Boycott Target Stores
Other FM Boycotts.
Subject: Veterans Not Worthy
By Dick Forrey, Vietnam Veterans Association
We asked our local Target store to be a sponsor of the
Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall during our spring recognition event. We
received back a reply from Target management that "veterans do not meet
area of giving. We only donate to the areas of arts, social actions and
education. " My thought: if the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and the
Vietnam veteran himself, does not meet the criteria of these areas,
something is wrong at Target. We were not asking for thousands of
dollars,not even hundreds, but simply sponsorship endorsement for a
"memorial remembrance". As follow-up, I e-mailed the corporate
and their response was the same.
Personally, I will NOT be buying anything at Target Stores again.
If the Vietnam Veteran does not meet their area of giving
then why should I,as a Vietnam veteran, spend my hard earned money in
Please pass this on to as many people as you know.
Maybe Target and other businesses will get the message.
Veterans Helping Veterans
Joseph Rodriguez says he learned the meaning of the white-power code
"88" from a documentary on racist rock music.
Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer
Target orders racist apparel out of stores
By Nancy Weaver Teichert and Sam Stanton -- Bee Staff Writers
Published 2:15 a.m. PDT Wednesday, August 28, 2002
A Davis resident, shocked to find clothing with white supremacist
symbols at a Target store, triggered a nationwide alert Tuesday by
one of the country's largest discount chains.
Target Stores of Minneapolis issued a call to all 1,100 stores
nationwide to stop selling clothing printed with "eight eight" and
"88" -- code among neo-Nazis for "Heil Hitler" because H is the
eighth letter of the alphabet.
Joseph Rodriguez, a video-producer for the University of California,
Davis, learned the meaning of the white power code from a documentary
on racist rock music.
He was stunned in June when he found the type in the fabric pattern
of a pair of red shorts he pulled from a rack at the Elk Grove Target
"I know what it means," said Rodriguez, who bought the shorts and
took them to the store manager to complain. "That frightens me that
it's out there."
Target officials said they first learned what the symbols meant
Monday night when information about Rodriguez's complaints was put on
a Web site of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nationwide tracker
of racist organizations.
"Nobody knew what it meant," said Carolyn Brookter, director of
corporate communications for Target. "We certainly apologize that
this was out there. We would not have any white supremacist symbols
out selling as merchandise."
But Rodriguez said the Elk Grove manager told him the store sells
what it is shipped.
Rodriguez said he then complained to Target's corporate office and
was "blown off."
So Rodriguez enlisted the help of the Southern Poverty Law Center,
which campaigns against racism and runs an educational Web site,
In addition to removing the clothing from summer clearance racks,
Target will conduct a campaign to teach store buyers and advertisers
about such symbols, Brookter said.
She said Target is sorry Rodriguez's complaints were not brought to
her attention earlier. Customer relations personnel will be alerted
about the need to act quickly on such issues, she said.
The baseball caps and shorts were manufactured by UTILITY, one of
Target's private labels. Brookter said the store's buyer will look
into how the offending type came to be used.
Jennifer Holladay, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's
tolerance project, said she was pleased the merchandise was being
pulled from Target's shelves.
"We never want neo-Nazi regalia to become part of mainstream
fashion," she said. "It can send very dangerous messages. It perhaps
gives members of hate groups and neo-Nazi groups in the U.S. an
Holladay said people who have bought the clothing could be sending a
message to white supremacists that they endorse those beliefs.
After his initial complaint in June, Rodriguez said he returned to
the Elk Grove store a couple of weeks ago and found two more pairs of
shorts with the symbols in the children's department.
The Elk Grove store did not return The Bee's telephone call, but
Sacramento's Target store removed all the merchandise after Rodriguez
brought it to their attention in June.
"We're a family-oriented store," said assistant manager Todd
Blackwell. "We took them off our shelves. We sent e-mails out to the
Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and
Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, said "88"
is common among supremacists in graffiti and is a popular tattoo.
The Anti-Defamation League also has identified 88 as a sign of neo-
Nazi groups that is often found on hate group fliers and used in the
greetings and closings of letters.
Levin said such symbols often are co-opted by mainstream society,
noting that a form of the German Iron Cross is popular among
skateboarders and surfers who have no ties to white supremacists. The
cross was a German military symbol long before it became closely tied
to Hitler and his Third Reich.
"A lot of the symbols that white supremacists use are borrowed from
mainstream culture, so there is a fair amount of cross-pollination,"
But, Levin added, "The terrible thing here is the 88 symbol is a hard-
core and highly distinctive neo-Nazi symbol, and for this to be on
the shelves is an abomination."
Rodriguez was pleased with Target's response Tuesday, but was sorry
that the store didn't act sooner. He hopes Target stores will help
teach parents about the dangers of such symbols.
As a chairman with the Hispanic Staff Association at UC Davis,
Rodriguez said he and others are planning brown-bag lunch sessions on
the hidden signs of racism.
"It's in our home. It's all around us," said Rodriguez.
"It upset me that half a mile down the freeway, there was a store
selling merchandise that represents white supremacy groups that want
to see me and people of color dead."