Taking on Cancel Culture | Trader Joe’s Doesn’t Trade in Its Values

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Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director Justin Danhof, Esq., is applauding the Trader Joe’s grocery chain, calling it “amazing” for standing up against cancel culture.

In an interview with the American Family Association’s syndicated OneNewsNow news service, Justin lauded the grocer for being a “rare example” of a company willing to stand up to woke activists who want to impose their political agenda on the rest of America.

How did Trader Joe’s do it? Justin suggested that the fact that the company is not traded on the stock market is likely a big reason it could withstand the pressure from the mob:

Trader Joe’s is privately held, and in my view, that is the one singular reason that they can push back against the cancel culture, that they can push back against the mob. In this instance, the mob that was calling for them to change their “racist labels,” it was fake. It wasn’t real.

Certain ethnic foods at Trader Joe’s receive quirky labelling – including “Trader Jose’s” for Mexican fare and “Trader Ming’s” for Chinese. This helps them stand out on the shelves and, quite simply, accentuates the laid-back atmosphere the chain tries to present for customers.

But a high school student started a petition on Change.org against the labelling, saying that the labelling constituted “micro-aggressions” that will “inevitably escalate.”

After a few thousand people signed the online petition, Trader Joe’s was initially reported to have given in to the demands. But was getting that many signers really an accomplishment? After all, the petition has still only received less than 6,000 after a few weeks and with major national coverage. Justin suggested to OneNewsNow’s Chris Woodward: “You can get thousands of people to say that we should change Friday and Monday on the calendar.”

And it turned out not to have worked.

Store executives obviously recognized the extreme nature of the demands from the politically correct protesters. After all, it certainly wouldn’t stop with the product names. The radicals also took issue with – and would likely have demanded the chain change – its decorations, because the stores’ branding is loosely based on the Disney Jungle Cruise theme park ride and the novel “White Shadows in the South Seas,” which the petition criticized for allegedly promoting “racist tropes” and “exoticism at its worst.”

Trader Joe’s management, noting that “[t]hese products have been really popular with our customers,” declared in a note posted on the chain’s website: “We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist. We do not make decisions based on petitions.”

Justin explained that much of the left’s activism is “astroturfing” – minor support that, in this case, received major backing from a politicized press. If the establishment media sees a story “that supports their liberal worldview,” he said, “they start running their scare headlines to get the companies to all get on board with the actions … it’s the media making a fake narrative.”

He added: “[T]hat’s how the cancel culture marches forward.”

Over the past shareholder season, FEP attended dozens of shareholder meetings for publicly traded companies in order to protect religious freedom, defend political viewpoints and fight the cancel culture against the onslaught of the woke mobs. While privately held companies such as Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby and Trader Joe’s do not have to deal with protests and pressure tactics from leftist investors, companies like Honeywell, KraftHeinz and Pepsi do. And that’s where you’ll find FEP.

To read the entire OneNewsNow article interviewing Justin, click here.

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