Monday, 28 May 2018

Amid Anti-gun Protests, Grocery Chain Suspends All Political Contributions

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After learning that Publix, a Florida grocery store chain and the state’s largest employer, had given $670,000 to Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam, a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, anti-gun rights activist David Hogg organized “die-in” protests in the aisles of two local Publix stores in Parkland, Florida.

Hogg announced, “Anyone who supports an NRA sellout is an NRA sellout. That is why I am calling on everyone to stop shopping at Publix until they pull their endorsement of Putnam publicly.... I call on @Publix to donate double the money they gave to Putnam to the Stoneman Douglas Victims fund, $1,000,000. And never support an A rated NRA politician again.”

Store managers at several stores were forced to try to assist shoppers around Hogg-led protesters, who were lying on the floors of the stores, pretending to be dead from “gun violence.” Many of the customers became quite irate, with some shouting to the protesters, “Get out of here!” In Coral Springs, Florida, counter-protester Bill Caracofe told the Associated Press, “There are millions and millions of people who don’t worship everything that comes out of his [Hogg's] mouth.”

It appeared at first that Hogg, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (where a gunman killed 17 students at the Parkland school in February) was successful in bullying the chain into submission. The supermarket chain announced on Friday, the same day as the protests in Parkland, that it would suspend its political contributions to Putnam. “We would never knowingly disappoint our customers or the communities we serve,” Publix announced. “As a result, we decided earlier this week to suspend corporate-funded political contributions as we reevaluate our giving processes.”

However, liberals might not be completely happy, as Publix is not only cutting off political contributions to pro-gun candidate Putnam, but to all political causes. For example, Publix has given large sums of money to YWCA–USA, which is a member of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV). CSGV opposes “Stand Your Ground” laws and opposes concealed carry. YWCA–USA also supports same-sex marriage.

YWCA used to be the acronym for Young Women’s Christian Association, but it dropped “Christian” from its name in 2011, after 156 years, because “it no longer stands for who we are.”

In addition to supporting YWCA, Publix contributes to chapters of the United Way that fund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest supporter of abortion. Publix also gives to the organization Susan G. Komen, which funds Planned Parenthood.

Hogg’s assault upon Publix may also have a backlash, which could lead to an increase in business for the chain. David Livingston of DJL Research told the Orlando Sentinel, “Publix will probably have a positive reaction. Everyone knows they are a standup company.” Livingston noted that Chick-fil-A had a huge increase in sales after leftist activists called for a boycott after it became publicly known that its CEO, Truett Cathey, opposed same-sex marriage.

It appears that we have not heard the last of Hogg and his antics. After receiving several college rejections, he decided to spend a year on anti-gun rights activism. But if the reaction inside Publix stores is any indication, citizens who are not pleased with his bullying tactics might now be ready to push back. Even some of Hogg’s fellow students at his high school are not pleased. For example, Patrick Petty, who lost a sibling in the shooting, tweeted, “I find it funny that @davidhogg111 wants people to show him love while being nasty and vile to others.”

In an Outline interview with Hogg, the young radical demonstrated an example of his nasty and vile vulgarity: “When your old-a** parent is like, ‘I don’t know how to send an iMessage,’ and you’re just like, ‘Give me the f****** phone and let me handle it.’ Sadly, that’s what we have to do with our government; our parents don’t know how to use a f****** democracy, so we have to.”

When most people refer to “using democracy,” they think about things such as voting and canvassing for votes for their cause. They don’t usually think of blocking aisles in grocery stores, creating obstacles for citizens who are just minding their own business trying to shop for food. But what Hogg is actually preaching, supported by a compliant left-wing media, is revolutionary action, not peaceful political action.

Perhaps that is why he throws up a clenched fist in his talks with the fawning media. The clenched fist has been recognized as a communist salute for decades. John Lautner, a former top official of the Communist Party USA, told American Opinion magazine (forerunner to The New American) in 1970, “The clenched-fist salute has been used among revolutionaries for many centuries as a symbol of defiance, comradeship, and solidarity. It was employed during the bloody French Revolution of 1789 … At the formation of the First International in London in 1864, Karl Marx and his followers gave the clenched-fist salute.... Since the Third International, the Comintern begun at Moscow in 1919, it has been the official salute of all Communist Parties throughout the world.”

It is also possible that young Hogg is ignorant of this history, but he certainly is emulating their bullying tactics. In this case, the silver lining is that perhaps many of his fellow radicals have lost some of their corporate funding via an unexpected decision by Publix to just cut off all political contributions — including to some of Hogg’s left-wing buddies.

Photo: AP Images

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