believe in. I spent 24 years in the military to help protect our right to make our own decisions, right or wrong

  2. Mike R Taylor says:

    Whats next? Kissing the Koran because if we don’t it will offend some Muslim? Should we all stop wearing crucifixes because it will offend Muslims or atheists? I get so sick and tired of all of the politically correct bullshit. I don’t need a damn thing from Lowes, but I plan to go to the one down the street and spend $100.

  3. Anthony W. says:

    Anybody who would spend money with a company like this might as well put on a white sheet in my opinion.

  4. T & R Martin says:

    Perhaps the people in Florida watched the show All American Muslim & saw the Muslims’ feelings about dogs. One said it was against the Islam religion to have a dog because dogs are considered “UNCLEAN.” If there is one thing I know about most Americans, WE LOVE OUR DOGS. Personally I cried when I saw the American-turned-Muslim get rid of his dog because of his Muslim wife’s allergies. I thought it was strange that nobody in the town would take the dog because it was against the Islam faith. Think Ole Yeller, Lassie, Rin-tin-tin, Marley etc., etc. I have known a cop whose life was saved because during a robbery his dog took the bullet for him. Yup I think I too will shop at Loews. Although I do understand folks with allergies, but other than extenuating circumstances, if one cannot accept my dog, they cannot accept me. By the way, I am not a religious fanatic, but perhaps the dog-haters are.

  5. Robert says:

    I agree that a corporation has the right to spend money on whatever advertising it wants as long as it isn’t usurping our constitutionally designated democratic electoral process. I don’t think that however is the issue here. Lowes is being called out for PULLING its advertising after being pressured by this bigoted group in the midst of an already hotly contested and highly polarized debate. Essentially it has publically taken a side on this hot button topic that has tentacles touching some of the basic tenets of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms; those of free expression and speech, and the unfettered ability for each of us to practice religion of our own choosing. That being said, I don’t personally believe it’s appropriate for legislative action, but Lowes’ corporate stance clearly is at odds with the intent of our founders, and they’ve set themselves up for legitimate protest and boycott.
    One thing though, I’d never heard of nor cared about the show ‘All-American Muslim’ before this, but I’m going to be sure to check it out now. Kudos to TLC for standing by its position and continuing to air the show.

  6. Francis Callahan says:

    Why is it that we are supposed to change our way of life or beliefs for forigners this is america if they don’t like our ways then they should go home. As for the polition wanting to pass laws to make people spend thier money where he says is crazy. Aree all politions jerks or all jerks politicans

  7. Robert says:

    Francis. To many Muslims this IS home. And many are working to assimilate into our culture and society. Besides, unless you are American Indian, we didn’t adapt our ways to theirs when we first landed and were the foreigners here. According to your philosophy, if we didn’t like the American Indian way of life, WE should have just gone home…
    Maybe you might enjoy learning a little about Muslims in America. This article has a some good info if you’re interested.
    http://www.people-press.org/20.....extremism/

  8. George Stoltz says:

    Lowe’s is a fine, upstanding All-American company. Since when did where I spend my money for tools become political? Lowe’s can spend their advertising dollars as they see fit. Hopefully, they will take a full page ad in The Gypsy Journal.

    Good blog, Nick.

  9. Steve R says:

    This is the usual if they do not like it, we will THREATEN them till they do what we want. Rev. Al and Rev. Jesse have made a living of extorting companies and banks to give loans to under qualified persons. So now they are moving into the Home Improvement industry and the Entertainment Industry.

  10. Bonnie says:

    Business owners are irritated by those who think they can dictate how a company spends money. Lowes decided that the American Muslim show was too controversial for them and pulled their advertising. It is their right.

    We owned a business for five years where we had daily interaction with the public. I knew it was time to sell when a customer insisted that we reveal our mark up to him and told us he would report us to the government if we didn’t, since the feds controlled the amount of profits we were allowed to make.

    It is amazing what the public believes about business.

  11. Steve says:

    Ha ha, Nick. Easy controversy. Politics and Religion doing what they do best. Showing people at their worst. Dividing people and preaching intolerance. The world would probably be better off without religion, but it would not be as entertaining. You don’t need to worship a construct to be a good person.
    Corporations do have rights. There is something wrong with affording corporations the same or more rights than individuals.
    Why do we allow our politicians to get involved with this crap, while truly important issues are ignored?

  12. Bob says:

    I’m putting on my WHITE SHEET and heading to Lowe’s. I still have some Christmas shopping to do. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL !!!!

  13. Palmsrv says:

    It wasn’t just Lowe’s that pulled there ads, the following is just a sample of over 30 company’s that pulled there ads from this show.
    Bank of America
    Campbell Soup Co
    Dell
    Estee Lauder
    General Motors
    Goodyear
    Green Mountain Coffee
    McDonalds
    Sears
    Wal-Mart

  14. Jim says:

    I have now officially switched my purchases from Menards and Home Depot to Lowes.
    Dog haters and eaters turn my stomach.

  15. Christine says:

    But in the beginning Lowes DID choose to spend their marketing money with the show. They HAD used their freedom of choice and apparently might have believed there was something positive about educating all Americans about our sameness and differentness. They just didn’t believe in their own beliefs strong enough. When threatened they believed more in their bottom line. Profit is very important to all businesses and I respect that without it companies do not survive. But I also look for companies and individuals that have figured out that their ideals and integrity matter and stick with what they believe in.

    Have you even met that Nick Russell guy? I think he has experienced similar situations where he has chosen to stick with his integrity rather than accept advertising or cave to pressure from readers who complain about his decisions……

  16. Robert Wang says:

    Gotta love hate in the name of religion.

  17. Jim Gass says:

    Great post as usual. Thank God Lowes’ still gives ALL present and past Veterans a 10% discount.

