A Brooklyn-based chain of high-end butchers has been forced to shutter its four locations across New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut after the company’s CEO was caught between woke employees and a concerned investor who took issue with Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ Pride signs that had been placed in store windows.
Fleishers, which offers “meat raised right, from feed to fork” was founded in 2004 with a “single purpose” as its website says, “to show that locally raised, pasture fed meats” are better for our health, the planet and our tastebuds.
The company’s employees, however, were not satisfied with this single purpose and just staged a mass walk-out after newly hired CEO John Adams personally visited several locations to take down the signs after he received a call from one of the chain’s leading investors, Rob Rosania, as Forbes reported.
Rosania, a real estate investor who is based in San Francisco, received a text in late July from an apparently very un-woke Connecticut friend who was offended by the BLM placard he saw at Fleishers’ Westport storefront.
According to Forbes, Adams actually hopped on a train to remove the signs himself from the company’s four locations in Westport, Greenwich and the Upper East Side, as well as the flagship Park Slope location in Brooklyn.
Over half of the roughly 40 employees who previously staffed Fleishers identify as “BIPOC” (black, indigenous, or other people of color) or LGBTQ, so they were certainly not lacking representation in the company. Yet some told Forbes that they were under the impression Adams had been hired to provide them with “accountability” and felt he had let them down in this respect.
“I told him he failed at that,” Ajani Thompson, the Park Slope location’s only black employee, told Forbes. “You were trying to get our trust, and I don’t feel comfortable here. I don’t feel safe coming into work because you didn’t do that.”
Indeed, he apparently did not: Thompson resigned immediately as three dozen colleagues also walked off the job.
A panicked Adams responded to the walkout by relenting and placed the signs back in the windows, sending a photo of their reappearance to some employees as a peace offering.
Has wokeness gotten out of control?
This was rejected. Only 30 percent of the staff remain willing to work for Fleishers, and according to the website, all four locations are temporarily closed as the company scrambles to find replacement workers in the midst of a national labor shortage.
“Think of me as an equal and none of this needed to happen,” a defiant Thompson told Forbes. “It’s messed up to think of someone as less-than and then want them to provide for you.”
And here is where we have to butt in.
First of all, an employee does not provide for a business; it is a reciprocal relationship. Thompson was not supporting Adams like a working husband supports his stay-at-home-wife; he was receiving a wage for services rendered, like every other paid employee ever.
Second, and far more importantly, placing a “Black Lives Matter” sign in the window of your business is not, believe it or not, the only manner in which an employer, or anyone else for that matter, can signal that they view black people as equal. And the fact that Thompson thinks this is everything wrong with contemporary narratives on race and equality.
An “All Lives Matter” sign would have conveyed the same message, to be brutally honest, but we all know it probably would have been met with a walkout as well, maybe even a targeted attack of the business from antifa.
Thompson commits a dangerous fallacy by equating the promotion of two decidedly radical narratives — that of the openly Marxist organization Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ+ movement, which promotes a lifestyle that stands in contrast with the deeply held values of millions of Americans — with treating another human being as an equal.
In fact, much of the issue that Americans today take with these movements is that they do not promote equality; they promote the thinly veiled Marxist ideal of “equity” and the concept of special privileges, rather than simple equal rights, for people of color or those who celebrate the LGBT lifestyle.
There is no real equality for Asian students applying to colleges where their race will overshadow their impressive academic achievement or white students in Manhattan prep school classrooms being lectured about the black experience who fear academic repercussions if they share a different perspective. There is no equality for folks like baker Jack Phillips or florist Barronelle Stutzman who have been targeted and attacked for simply politely declining to lend their creative talents to celebrating something they personally do not wish to promote.
Thompson and his colleagues have just demonstrated a substantial amount of power, in fact, by being able to take down a bougie chain of butchers whose only professed interest was simply bringing people of every race, color, creed or sexual preference locally raised, grass-fed meat.
So you tell me who is being treated as an “other” or a “less-than” for waveringly considering not promoting a divisive message in the interest of selling healthy, high-end meat?
Fleishers’ pasture-raised meat may not be on steroids — but the woke culture being demonstrated by these consternated employees sure is.