As many of you are well aware, Lowe's pulled their ads from The Learning Channel's "All-American Muslim." Or, perhaps a better way to say it is that they allowed themselves to be bullied into accepting idea that there is something inherently controversial about showing American Muslims in a "moderate" light.
While it may be natural (and deserved) to mock, scorn, protest, or boycott Lowe's for buying into this broken logic, we must acknowledge that they as a company have the right to do so. Lowe's can, with little thought of the implications of their actions, give in to the highly un-American idea that being Muslim and being Americans are mutually exclusive and spread (perhaps unintentionally) that message by pulling their commercials from "All-American Muslim."
Clearly Lowe's is not interesting in being the home improvement store for religious freedom, or where I buy Christmas presents. In fact, this afternoon, my fiance explained to her dad why her step-mother would be driving an extra 15 minutes to Home Depot to redeem a giftcard, rather than the closer Lowe's. Perhaps this is where the answer lies.
Let us speak, using the power of the free market to demonstrate that stores that choose to single out Muslims will lose in the marketplace of ideas and goods alike. We should go a step beyond boycotts and protests, and instead demonstrate our disgust with Lowe's not only by patronizing alternative stores but by concentrating our purchasing power in a store willing to pick up the advertising time that Lowe's dropped in "All-American Muslim."
We think that store can be Home Depot. Not because it's shown itself to be somehow special or fantastic, but because it's such a fierce competitor of Lowe's. We think that if enough people commit to buying from the store that purchases Lowe's advertising on "All-American Muslim," we can draft Home Depot.
We at Religious Freedom USA, an initiative I co-founded with my friend Josh Stanton, have started a petition to draft Home Depot to pick up the advertising slots. Let's see if we can use market power to promote pluralism. Our power as consumers and open-minded individuals should go together.
Greetings Frank Blake,
I just signed the following petition asking you, as CEO of Lowe's, to support religious freedom in America by purchasing advertising on TLC's All-American Muslim.
Lowe's recently pulled its advertising from the popular television show "All-American Muslim," bowing to the pressure of Islamophobes. It is unworthy of our business as Americans who care about the stories of all American religious communities.
We now need a new place to shop, as we approach the new year. Help us make Home Depot to be the tolerant alternative!
We are asking Home Depot to buy the spots on "All-American Muslim" that Lowe's used to purchase. If they do so, those who sign this petition commit to turning first to Home Depot as our home, appliance and hardware store in 2012. We shop tolerantly -- and want Home Depot to be our go-to store for religious freedom.