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23 Sep, 2020 01:50

Costco CANCELS Palmetto Cheese after foodmaker's owner criticizes Black Lives Matter on Facebook, triggers woke brigade boycott

Costco CANCELS Palmetto Cheese after foodmaker's owner criticizes Black Lives Matter on Facebook, triggers woke brigade boycott

Costco has halted sales of Palmetto Cheese, a popular brand of pimento cheese spread that had been offered in over 120 of its stores, after the company's owner triggered outrage with a Facebook post criticizing Black Lives Matter.

A sign posted at a store in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, indicates that Palmetto Cheese has been discontinued and will not be ordered again by Costco. The retailer hasn't made a statement on its decision, but the move came after consumers called for a boycott of the brand because of social media comments by Palmetto Cheese's owner, Brian Henry.

"This BLM and Antifa movement must be treated like the terror organizations that they are," Henry said in an August 25 Facebook post that has since been deleted. He wrote the message in response to the alleged shootings of three white people by a black man in Georgetown, South Carolina. He complained that BLM and Antifa were being allowed to "lawlessly destroy great American cities and threaten their citizens on a daily basis" and declared "All lives matter. There, I said it. So am I a racist now?"

The reaction on social media was swift, with commenters calling Henry a racist. Activists jumped into action with a boycott campaign against Palmetto Cheese. A Twitter account was set up mocking the company as "Appropriation Cheese," because of its use of a black woman on its packaging who worked for the company before dying earlier this year.

Activists on the Appropriation Cheese page celebrated Costco's decision and pressed for more. One commenter on Tuesday thanked Costco and demanded that Kroger, Lowes Foods and other retailers cancel Palmetto Cheese. Another boycott supporter called on Publix Super Markets to drop the product, saying: "Costco pulled Palmetto Cheese because of the open racism of its owner. We are hoping you are considering the same." Still another said: "Attention Corporate America. This is how you ally."

But others lamented Costco's move and the divisiveness it represents. "This is how divided the country has become," one commenter tweeted. "Even store chains are picking sides now. This is insane." There were those who defended Henry, saying that criticizing the group doesn't mean that one is racist.

Henry, who also is mayor of the small South Carolina coastal town of Pawleys Island, may have squandered a chance to inspire a boycott-backlash movement – like that which Goya Foods enjoyed after its owner was vilified for praising President Donald Trump – when he issued an apology on September 3. He said his comments were "hurtful and insensitive."

"I spent the last 10 days listening and learning," Henry said. "The conversations I have had with friends, our staff, the community and faith-based leaders provided me with a deeper understanding of racial inequality and the importance of diversity sensitivity."

Also on rt.com When cancel culture finds its limits: Woke brigade’s push to destroy Goya for praising Trump falters as grocers reject boycott

Henry added that his family and company will donate $100,000 in the first year of a new foundation set up to improve race relations, and Palmetto Cheese will rebrand its product "to be more sensitive to cultural diversity." In addition to having a picture of a black woman, the current packaging refers to Palmetto Cheese as "the pimento cheese with soul."

The company sold more than 15 million units last year in about 4,000 stores. Henry warned that a boycott would only hurt the hundreds of people employed by the company in South Carolina.

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