Sweatshop retailer hires lesbian, donates thousands to homophobic politicians
According to my Facebook & Twitter feeds, I’m supposed to be inspired that J.C. Penney is forward-thinking enough to have an openly gay spokesperson in Ellen DeGeneres. It is kind of cool that the company didn’t capitulate to the puritanical zealots calling for her dismissal. And it wasn’t just a savvy business move to retain the popular talk show host and trendsetter, says J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson, “because she shares the same values that we do in our company.”
Unfortunately, DeGeneres shares values with a company that gives money to bigoted Republican assholes.
For some goddamn reason, J.C. Penney has a political action committee. Compared to some of the other heavily monied behemoths currently subverting our democracy, PennyPAC is relatively insignificant. They’ve donated a mere $21,000 to federal elections this cycle. However, $15,000 of that went to Republicans — like Texas Congressman Sam Johnson, who voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, the junior Senator from Nevada Dean Heller, who voted against the Employment Non-discrimination Act, and Ted Poe (R-TX), who cosponsored a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as being between one man and one woman.
So it’s not like J.C. Penney is the Mormon Church or anything. They’re not behind a multi-million dollar campaign to deny people their civil rights — although their sweatshops in Bangladesh leave something to be desired (fire exits). Sorry to bum you out, but this isn’t inspiring. It’s public relations hypocrisy at its foulest.