The Lowe’s Press Release that Should Have Been

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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57 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    You should send this to Lowe’s.Report

  2. E. D. Kain says:

    Too bad truth is stranger than fiction.Report

  3. Tom Van Dyke says:

    Oh, you nailed the corporatespeak, man.  The obstuseness too.  Save this one should you ever apply for a gig at a customer relations dept, or in government.Report

  4. Pyre says:

    Ooooo.  I largely like this except for the second and third paragraph.  Since Lowes, like many businesses, couldn’t give a damn what their customers think, they would make it more mushy and indistinct in the hopes of keeping AAM viewers while still trying to keep FFA members.  Something like:

    It is the FFA’s concern that the show is a misrepresentation and that they feel they cannot support Lowes while we support AAM.  We always appreciate feedback from our customers and we would like to take this opportunity to address their concerns as well as this boycott.

    It leads into why Lowes won’t drop support while not slamming the door on getting dollars from any FFA member who decides to break ranks or, like people who eat Chick-Fil-A, don’t care.Report

  5. George T says:

    I have to agree with Lowe’s on this one.   Last time I was at Lowe’s I noticed a Muslim guy in the paint department.

    He was buying a 5 gallon bucket and a paint paddle (obviously to mix explosives) plastic drop cloths (obviously to wrap the explosives in) masking tape (to tape the bomb to his chest – duh), paint thinner (obviously the key ingredient in whatever jihadi explosives recipe he got from his imam), paint and paintbrushes (undoubtedly to make “Death to America!” posters to decorate his jihadist bomb factory).

    As a good Christian who knows how these Muslims think, I didn’t sit idly by, oh no.  I started beating him with a plastic paint roller like I’d been possessed by Jesus power, screaming “He’s buildin’ al-qaeda bombs!” till management showed up and pulled me off him.

    A foiled his little plot, but needless to say I won’t be shopping at Lowe’s anymore, not until they improve security so crazy-eyed Muslim bomb makers can just waltz in and have the run of the paint section.




    • Tom Van Dyke in reply to George T says:

      How do you know he was a Muslim?  A tattoo on his forehead?  You clearly profiled him, you racist.  We don’t need your kind around here.Report

      • George T in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

        Them folks with forehead tattoos is Hindu.  This guy had a turban.

        As one who frequents the garden section at Lowe’s, examining their lawnmowers with a critical eye, I sure as heck know the difference between a push-start and a pull-start.

        I’d seen him before working down at the airport when I took a flight to Branson Missouri.  I didn’t like him when he was waving that wand thing all over me, and I sure don’t want him in the paint section of my American home improvement store, where good Christian folks go to update their homes with the latest innovations found in the pages of “Southern Living.”


        • Tom Van Dyke in reply to George T says:

          Oh, you can tell just by looking, huh?  Well, I guess you racists can tell a Muslim from a Sikh.  You’re good at that stuff.Report

          • George T in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            Easy peasy.  Sikh turbans are different, are never red or green, and always cover their ears.  See, over there turbans identify region, class, and religion even better than baseball caps do over here.  So you got to learn your good turbans from your bad turbans, especially what the Army calls the TBIED (Turban borne IED).



  6. Rufus F. says:

    Do you think hardware store shoppers have any particular cultural leanings? I never thought about it until we were at a breast cancer run sponsored by a gay and lesbian organization and they were making jokes about lesbians being really into hardware and home repairs. So, if there are particular religious, sexual, or political leanings of hardware shoppers, I’d imagine Lowe’s would know them and perhaps they just figured they’d alienate some group that doesn’t shop there and please some group that does. That sort of makes sense.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Rufus F. says:

      I would expect the average hardware shopper to be more likely right of center than left. Ironically, though, I know some people that swear by Lowe’s (over Home Depot) and to the man they are left of center. I sort of got the impression that it there was a cultural thing going on, like Lowe’s is to Home Depot as Target is to Walmart or CostCo is to Sam’s Club. Lowe’s also supposedly has a progressive environmental policy.

