Prof claims boycotting Target is 'literal terrorism'

June 2, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A professor at the University of Michigan is claiming that conservatives boycotting Target over its advocacy for the LGBT lifestyle, especially its displays of clothing that promote the transgender ideology is "literal terrorism."

Economics teacher Justin Wolfers said, "[If] Targets caves into this, then it says that the moment you threaten the employees of even a very large corporation, you get to control its politics. 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."

But a commentary from constitutional expert Jonathan Turley pointed out "Wolfers did not object to past boycotts of companies like Twitter after Elon Musk sought to dismantle its censorship bureaucracy. He did not object to boycotts of Republican states over their laws concerning abortion, election integrity, or gender transitioning.

Wolfers, after seeing his own words, backtracked.

To Turley, he explained, "It's false to say (as you do) that 'Wolfers now claims that boycotts are 'literal terrorism' because they are 'forcing the corporations to sell the things you want, not sell the things you don't.' I distinguish between consumer boycotting, and folks like [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis who use the machinery of the state to bully corporations, as the latter concerns me more. (This used to be a standard conservative position.)"

Turley explained that Wolfers was concerned about "the intimidation of Target workers" and calling that "terrorism."

"He insists that 'it's the (possibility) of threats of violence that I describe as terrorism (ie the use of terror), not the boycott."

But Turley cited other instances where the rhetoric appears to be concerning.

"In New York, a pro-life display was declared by a professor to be an act of 'violence.' In Colorado, a university site warned that misgendering is violence. It is part of a national pattern on campuses where opposing views are declared 'harmful' or 'violent' as a justification for censorship or even violence," he explained.

Target, because of its LGBT partisanship, has lost an estimated $13 billion in value over the last few days, and has become "the latest example of a corporation that is being 'Bud Lighted' over its link to LGBTQ+ efforts," Turley wrote.

Anheuser-Busch has reported a drop in value of tens of billions after it partnered with a transgender on the promotion of its beer.

Turley added, "In fairness to Professor Wolfers, he acknowledges in the interview that 'we do have groups all the time that protest by boycotting, and that’s their democratic right to do so.'"

And he pointed out, "Wolfers was one of the figures leading the mob against UChicago economist Harald Uhlig, who was discussed earlier. I quoted Wolfers as one of those seeking the removal of Uhlig from a leading economics journal because he criticized Black Lives Matter and the movement to Defund The Police."

Turley explained, "Boycotts have long been an important form of political speech extending back to the colonial protests against the British stamp and tea taxes. Indeed, the left has targeted advertisers and boycotted companies to pressure corporate officials to change their policies. Twitter was targeted when Elon Musk sought to dismantle the company’s massive censorship operation. Now, however, boycotts are acts of terrorism when used against some of those policies."

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