Was The Target Bombing Motivated by the Store's Bathroom Policy?
Yesterday, June 8th, a small bomb detonated in the women’s bathroom of a Target store in Evanston, Illinois. The location of the bomb—a bathroom—has serious political implications: earlier this year, the surprisingly progressive retail giant announced their inclusive bathroom policy, which allows all employees and customers to use whichever bathroom corresponds with their gender identity.
Target’s bathroom policy, which is presumably a response to the anti-trans legislation that has passed in states including Alabama, South Dakota, and North Carolina, has led to an immense, if unsurprising, degree of backlash from conservatives. The American Family Association called for a boycott, and their petition has received over one million signatures. A handful of more vitriolic bigots have also created low-key terrifying “Target rebuke” videos in which they shout transphobic comments and biblical passages while walking through Target stores.
According to RawStory, the bomb was made with a plastic bottle but did not contain nails, tacks, or other projectiles. A 44-year-old woman described as a person of interest has been taken into custody, but her identity has not been released as no charges have been filed and the investigation remains ongoing. Officials are investigating whether the bomb was related to the backlash the store has been facing from conservatives. If the bomb was planted in response to the store’s bathroom policy, it’s perhaps the most visceral example of how dangerous transphobia and discrimination, which the trans community faces on a regular basis, can be.
Image via Upworthy.
Stay tuned to Milk for more on America’s struggles with transphobia.