      To the extent that I am not wrong about the above (and I might be), it makes Lowe’s decision all the more puzzling.

      Unless, hardware shoppers lean so far to the right that being the most liberal (or whatever) hardware dealer still means you have to bend over backwards for conservatives.

      Most likely, though, they just didn’t want a fight in either direction, not realizing that one was coming regardless.Report

      • Muslims to boycott Lowe’s?  The circle closes.

        Not that I’d blame them in the least, mind you, but it makes the whole boycotts thang more complicated.

        The broader Muslim American community is also considering taking action, said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Muslim community leaders and interfaith groups were meeting to discuss boycotts, petitions, rallies and other forms of protest against Lowe’s, he said.

        Oh, I’m sure the moral code will be promulgated, the directives issued.  It’s OK if P, D & Q, but not X, Y & Z.    Check.Report

        • If the only effect of all of this is a Muslim boycott, that’s a near best-case scenario. The entry about it on their Wikipedia page will hurt them more. The worst-case is that it will leave a really bad taste in the mouth of people like my liberal friends who were talking the place up.

          Anyhow, it doesn’t complicate things for me much, since my primary objection to the boycott was what they were boycotting. So I’ve got no problem supporting one boycott and opposing another. (Though, per the first paragraph, I think a Muslim boycott to be rather… ineffectual).Report

  7. Scott says:


    Great job, you couldn’t have misstated and distorted FAA’s  position any better if you were trying to.  Funny how liberals always claim they want to look at both sides of an issue and then a situation like this comes around and we start hearing about  bigotry and racism. I guess making false claims about what the other side is saying is easier than actually thinking about their positionReport

    • George T in reply to Scott says:

      How did the FAA get dragged into this discussion?  Well, other than the little issue they had with people from a certain region taking over airliners and deviating from the scheduled routes.  ^_^



    • Pierre Corneille in reply to Scott says:

      Like George T., I, too, am perplexed about dragging the FAA into this.

      But how exactly does Mr. Kelly misrepresent the FFA?  In his prior post, Mr. Kelly considered their position and posted it for all us readers to see, so we could make our own determination.

      Looking at both sides of the controversy, as Mr. Kelly did, does not mean “not taking a side.”Report

    • James Hanley in reply to Scott says:

      Noticeably, Scott doesn’t even try to explain and defend FFA’s position.  He just plays that cheap game of turning the focus on the critics, vaguely critiquing them for unspecified distortions, trying to put them on the defensive.Report

      • Scott in reply to James Hanley says:


        BS, I’ve written several times in the original thread about the FFA’s position, I guess that you couldn’t be bothered to read them but I’ll post it one more time for you and Todd. The FFA wants the TV program to feature all different types of  Muslim families not just the hand picked culturally integrated ones the show chooses to feature. Folks like Tod want to have it both ways, they want the show to be able to show whatever it wants and for no one to object to it. So sorry.Report

        • James Hanley in reply to Scott says:

          different types of  Muslim families

          Yeah, Scott, and I want Jersey Shore  to feature all types of New Jerseyans,   Funny how television never really works that way, but somehow it’s supposed to in this one particular case.

           not just the … culturally integrated ones 

          LOfishinL!  Here’s a tip, friend, when you’re trying to demonstrate that you’re  not bigoted, don’t put your bigotry front and center in your explanations!

          Your whole statement could be rewritten as, “We want the Cosby Show to feature all different types of  black families not just the hand picked upper middle class ones the show chooses to feature.”  The meaning is exactly the same–only the names are changed.





          • Scott in reply to James Hanley says:


            Bravo, like Tod, this of course has to be all about bigotry and racism.  You guys just can’t get away from that bone can you? I guess it is easier than actually thinking about why the FFA is protesting.  Usually when only one side of an issue or subject is show we call it propaganda. Watch AAM, and you would think that all Muslims in the US are just like the ones in the show and which all know not to be the case.Report

            • James Hanley in reply to Scott says:

              Watch AAM, and you would think that all Muslims in the US are just like the ones in the show and which all know not to be the case.

