Here's why Target is removing Pride merchandise before Memorial Day

Shopping at the bullseye
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Retail giant Target has announced that it is pulling a few products from its shelves after receiving death threats that caused the corporation concern for its employees’ safety, according to a statement posted on its website.

Some of the merchandise was set to be part of June’s Pride Month promotion.

In the statement, the company stated that threats that had been received were “impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well being.”

"Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior," the statement continued.

In recent days, conservative activists had taken to social media to promote false claims of “tuck-friendly” swimwear for trans children being sold at Target.

The Associated Press confirmed that while this swimwear does exist in adult sizes, it is not being sold in children’s sizes or being marketed to children.

The swimsuits are among a batch of products that remain on sale but are “under review.”

Target will however be removing products manufactured by Abprallen, an LGBTQ clothing brand, that features gothic images in pastel colors including Satan and skulls.

“Extremist groups want to divide us and ultimately don't just want rainbow products to disappear, they want us to disappear,” Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a tweet response to the announcement.

Others have said that the retail franchise shouldn’t be caving to extremist groups.

“If [Target is] going to wade in on this, and they're going to put support out there for the LGBTQ+ population, I think once they enter that fray they have a responsibility to stand by that community,” Michael Edison Hayden, a senior investigative reporter and spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told NPR. “As soon as you back down like this, you send a message that intimidation works, and that makes it much scarier than if you had never started to begin with.”

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