After Target Caves on LGBT Grooming Merchandise, Gay Rights Group Likens Angry Consumers to the Proud Boys

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It’s a phenomenon that’s become so common in just the past two months that the media has coined a name for it: “BudLighting.”

“BudLighting” is defined by USA Today, with a typical flourish of lefty prose, as a “strategy … to crush so-called rainbow capitalism by branding companies as ‘woke’ and calling for boycotts over everything from Adidas’ gender-inclusive swimwear to a North Face marketing campaign featuring drag queen and environmentalist Pattie Gonia.”

To put it in less loaded terms, here’s the process: Brand X believes its customers are just as woke as the people who teach their DEI seminars and plans its marketing and merchandizing accordingly. Shockingly Brand X is very wrong — and, thanks to social media, the company’s non-woke customers find out about the affront to their values and shop accordingly.

Brand X moves swiftly to distance themselves from the scandal — let’s say, purely hypothetically, that it involves an ad campaign with transgender TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney — first quietly, then a bit more loudly. Not only do the customers still stay away, but now woke pressure groups descend like vultures. It’s the worst of both worlds.

The Brand X of the week is big-box store Target and its line of LGBT-themed merchandise for pride month. While this is pretty standard in this day and age, Target went a bit beyond the pale, introducing LGBT-themed clothes for children, a “tuck-friendly” swimsuit in the women’s section that allows male swimmers to discreetly hide the bulge that would ordinarily be there, and a line of apparel that was designed by an honest-to-goodness Satanist. (Although I must admit that one of his designs not featured by Target, a shirt which read “Satan Respects Pronouns,” is less pithy and more accurate than he might think.)

On Wednesday, WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, where Target is headquartered, reported the retailer was scaling back the LGBT-themed merchandise significantly, citing “threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work” in a statement. The move came after Target executives held what Fox News described in a Tuesday report as an “emergency meeting” to deal with consumer “outrage” over the grooming gear and other in-your-face culture war salvos included in the chain’s pride-month wares.

So, naturally, the Human Rights Campaign — a gay rights group — condemned Target and branded those who were opposed to the merchandise “conservative extremists” who were in league with the Proud Boys. Yes, seriously.

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