I have always had a very good impression of Harvey Norman. They have reasonable prices and are Australian owned. However, that good impression changed today when I read this article in the Sydney Morning Herald with the owner of Harvey Norman, Gerry Harvey. In the article Mr Harvey says that he believes that charity is “just wasted” and about helping the homeless says this, “You are helping a whole heap of no-hopers to survive for no good reason. They are just a drag on the whole community.” Then he just goes from bad to worse – “So did that million you gave them help? It helped to keep them alive but did it help our society? No. Society might have been better off without them”.
I have been venting about this article on Twitter and have been told that many CEOs feel the same way but have never made their thoughts public and also that this is a common perception in the community. They may have a valid point on the first statement and definitely have a valid point on second statement. But I don’t agree with that homeless people are not worth helping or supporting and nor am I just going not say anything against these statements because many people in the community agree with them. I speak out against homophobia because I believe it is wrong even though many influential people believe it is okay to discriminate against gay people. Just because many people believe it doesn’t make it right. I would hope that if I ever found myself without a job or housing that someone would give me a helping hand to get back on my feet instead of labelling me a no-hoper and think that society would be better off without me.
So Mr Harvey, you can forget about any of my money going into your $1.6 billion fortune. Even though Harvey Norman does donate to charities because “we are supposed to look after the disadvantaged and so we do it” your disgusting comments about those less fortunate in our community makes me never want to enter one of your stores ever again.
The next time I want to buy any electrical goods, I will go to one of your competitors. If that means giving my money to a foreign owned company, I will feel better about that than giving it to your company.
If you feel the same way and want to join my currently one person boycott of Harvey Norman please register your support in the comments.