Target’s initiatives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and LGBTQ advocacy has reportedly included funding an organization–the NDN Collective–that proposes closing Mount Rushmore. According to the NDN Collective, Mt. Rushmore is “an international symbol of white supremacy.” Moreover, the organization seeks to “demilitarize the violent U.S. military” and “supports the destruction of Israel’s Jewish character through what is called the Palestinian ‘Law of Return’ and implementing economic warfare tactics against the Jewish State, such as boycotts and sanctions, to ‘Free Palestine.'”
The NDN Collective focuses on empowering indigenous communities through various means, including activism, grantmaking, and changing narratives. The group identifies as “intersectional,” asserting that structurally racist and misogynistic systems are inherent in America, intersecting with individuals to form layers of persecution. The organization endorses Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Green New Deal and describes the U.S. military as the world’s largest institutional polluter. The group has objected to Atlanta’s “cop city,” a police training center under construction.
Target’s DEI strategy has extended funding to other organizations, like the YWCA Minneapolis and the National Urban League. These groups aim to incorporate “racial equity” into local policy and advocate for laws restricting the Second Amendment and introducing alternative policing methods. Target CEO Brian Cornell asserted on CBS Mornings in 2022 that the DEI strategy had improved business performance, driving sales, and team engagement.
The company’s approach to the George Floyd protests and the destruction of its Minneapolis stores drew criticism. However, Target has pledged to learn from these experiences and launched a marketing campaign addressing the violence. Meanwhile, the retailer hasn’t responded to inquiries about its funding of over $2 million towards GLSEN, a K-12 education group that educates parents about their children’s gender transitions at school.
GLSEN, which has ties to Target’s executive team, distributes sexually explicit literature to schools free of charge and promotes gender ideology in all areas of public schooling. This has sparked controversy, especially in light of Target’s different handling of LGBTQ merchandise intended for children.