Y’know…the owner of Penzey’s spices…..
“Since I ask you to read my emails, I feel it’s only right that I read each of your replies. In sifting through those replies it was clear that, though not intended, a good number of people seemed to sincerely believe that in my statement I was calling all Republicans racists. In the emails of those Republicans who voted for someone other than the party’s nominee, I sensed genuine pain at having the strength of character to not go along with what was happening, but nonetheless be grouped in with those who were. I apologize for writing something that caused you pain; that is not the person I want to be. You are your party’s future, and you deserve my admiration and respect, and your country’s as well.
For the rest of you, you just voted for an openly racist candidate for the presidency of the United States of America. In your defense, most of you did so without thinking of the consequences of your candidate’s racism, because for most of you the heartbreaking destruction racism causes has never been anything you or your loved ones have had to experience. But the thing is elections have their consequences. This is no longer sixty years ago. Whether any of us like it or not, for the next four years the 80% of this country who did not just vote for an openly racist candidate are going to treat you like you are the kind of person who would vote for an openly racist candidate.
You can get angry at everyone else for treating you like you just did the thing you just did, or you can take responsibility for your actions and begin to make amends. If you are lucky and younger family members are still coming over for Thanksgiving, before it’s too late, take a moment and honestly think about how your actions must look through their eyes. Simply saying “I never thought he’d win” might be enough. But if you have the means, leaving a receipt from a sizable donation to the ACLU or the SPLC accidentally laying around where you carve the turkey, might go over even better.
Or, just do what you do best and volunteer. Through our customers’ support, we’ve given away a lot of our Penzeys Pepper, the Pepper with heart. More often than not, those we meet cooking and serving food to feed those in need are Republicans. You really are a good bunch, but you just committed the biggest act of racism in American history since Wallace stood in the schoolhouse doorway 53 years ago. Make this right. Take ownership for what you have done and begin the pathway forward.”
I (used to) spend a lot at their stores and/or online.
Brigid and I have both recommended their products. I can’t speak for her, but I won’t recommend them anymore. I won’t buy from them anymore.
My letter to him today:
I reference the letter you sent to your customers regarding our voting choices.
I am offended by your call that I am a racist. You make broad statements without any knowledge about that which you speak. You have no knowledge about me, my opinions, my attitudes towards my fellow citizens (of any race) nor my attitudes towards race relations nor how we should interact….. Your statements are insulting and show you are misinformed.
We may well have differing opinions about politics, but I don’t see where voting for a candidate that you oppose makes me a racist. While you have the right to your opinion, I too have a right to have MY opinion. I cared very little about your choice of vote, until you chose to label me a racist because my political choice differed than yours. I support your right to state your opinion. I will choose to state mine by choosing to do business elsewhere.
I have been a customer of Penzey’s for over 15 years……until now. Penzeys was always my first choice for spice purchases. I had found that your products were of first quality and the Penzey’s name a guarantee of that quality. Sadly, I will no longer do business with your company. There are other vendors of spices, and your insulting statements have made me choose to purchase elsewhere from this point forward. While the loss of my business may not affect your bottom line greatly, you can consider the fact that the loss of approximately 1400 dollars in business (last year) will benefit those other spice vendors that don’t allow politics to affect their relationships with their customers….who don’t insult those with other views than yours.
I chose to vote for Donald Trump as the best (or at least “Least Bad”) of the poor choices available to me this election season. I don’t believe his policies will be “racist”, but rather fair for all. Perhaps you should widen your circle of friends and actually meet some of those Republican Trump voters and learn about them and their reasons for voting the way they did….Leave the echo chamber of your anti-Trump acquaintances and actually meet some of those folks with opposing views and broaden your horizons a bit. You might learn something.
I am saddened that you feel that fully half (not 80%) of your customers are racist and that you chose to denigrate us….and moreso that our business is of so little value that you felt comfortable enough to insult us in your public letter to your customers. While I respect your right to a private opinion, I will not do business with someone who chooses to insult me in public. Again, there are other vendors who are wisely choosing to keep their personal thoughts private and not insult their potential customers. They will gain my business that your hateful screed lost you.
Fuck ’em. There are other choices. And if only 20% of the people chose Trump, then we’d not be having this discussion, would we?
Everyone has the right to free speech. Free speech, however, is not without consequences.
Remember this when choosing a spice vendor.