              Why do I suspect neither you nor the FFA would be whining so much if the show just depicted a non-assimilated madrasha-attending Wahabbist Muslim family?

              Because you’re a bigot.  You can whine all you want about us playing the bigot card, but that’s a pathetic defense when you are in fact demonstrating your bigotry. I call a spade a spade.Report

              • Scott in reply to James Hanley says:


                So I’m a bigot b/c I ask that the show  depict all aspects of the community not just the hand picked ones?  That is a strange definition of bigotry.  I know that one extreme or the other doesn’t represent an entire group of people but pretending that extremists don’t exist in a group just isn’t reality.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Scott says:

                A poke through the actual data and not Pew’s gloss on it is helpful.

                Had the show reflected that 61% of Muslims in the US think homosexuality should be “discouraged,” The FFA would have bought an ad on the damn show themselves!


              • Johanna in reply to Scott says:

                Yes – Time for beginning “All My Hutaree” because white extremist groups are represented on TV. Since when is “Reality TV” really based in reality.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to Scott says:


                It’s a show about a particular family.  It doesn’t have to show the whole range of the group that family belongs to.  Hardly any reality TV show does, so you’re trying to hold this show to a different standard than any other because it doesn’t show the negative examples within that community.

                Yes, that’s bigotry.  If you applied this standard generally, instead of just selectively against a group you dislike, you’d be demanding that “Little People, Big World,” about a very nice, quietly Christian, hard-working family of dwarves would also include <a href=””>Bridget the Midget</a>.  Because you do not apply this as a general rule, but only as a special rule for a group you dislike, it clearly is bigotry.Report

          • George T in reply to James Hanley says:

            Hey, no network should present a Muslim version of “The Cosby’s” without having first laid the proper groundwork with “Shaft”, “Sanford and Son”, “Good Times”, and “The Jeffersons.”  The The Learning Channel shouldn’t leap all the way to breaking down a stereotype if it hasn’t put in the hard work of building the stereotype.

            Secondly, it’s unfair to all the violent Islamist extremists.  Can you imagine the pain of black rappers and gangstas if, on top of all their other problems, they had to fight back against the stereotype that they’re all just a bunch of highly educated, well-adjusted Huxtables?  Even ho’s wouldn’t give ’em no respect, because deep down they’d think the pimp hand ain’t strong.  How can a struggling jihadist get people to take his death threats seriously if everybody dismisses him as a shy wallflower who wouldn’t hurt a puppy?

            By airing this apologist Muslim Cosby show, TLC is disempowering the very people who are struggling the hardest to throw off the vestiges of Western Imperialism and drown us in a sea of fire.  It’s a clear existential threat to Islamic extremists everywhere, and disrespects the thousands of crazed jihadists who have martyred themselves for reasons that probably seemed really important to crazed jihadists.

            So on this issue, I think radical Christians and radical Muslims can find common ground and continue shopping at Lowe’s, whether for boards and paint for Jihadist or anti-Muslim protest signs, or for home repair items to rebuild in the aftermath of riots, bombings, looting, and arson caused by TLC’s unfortunate decision to go the full Cosby.Report

            • wardsmith in reply to George T says:

              George, now that I’m into my Maker’s Mark (official drink of evil whites everywhere) I find your posts incredibly hilarious. Keep up the good work me man! Bob said times were tough so he was drinking Jim Beam, but hey, Beam knows how to make the good stuff, they just don’t always know how to share nice.Report

              • George T in reply to wardsmith says:

                I’m glad someone appreciates satire and good whisky.  😀

                I used to own a really good book on the history of Makers Mark, including their best ads.   (I’m in Kentucky where all whisky is local, except for that stuff from Tennesse).  Right now they’re in court to decide whether their red wax dip is a valid trademark, or whether other whisky makers can use it.

