Most for-profit businesses are known for their relatively hushed attitude when it comes to politics. Wouldn’t want to alienate a potential customer and risk losing some all-important cash.
But as this year’s political climate continues to roil, some companies are refusing to lay low. One such business is the Wisconsin-based company Penzey’s, a 70-outlet spice retailer with stores in 29 states including two in the Twin Cities.
A recent Facebook Post entitled “Cooking Trumps Racism” has created an internet firestorm, with the post now up to almost 10,000 reactions and 4,000 shares.
In it, CEO Bill Penzey asserts that Trump voters “just committed the biggest act of racism in American history since Wallace stood in the schoolhouse doorway 53 years ago.” Penzey references the infamous segregationist George C. Wallace, who vowed "segregation forever" and blocked the door to prohibit black students from enrolling at the University of Alabama on June 11, 1963.
Penzey offers some suggestions for Trump voters to make amends this Thanksgiving season, including making sizeable donations to the American Civil Liberties Union or the Southern Poverty Law Center. Or, he suggests, do what you do best and volunteer, noting that Republicans really are a "good bunch."
This isn’t the first time the company has taken a hard political line, including publicly denouncing the use of Native American mascots and names in the sporting world during last year’s Thanksgiving advertising season.
Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that a competing company, the Spice House, is distancing themselves from Penzey’s with this Facebook statement:
"My husband and I are very careful to never bring politics or personal opinions into our spice company, they have no business there. We value all of our customers so very much. Heck, I would not even want to get into a subjective debate over which cinnamon is the best!"
Only the customers will be able to decide.
3028 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis
674 Grand Ave., St. Paul