  18. Vegas Dave says:

    Thanks Again Nick…. I spend alot of money at Lowes, and will continue to do so..And I appreciate my 10% discount too. They are my kind of business……And your my kind of Edator

  19. Greg White says:

    If Lowe’s has to advertise on All-American Muslin’s, then CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) should have to advertise on Joel Osteen or Billy Graham.

  20. Dave says:

    The only religious authority I listen to is Bill Maher and unfortunately, Real Time is on winter break. That being said, no advertiser in their right mind wants to be involved in a controversy. It’s a lose-lose situation. It only makes sense to spend those precious ad bucks where they will further your goals of attracting customers. That’s why Lowes and those other companies jumped off the TLC wagon. Bigotry doesn’t have anything to do with it.

  21. Tom V says:

    You need to go to Michigan and see first hand what is being done to the community in the name of Allah. The United States needs to get some balls and stop all of this political correctness crap.

    Anthony W. how dare you compare Lowe’s shoppers to scum like the KKK.

  22. ken says:

    Me and my dog dixie , love Lowes. Some of the people working there know her by name. I get good service and my 10% discount! I go there about once every two weeks,but will now go every week
    or more. also Sears and any other on that list. I hope I don’t
    see any muslims,bill maher or dave, As I’m off my medication and
    don’t know what I might do! Ken T , Retired Hired Killer !

  23. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy BN,

    GO LOWES!!!!!!

  24. Larry says:

    Wow, finally a GREAT reason to shop at Lowes! Thanks Lowes!

  25. Marnin says:

    Reading some of these comments I hope I never ever meet some of the people here. Their bigotry, closed mindedness are really scary. People so easily forget how humanity inflicts injustice on people who are “NOT LIKE US”! Did anyone check up on the head of Florida Family Association? His name is David Caton, a reformed $300 a month porn addict who has found “Jesus” and now spouts off against anything that he feels threatens family values, i.e. gay rights. It is really scary how people throughout history blindly follow charismatic individuals rather than stop and question. I for one will not be shopping at Lowes. It is not a question of free enterprise, it’s a matter of buckling under to pressure from a group who espouses bigotry and hatred.

  26. Bonnie says:

    Take a good look at the faces of the boys just released from their chains in the basement of an Islamic school in Pakistan, where they were beaten and tortured and told to prepare for war in Afghanistan.(UK Daily Mail) Look at the face of the sobbing little boy and then tell us how Islam is just another mainstream religion and how we are narrow minded if we don’t believe it for one cotton picking second. It is not hatred or bigotry, it is reality. Muslims are not like the Baptists, elbowing their way to the all you can eat buffet after church on Sunday. To pretend that they are is plain foolish. To put it mildly, since I have just joined this forum.

  27. Laura says:

    My son just returned from his second tour in Afghanistan. I’d challenge any of you to sit and listen to him tell you about some of the things he saw over there and NOT believe that Islam is a cruel “religion.”

  28. Paul Stough says:

    Jim Carroll: “The Devil’s greatest accomplishment was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

    Paul

  29. bucky says:

    Living in Michigan I agree with Tom V, they will soon change the name of Dearborn Mi, and demand their own laws. Also I agree with Ken, about his loving dog. I would not trust any one, that mistreats man’s best friend..

    Lowes and the other companies, listed on one of the prior comments has the right to put their money where they wish. As to that protesting senator Ted Lieu (D), he should be removed from his goverment position, along with a lot of the other so called represenatives who have sold out the American people…

  30. Allan says:

    Go Lowes. I shop at Lowes often and they give veterns a discount that I appreciate. They can decide how they want to advertise without government interference. People from any group can petition a company if they don’t like something about the way that business is operated. The company has the right to pay attention to the petitions or not. Our country was built on free enterprise and it has helped make this country great.
    Sometimes people have been put down by calling them close minded because they believe in something strongly and don’t accept every viewpoint. The opposite are people that are so open minded and have no distinct beliefs or values, they blow like a leaf in the wind.

  31. Robert says:

    This is so perfect… The Daily Show Tues nite had a great segment on this topic. Enjoy.
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/fu.....nce-lessig

  32. Elaine Smith says:

    interesting read Nick. HoneyMan and I chose to stop shopping at Home Depot because of the types of organizations that they generously contribute to. Doesn’t fit with our personal belief system. We appreciate Lowe’s discount for veterans too. If people don’t like their choices, then “vote with your wallet”. Not near enough people/companies standing up for their beliefs these days. The fact that they didn’t until they were pressured into it doesn’t sit well with me though. btw it’s freedom OF religion not freedom FROM religion. (won’t even comment on the political involvement other than ludicrous!)bully for you Nick bringing up such a hot topic!

  33. Lori says:

    I have watched the show since it began. It is interesting to see how they practice their religion and how this has an effect on their community. The show doesn’t come across as pro or con, it jut seems to be putting it out there for us to observe. I would assume that it is not much different than any other strict religion has effected their communities. I’m thinking of Mormons (I live in Utah) and Hassidic Jews as examples. I have been told by “certain” Mormons that if I don’t like the way of life created by the Mormons in Utah, that I should feel free to leave. (luv ‘em or leave ‘em)
    I just wanted to put this out there. That the Muslims are not the only extreme religious group living in the USA.
    That being said, I think that companies should have the freedom to advertise with whomever they wish. I also think that the companies should be able to make their decisions based on their own policies and not be forced into decisions by the government. Maybe the companies make more income from the groups that want them to pull the advertising. Why should they have to risk making less money? Is our economy is being pushed further towards the grave for the sake of being PC? I wonder why California stepped in when the show is based in Michigan? After working for the federal government for over 10 years, I think I’m just tired of Big Brother watching and now putting his finger in our dough. Without washing his hands first, I might add!

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