                As your evening rolls along, and given that Saudi Arabia has announced plans to start its own nuclear program to offset the threat from Iran’s, perhaps you should take some Maker’s and invent a drink called “The Wahabi Bomb.”   Sure, it sounds like a shot you’d order in sushi restaurant, so it’ll have to include some wasabi.

                I’m thinking wasabi, whisky (haram), a little bacon crumble (haram) or a bit of land crab (haram), and some gelatin (haram), along with anything else you care to throw in.  Then when a Saudi asks for a Wahabi bomb, we could so, “No, you can’t have a Wahabi bomb.  It was forbidden in the Quran.”



              • Chris in reply to George T says:

                George, true story: in 1996, Maker’s Mark released a special edition bottle with white wax and a blue label meant to resemble the (ill-conceived) denim jerseys of the University of Kentucky’s national champion men’s basketball team. I happened to be a student at said university at the time, and my roomate’s father got it into his head that he was going to buy a whole hell of a lot of those bottles as an investment. His wife (my roomate’s mother) apparently wasn’t happy with this, and made him give the bottles away. My roomate got more than a dozen of them, and we drank a whole lot of Maker’s Mark for an extended period of time. I’ve probably had Maker’s Mark 3 times since, because it calls to mind some of the worst hangovers I’ve ever had.


                This has nothing to do with the fact that TLC has chosen to have a show about tattoo artists without including the ones who sell drugs, or otherwise fully representing the entire population of tattoo artists. Also, there’s a show about a couple with 19 kids which fails to represent the entire range of people with 19 kids.Report

              • George T in reply to Chris says:

                I think the UK bottle I had was 1998.  The 1996 bottles usually sell for over $100, sometimes $200!

                Anyway, the Arabs gave us coffee and distilled spirits, and the Babylonians (now Iraqis) gave us beer.  Now they’re stuck drinking Coca-Cola and Evian water.  No wonder they’re upset.


              • Burt Likko in reply to wardsmith says:

                Wardsmith‘s comment is relevant to my interests.Report

  8. I’m of two minds about this fictional press release.  One the one hand, I agree with the message.  On the other hand, a formal press release seems to me to give the FFA a major shout-out it might not otherwise enjoy.  I realize that the fact that so many businesses have already pulled their ads–if I understand your other post correctly–has perhaps already given the FFA a megaphone and such a press release would probably do more good than harm


  9. Tod Kelly says:

    Yeah, I think you guys are wasting your breath here. I don’t think Scott actually reads the posts; I think he just has stuff he wants to make sure gets said in the debate.Report

    • Scott in reply to Tod Kelly says:


      Whatever, you are too busy making false accusation of racism and bigotry to respond to the the FFA’s actual position and not what you would like to think they believe.Report

    • Scott in reply to Tod Kelly says:


      Here, I forgot the link to the FFA’s, real position.  I’m sure you will be able to find the secret racist and bigoted subtext.


      • Tod Kelly in reply to Scott says:

        A. this does not link to anything

        B. you’ll need to also give me a link to where I called anyone in this mess a racist.

        other than that, though, spot on.Report

        • Scott in reply to Tod Kelly says:


          A. The FFA’s website is now down, I’m sure due to a free speech loving liberal.

          B. You and others have done everything you can to play the race card in this discussion.Report

          • James Hanley in reply to Scott says:


            It’s “bigotry.”  Racism is a subset of bigotry, which means that when we’re talking about bigotry it’s not necessarily about race, but it’s usually just as bad.

            I noticed that FFA’s website, the one page there is of it right now, asserts the claim that “terrorism is a way of life for some folks.”  In the context of the issue here, the show All American Muslim, it’s a pretty strong signal that they want us to believe that the normal American Muslim is a terrorist.

            Instead of living in of Muslims because of your misconceptions, be brave enough to challenge your preconceptions and learn who American Muslims really are? As it turns out, the family in All American Muslim really is the norm.Report

            • Scott in reply to James Hanley says:


              ” As it turns out, the family in All American Muslim really is the norm.”

