Does Lowe’s Stand for King's “Beloved Community” or with Naked Bigotry?
This morning, ADC sent the letter below (PDF) to the Chairman & CEO of Lowe's, Mr. Robert Niblock, in response to his decision to pull ads from TLC’s “All-American Muslim.”
December 13, 2011
Mr. Robert Niblock, Chairman & CEO
Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
1000 Lowe’s Blvd.
Mooresville, NC 28117
Dear Mr. Niblock:
On behalf of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation’s largest Arab American civil rights organization, I am writing to express our extreme disappointment at your decision to pull advertising from TLC’s “All-American Muslim.”
At its best, the United States is a country that upholds the ideals of tolerance, diversity, community, and interfaith understanding. As Americans, we express these ideals every day as citizens of different ethnicities, nationalities and faiths live and work together, and learn about each other’s distinctive beliefs, traditions, and challenges. In so doing, we move our nation ever closer to being what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the beloved community” in which people from different backgrounds live in peace and harmony. By highlighting for Americans the circumstances of some of our country’s American Muslim and Arab American citizens, “All-American Muslim” advances these important ideals and helps to unite our nation.
Unfortunately, some citizens who still suffer from and spread the disease of bigotry attempt to divide our nation into conflicting factions. And so, in the case of “All-American” Muslim, a fringe group from Florida with no credibility or legitimacy, but instead a history of bigotry and intolerance, called upon advertisers to boycott the show.
The response of Lowe’s – and indeed every advertiser – should have been even prouder sponsorship and indeed moral leadership to make clear that Lowe’s stands for the beloved community, not naked bigotry, in America. Such leadership would have earned Lowe’s customer respect and a stronger brand. By taking the opposite course and pulling your ads, Lowe’s has demonstrated moral cowardice rather than courage. In so doing, you have lost countless customers and have irrevocably damaged your brand among millions of Americans.
To begin to undo the enormous damage that your indefensible decision has produced and to remedy the hurt that you have caused millions of American Muslims, ADC demands that Lowe’s (a) issue an unequivocal public apology for your decision to pull ads from “All-American Muslim” and (b) take serious action to demonstrate your commitment to diversity and religious tolerance in America.
NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non-profit, non-sectarian and non-partisan, is the largest grassroots Arab-American civil rights and civil liberties organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 by former Senator James Abourezk. ADC has a national network of chapters and members in all 50 states.