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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Christians Boycott Ford

The Christian group American Family Association has organized a boycott of Ford Motor Co., based on Ford's support for homosexual groups and targeted marketing to gay consumers. One of the more bizarre claims on the web site:

Ford held the first automotive conference aimed at bringing diversity to the car industry. "Diversity" is a code word for homosexuality. By defining themselves as a minority such as African-Americans, homosexual activists seek to bolster their claims of needing special treatment.

Now, I am a conservative, and I am a supporter of what you might call "traditional family values", but this argument is a stretch. Ford, like all other major companies, have jumped on the "diversity" bandwagon as a way to reach two constituencies: minority employees, and minority consumers. Diversity outreach is a more benign form of affirmative action, the less benign form of course being hiring quotas. Ford is doing what every other major company is doing--trying to attract minority employees, so that it can not be attacked by the Left or by the EEOC, for being a racist corporation.

I am not a fan of corporate support for gay marriage, gay pride parades, etc. However, boycotting Ford will have no significant impact on the company, or any other company for that matter. Did Disney roll over when the AFA declared a boycott? (not really)

On the other hand, hurting Ford will hurt many things that the AFA supports. Ford gives quite a lot of money to traditional philanthropic causes, such as historical preservation, the Red Cross, United Way, etc. The amount of money that Ford gives to non-controversial causes is probably an order of magnitude more than what it spends on gay issues.

Consumers are the other side of the issue. Ford, like all other companies, must market its products to a very diverse market. A way to do this is to target advertising to specific communities, whether they be Chinese, Spanish speaking, or gay. If this is done effectively, Ford can gain an edge on competitors who do not make the effort. It is just good business. Ford advertising to homosexuals is not necessarily an advocacy of their life style. Targeted advertisements would not, if done properly, be seen by the AFA's members.

Update: Ford supports Christian employees internally through the Ford Interfaith Network, an employee run but company sponsored group that organizes religious events and Bible study. Ford allows the various religious denominations to use Ford property to hold meetings, publicize events, etc.


Anonymous said...

Go Ford! I hope their sales pick way up.

Every time people talk about "Protecting marriage" I always have to remind them that technically that means they should be against divorce. After all, the Bible is as much against divorce as it is homosexuality.

Big Ford Fan said...

I agree with much of what you say, I lean toward the "Conservative" side on many things, but maybe being a New Yorker and having quite a few gay friends and even family members, I am always angered by things like this. I wish I had been more eloquent on my post yesterday, when I wrote about this, my language was a little coarse. But Ford is doing no more than any large corporation and acting in it's own best interest. To ignore the "Gay dollars" is to be foolish. Many gay couples are slightly more afluent than their straight counterparts, and are now a recognized buying force.
After doing a little checking, it confuses me as to why they targeted Ford, it seems that Saab, Saturn and Subaru do as much or more marketing toward the Gay community than Ford. With GM owning Saab and Saturn, why not boycott them? Most of the Lesbians I know drive Hondas or Subarus, why not boycott them?

I think if more rational people stood up to these fanatical groups, this country would be a better place. It's always the vocal minority that gets heard, because the silent majority can't be bothered to speak up.

I'm sure if Ford offered the AFA a nice grant, they would go away.

Anonymous said...

I am a Christian, and a somewhat conservative one, and I am not pro-homosexual by any standards (but I do have some friends who are gay, even though I don't necessarily agree with their lifestyle). But I think that the AFA coming out with something like this really isn't doing anyone any good. It just makes Christians look bad.

the editor said...

car lover's and Christians... consider these are hypocrites... exposed here...