              According to whom, you or the show’s producers?  Do you have any proof that they are really the norm or is that just your opinion that you would like us to believe b/c you say so?Report

              • Scott in reply to Scott says:


                Ok, I saw the linked portion.  I unlike some can admit that I posted before I saw the link.Report

              • BSK in reply to Scott says:


                Can you answer the following questions:

                1.  Do you feel that every show ought to show every side of every issue and every possible representation of every group showcased?

                2.  If your answer to question #1 is “No”, why do you insist so steadfastly that AAM be held to this standard?Report

              • James Hanley in reply to BSK says:

                There’s an irony lurking in Scott’s and the FFA’s criticism. They seem to want terrorist-loving, sharia-law supporting Muslims to be portrayed as “All American”!Report

              • BSK in reply to James Hanley says:

                Furthermore, they want them to exist!  What if TLC said, “We can’t find a single terrorist-loving, American-hating Muslim in America.”*  You would think most people would be relieved to hear this.  But my hunch is Scott, FFA, and others would be dismayed that their bogeyman-du-jour is gone (or never existed in the first place).


                * I’m sure there do exist Muslims in America who support terrorists and/or hate America.  I doubt they are eager to go on American TV to be documented.Report

  10. Kris says:

    I would like to submit Scott as anecdotal evidence that Islamophobia is the most virulent form of racism alive in America today. (Of course anecdotal evidence is worthless, so I say this more to raise a possibility than to level an argument.)

    The pew data shows that the families in the show are normal Islamic Americans. (A little common sense and worldliness would do the same, BTW.) Scott believes otherwise, despite no data to the contrary. He has heard a few horror stories and assumed that large portions of a group all possess certain negative characteristics. That’s bigotry in a nutshell.

    The fact that Lowes folded shows that they believe this form of racism or bigotry is incredibly common, too. That is, Lowes is worried about the prevalence of Islamophobia, for certain.Report

  11. tjzbears says:

    Low ratings, no one watching this show, results in no advertizing….costs money?? I stand with Lowe’s and another company that runs its company the way they see fit and NOT cow tow to a people who hate us but stay in OUR COUNTRY”” GTHO if you don’t like it. Stop calling us Racist….just show’s what idi-t’s you are.
    P.S. Went to Lowe’s yesterday wearing my ” I support Lowe’s business decisions”
    A grandma in VaReport

    • Tod Kelly in reply to tjzbears says:

      Ma’am, two things: first, I have not called you (or anyone else) a racist regarding this controversy.

      Second, when you talk about those on that show staying in “[y]our country-” you’re aware that being American citizens, it’s their country as well, yes?Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Heh.   I strongly suspect your leg is being pulled here.   Or some other part of your anatomy.

        GTHO Grandma’s argument is the same as the Taliban’s argument.   Just change the sign on the Islamic term and they’re perfectly congruent.   At any rate, you’re making the right sorts of enemies.Report

  12. LaureenMillarHolt says:

    I am glad that Lowe’s did what it did, & cancelled its advertising for this propagandistic show. Now, these people are all out there “protesting” & calling Lowe’s “bigot.” Favorite word of those who happen to disagree w/you. Lowe’s did the right thing, & TLC needs to cancel this show.Report

    • Are people calling Lowe’s bigoted? I had not heard this; if they are, I would agree that such would not in fact be correct.Report

      • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        They are, in fact.  Facebook messages with a link and, “Lowe’s is bigoted/racist!” have trolled through my eyesight in the last few days.

        I do dispute Laureen’s characterization of the show as “propagandistic”.  “Silly and boring” are accurate, though.Report

        • I haven’t seen the show, but am willing to go out on a limb and use “silly and boring” simply on the basis of it being reality tv.

          The reach that Lowe’s reacted the way it did because “it’s racist” is a bit eye-rolling, of course.  But perhaps further proof that the way that they keep reacting in knee jerk panicked reactions with the press is going to hurt them far more than if they had just ignored the FFA.Report