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Home/Rod Dreher/Kroger, The Wokest Supermarket

Kroger, The Wokest Supermarket

I think it has been well established that the American elite has lost its collective mind. If you doubt it, check out Elizabeth Bruenig’s long piece in The Atlantic about what’s happened to Yale law professor Amy Chua. The title gets to the heart of the matter: “The New Moral Code Of America’s Elite”. It is more of the usual soft-totalitarian crap, this time playing out within Yale University. You might be thinking: who cares about Yale? Here’s what you should know: the people who graduate from Yale and other elite institutions — and now, even not-so-elite ones — are mostly saturated with this “new moral code,” which entails wokeness.

They bring this moral code to the executive offices of major corporations. Which is how we get to supermarket workers having to receive ideological education to be qualified to stack cans of Chicken-of-the-Sea on a shelf.

My first paying job was working at a grocery store in my hometown. I loved it. I got to stock shelves, run the cash register, and do a little bit of everything. I could not have imagined that one day, working in a grocery store would require political re-education. A reader passes along Kroger’s 24-page guide to being a woke cashier and shelf-stocker. I’m going to post excerpts below. We have lost our minds as a country if we force people to undergo this kind of political consciousness training just to put freaking bananas in a bin. Let’s have a look at what the woke capitalists at Kroger compel their employees to study:

What is the point of this? Why should a corporation care about “allyship”? This is a weird form of coercion. A corporation should care that its LGBT employees are treated with the same respect all employees are entitled to. But as you’ll see, this initiative goes far beyond that. Remember, I’m not going to post all the 26 pages, just the worst.

“Partner with leadership”. “Leverage our influence”. “Drive positive impact.” When the Revolution comes, Human Resources Department personnel will be the first against the wall.

Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. Kroger got the woke imprimatur from the HRC. As I write inLive Not By Lies:

Corporations like to brand themselves as being in favor of a predictable constellation of causes, all of them guiding stars of the progressive cosmos. Woke capitalist branding harnesses the unmatched propaganda resources of the advertising industry to send the message, both explicitly and implicitly: the beliefs of social conservatives and religious traditionalists are obstacles to the social good.

As you will see, that’s what Kroger is doing here.

It’s perfectly fine for a company to expect its employees not to bring their political, religious, or cultural proselytizing to the workplace. But that is exactly what Kroger is doing with LGBT! Employees who don’t agree with the ideology behind “allyship” had better go into the closet at work. Kroger says it wants to focus “on behaviors and not beliefs,” but if that were true, they would not be indoctrinating employees by the woke LGBT catechism. They would simply insist on courtesy and respect, not push gender ideology onto unwilling employees. Look:

What does any of this have to do with being a supermarket cashier or stock person? Nothing! Do you have to affirm these contestable categories and definitions in order to treat your LGBT co-worker with respect? No, you don’t. Kroger wishes to indoctrinate its workers, and by so doing make it a less friendly place for people with dissenting moral or religious values to work.

Again, what possible relationship does this ideology have to the ability of a Kroger employee to be a competent and dependable supermarket worker? Since when does corporate management involve itself in propagandizing for left-wing theories that until five minutes ago were confined to the Gender Studies faculty? Since the American elites lost their minds.

Look at this stupidity. Imagine how hard it is for the people at the Kroger in Southern states, with our courtesy codes, to get with this idiotic language policing:

We are re-working ordinary English to accommodate a thin-skinned fringe and their corporate elite allies, and turning the workplace into a massive eggshells-walk. Speaking of walking on eggshells:

“Oppressive”! Gosh. So now some poor young man who got his GED, and is now working as a trainee at the meat market at the Kroger in Opelika, Alabama, might forget to say “xe” or “hir” or some other weird-ass Klingon pronoun to a co-worker or customer, and thus find himself denounced as an oppressor, and fired. Great, just great. Don’t work for Kroger if you want to retain your sanity and self-respect.

Behold, the High Holy Days:

Here’s the most outrageous thing in the whole set:

Kroger tells its employees to get politically active to support a particular (and particularly controversial) law, then tells them to join the LGBT activist group HRC. What an outrageous overstepping of workplace boundaries in a supermarket. In this presentation, Kroger went from being nice to LGBTs to instructing its employees to take specific political stands.

And it tells employees to join these activist organizations:

Unbelievable. A person just wants to be a cashier at the local Kroger, but she has to endure this culture-war harangue by her employer. Imagine what ordinary people who work at Kroger must think as they have this stuff forced on them. They don’t dare object, or even question it publicly, out of fear they will be called a bigot, and fired. But see, that’s okay, because Kroger doesn’t want bigots working for it! If working-class bigots mopping the aisles at Kroger are terrified for their jobs in case someone discovers their bigotry, well, good: that means the system is working. As someone — Robespierre, or maybe Ibram X. Kendi — said, “Terror is nothing but prompt, severe, inflexible justice; it is therefore an emanation of virtue.”

Plainly Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in America, is a bad place to work for the non-woke. If you are one of the deplorably non-woke, don’t shop there. Don’t participate in this propaganda and indoctrination foisted on working-class people. Look at these charts from Indeed.com to see what people at Kroger are paid:

Unsurprisingly:

 

Kroger fired a couple of workers in Arkansas over this stuff, and are now facing an EEOC suit:

Kroger is being accused of violating federal law for allegedly firing two employees who refused to wear a rainbow emblem, which they believe contradicts their religious beliefs.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accused the supermarket in a lawsuit filed Monday of terminating the women after they asked for a religious accommodation so that they didn’t have to display the rainbow.

The lawsuit claims that a Kroger store in Conway, Ark., implemented a new dress code in April 2019 that “required all employees to wear a new apron with a new logo, a rainbow heart embroidered on the top left portion of the bib.”

The rainbow flag has long been a symbol of the LGBT community.

Both of the defendants in the case, 57-year-old Trudy Rickert and 72-year-old Brenda Lawson, believe “in the literal interpretation of the Bible” and hold “a sincerely held religious belief that homosexuality is a sin.”

Because of these beliefs, the defendants made multiple oral and written requests to management to wear another apron.

“I have a sincerely held religious belief that I cannot wear a symbol that promotes or endorses something that is in violation of my religious faith,” Rickerd told management in a signed hand-written letter May 1, 2019, according to the lawsuit. “I respect others who have a different opinion and am happy to work alongside others who desire to wear the symbol. I am happy to buy another apron to ensure there is no financial hardship on Kroger.”

Rickerd and Lawson claim that instead of granting their requests, they were disciplined multiple times.

According to the lawsuit, Rickerd was fired May 29, 2019, and Lawson was fired June 1, 2019 for repeated violations of the dress code.

Here is a key principle behind Woke Capitalism: You can pay your employees badly and bully them, making them afraid that they’re going to slip up, or that somebody’s going to find out that they are conservative, or go to church … but as long as you say the right pronouns, and get the seal of approval from the leading woke activist groups, hey, you’re golden. All the elites at the country club praise your executives for their social progressivism, and you never run into the grubby Bible-beaters and other grocery-store deplorables anyway, so who cares what they think? Right?

 

 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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