One Gutsy Grocery Chain Rejects Political Protest Apparel for Employees, For Now

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Posted: Jun 17, 2020 2:05 PM
One Gutsy Grocery Chain Rejects Political Protest Apparel for Employees, For Now

Source: AP Photo/Scott Iskowitz, File

One grocery store chain is under fire for telling a teenaged employee that he was not permitted to wear a mask with Black Lives Matter messaging. A Publix in Lehigh Acres, Florida informed the young man that he would have to go home to change out of the politically charged mask, as it was not permitted by the company uniform policy. 

"At Publix, we reject racism and believe diversity makes our company — and our community — better," said Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous. "Our focus remains on ensuring a welcoming work and shopping environment for all associates and customers. Our uniform policy does not permit non-Publix messaging on clothing or accessories."

While the idea of keeping politically charged messaging separate from professional attire at a grocery store seems like a reasonable ask, Starbucks was also recently lambasted in the media when they informed their staff they were not permitted to wear Black Lives Matter clothing or masks. Starbucks quickly caved after being called racists and bigots for having such a policy. Starbucks even manufactured company shirts for staff with Black Lives Matter messaging on it. 

Like many protesters and advocates for the Black Lives Matter movement, the Florida teen who was sent home simply thought of the statement as being one that is obvious: of course, black lives matter, why would anyone have an issue with his mask? But rather than promote equality and harmony, Black Lives Matter organizations across the country have called for an end to police, a release of dangerous felons, and dropping charges against violent offenders. And while these extremely controversial topics may not have crossed the teen's mind, they certainly would occur to the police families shopping in the store or anyone who dared to disagree with the ideals of social Marxism espoused by BLM. 

"They also said they don’t want to be apart of political views," the teenager said of Publix the management who sent him home. "#Black Lives Matter is not political. The movement is all about Equality."

The first voice to disagree about the political nature of Blacks Lives Matter would be the organization itself who invites website visitors to sign a petition to "#DefundthePolice" right on their landing page. In a section titled "What Matters," Black Lives Matter lays out specifically political goals including influence of democratic elections. 

BLM’s #WhatMatters2020 is a campaign aimed to maximize the impact of the BLM movement by galvanizing BLM supporters and allies to the polls in the 2020 U.S Presidential Election to build collective power and ensure candidates are held accountable for the issues that systematically and disproportionately impact Black and under-served communities across the nation.

If it would be inappropriate for staff to wear a mask with "Trump 2020" or "MAGA" emblazoned across the front, it would stand to reason that it's an equal infraction to don a "Black Lives Matter" mask to work, knowing that organization is bent on wiping out the police and supporting specific, Marxist inspired politicians to achieve elected office. 

Despite their name, which makes them seem like an unreasonable target to argue with, Black Lives Matter is every bit a polarizing political movement. Unlike Starbucks and dozens of other major retailers and corporations across the country, however, Publix has held their position on forbidding staff from wearing political protest attire.

While sending an employee home for breaking uniform code wouldn't ever make the national news under normal circumstances, the power of protest has elevated this Florida teen as a now exploited symbol of injustice in Florida. With the help of leftist media outlets and encouragement of the confused masses, that teen has also vowed to resign from his job in protest.