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Havel’s Gourmet Grocer

Philadelphia police arrest someone involved in violent protests. Grocer is ashamed of offering free sandwiches to police (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

This act of cowardice by a gourmet grocer in downtown Philadelphia should never, ever be forgotten. Di Bruno Brothers is an 80-year-old family-owned shop whose owners issued this abject, groveling apology, which amounts to the terrified Czech greengrocer of Vaclav Havel’s parable putting a “Workers of the world, unite!” sign in his shop window, to avoid trouble from the communist authorities. Look at what these lowlifes, one of whose locations was hit by looters, are apologizing for! Here is the text of their open letter (emphases in the original):

By now, you may be aware of a situation this past Monday at our Chestnut Street location involving the offer of complimentary lunch to Philadelphia Police Officers. The decision was made in haste after a night of destruction and looting. It was insensitive and we sincerely apologize. The sign was removed, and the policy is revoked.

In subsequent days we have been challenged to look at our actions and be self-reflective on the impact that they had on our employees and our community. We appreciate our employees and community for encouraging dialogue and growth, and we are committed to learning and reforming our efforts moving forward.

We stand in solidarity with the peaceful protesters against racism, injustice, and the senseless violence against people of color.

We believe Black Lives Matter and are unequivocally against police brutality.

We acknowledge that there has been a long history of racism and inequality in the country that has and continues to cause great pain. Di Bruno Bros. is committed to do our part towards a community that supports & elevates all people equally.

We recognize that our ability to rely on the assistance of the police to protect our store in times of unrest is a privilege that many in our city and country have not been afforded.

We will be devoting time, resources, and money to learn, understand, and reform as a company. We will be taking these steps immediately:

We have made donations to these four charities supporting the fight against police brutality and racial injustice. We understand that to combat these injustices we must support the cause not only monetarily, but through actions.

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity: https://www.plsephilly.org/
Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatter.com/
The Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.splcenter.org/
NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund: https://www.naacp.org/

Companywide racial injustice training for all management level employees before July 15, 2020. This will be Race Forward’s Building Racial Equity training on June 24th and July 7th. More information can be found here: https://www.raceforward.org/trainings

Our HR Department is looking forward to coordinating a meeting between employees and management in order to understand, not be understood. We welcome the opportunity to have constructive, positive discourse together in the near future.

Growth does not come in an instant, so we will sustain long-term efforts in addition to the above actions. In the long term, we will:

Allocate a meaningful percentage of our charitable budget to groups fighting against racial injustices, inequality, and equal opportunity

Develop a program for minority recruitment in our HR department

For 80 years Di Bruno Bros has been part of the fabric of Philadelphia and a leader in the small business and food community. We realize our position comes with great responsibility and what we say and do has meaning. We are committed to using our influence and voice to promote peace, equality, and unity.

Finally, to our employees who proudly wear the Di Bruno Bros uniform and to customers who come to us for great food and a sense of community every day: please know that we are committed to self-reflection and positive reformation. We believe that the best is yet to come for our community and our city.

Sincerely,

The Third Generation Owners of Di Bruno Bros.

Bill Mignucci Jr.

Emilio Mignucci

Billy Mignucci

 

Un-freaking-believable. They are apologizing for giving free sandwiches to police officers who had been on the street trying to protect the civil order after a night of rioting and looting! For that act of kindness, they are ashamed. And not only that, they are paying protection money to the progressive activist mafia.

I love good Italian food, but I wouldn’t eat a thing from this shop now. What a disgraceful display of cowardice. Woke capitalism at its worst. The thing is, you know that the Mignuccis are well aware that what they’ve done here is dishonorable.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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