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Targeting Target

The story never made sense to me – not then when it broke:

Target the target of victim blaming

Target scandal: How thieves stole 40 million card numbers and not now either:

Target says stolen info in data breach almost doubles to 70 million

Everyone is “outraged” at Target, why?

No matter what story I read or news clip I see, Target is the primary victim of the security breach NOT the 40 – 70 million people who used their credit cards at their stores. This is not to minimize the plight and predicament of those 40 – 70 million consumers but let’s be clear: the consumers are the “innocent bystanders” affected by a crime or the secondary victims of the heist – the real target of the thieves was Target!

Before I go into it, can anyone see what I’m about to say? How what’s happening to Target is no different then what happens to victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault?

Jesus famously said the following:

But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Luke 12:39

Apply this to Target: had Target known what hour its security system would be breached by hackers compromising 40 – 70 million of its valued customers, don’t you think they would have done something more to prevent it?

Apply this to domestic violence: had the victim understood that the man she was about to marry was violent and would eventually threaten, torture and terrorize her and their children, do you think she would’ve spent $1000 on a wedding limo or for a one-way ticket out of the country?

Apply this to sexual assault: had the victim known she’d be raped at the party she was going to, do you really think she’d go?

To all of these scenarios, the answers are obvious: NO ONE would deliberately put him/herself in harm’s way and would take preventive measures had they known with certainty what was to come!

Not to be offensive (but I’m going to be to make a point) how would it sound/feel if what was being reported on the news was comments and questions like these?

  • It’s the stupid customer’s fault for shopping on Black Friday – everyone was saying to watch out for identity thieves this year so those idiots got what they deserved!
  • If they had used cash, they wouldn’t be in this predicament now would they?
  • They were just begging for it by using a credit card for a store purchase!
  • How dumb could you be to use a credit card in the first place? If you can’t afford to pay in cash, you don’t buy it – no wonder our economy’s such a mess!

The quips above are victim blaming – nothing said was helpful, useful or consoling and did absolutely nothing to right the wrong committed. Sentiments and comments like these do nothing but fan the flames of hurt, hatred and resentment adding insult to injury – so why do it?!

When a crime occurs the only person who is at fault is the person or persons who’ve perpetrated the crime – end of story, end of “scandal”!

I don’t even get why the word “scandal” is being used with what happened to Target because when I looked up the definition of the word scandal, words like “disgrace” and “offense” were offered. Wasn’t Target the one who stepped forward to let everyone know what happened? Haven’t they been forthright, honest and kept the public up-to-date on what they know/what they continue to learn? Has Target not apologized and taken responsibility for a crime committed against them by people they don’t know? And while balked at as “not good enough” hasn’t Target offered the secondary victims – their customers – something in the way of compensation? How is what Target did disgraceful and/or offensive?

Just like victims of domestic violence and other crimes, Target is being penalized in the court of public opinion for doing the right thing. Target didn’t cover anything up, they didn’t set anyone else up, the story wasn’t uncovered it was revealed. By stepping forward with the news of the security breach Target put themselves at-risk for personal embarrassment, public humiliation, intense scrutiny and how do we reward them for doing the right thing? By victim blaming.

The 40 – 70 million Target customers affected by the security breach should be outraged but NOT at the victim who actually had the decency – and continues to have the decency – to provide full disclosure to both its customers and the authorities. It’s bad enough that this scam happened but please, let’s not make it worse by blaming the victim – let’s show some support and solidarity to Target and to each other until the evil-doers can be brought to justice. Victim blaming is one of the easiest things we can stop so let’s all choose to do so.

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