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Economics professor: Boycott of Target over ‘Pride’ clothing is ‘literal terrorism’

A University of Michigan economics professor recently opined that boycotting the store Target over its line of LGBTQ+ “Pride” clothing is “literal terrorism.”

The retail giant had pulled its Pride line from various stores “at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior,” according to Newsweek

A Target spokesperson said the move was in response to “threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing.”

Appearing on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour,” “surfer dude” Justin Wolfers (pictured) said if Target follows this up with similar actions at other stores, it means the company has lost control of its marketing policies.

“[If] Target caves into this, then it says that the moment you threaten the employees of even a very large corporation, you get to control its policies,” Wolfers said. “This is economic terrorism, literally terrorism, creating fear among the workers and forcing the corporations to sell the things you want, not sell the things you don’t.”

MORE: Princeton fires tenured professor who criticized black terrorism

Target hasn’t offered many specifics about the threats its stores allegedly had received; in fact, the Associated Press recently quietly revised “uncredited claims” about “threats to [Target] workers and violent confrontations between customers and employees,” Just The News reports.

On the other hand, there have been specific reports about bomb threats made to Target stores — but in reaction to its removal of the Pride line.

“Target is full of…cowards who turned their back on the LGBT community and decided to cater to the homophobic right wing redneck bigots who protested and vandalized their store,” read one email threat. “We won’t stand idly by as the far right continues to hunt us down.”

While any credible threats of physical violence should be condemned no matter the source, Wolfers using “terrorism” to describe consumers’ decision to not spend money somewhere is akin to conservative parents being investigated as “domestic terrorists” for merely taking part in the democratic process (among other instances).

Wolfers, a native of Australia, doesn’t seem concerned about free speech rights if the speech isn’t aligned with his beliefs. An internet search shows Wolfers didn’t appear to offer comment on “economic terrorism” when California boycotted states with “anti-LGBTQ” laws, nor about the economic effects of the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star game being moved out of Atlanta due to Georgia’s allegedly “disenfranchising” voting laws.

In addition, Wolfers blasted U. Chicago economist Harald Uhlig in a lengthy 2020 Twitter rant over his denunciations of efforts to defund police departments.

MORE: UMich contradicts Wolfers’ claim that department’s office doors are getting gender pronouns

IMAGE: U. Michigan screencap

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.