Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Kroger + GLBT news + the First Amendment

Following is a letter to the editors that I've sent to the mainstream media in my area. I urge you to think about the import of this action and message and do what you can to make a difference for free speech in this country.

Regarding the story that Kroger is reviewing a contract with the company DistribuTech which distributes a local free newspaper, "Out and About". Following is a quote in Nashville's "The City Paper":

"Kroger spokesperson Melissa Eads said in a statement that the papers were removed in accordance with a company policy of not offering publications that serve political or other agendas. "We have had a long-standing policy in place that prohibits the third-party from distributing publications that promote political, religious or other specific agendas."

I am 44 years old, straight, and married. I do not feel that "Out and About" serves any kind of political, religious, or 'other specific agendas'. "Out and About" is a NEWSpaper, like "The Tennessean" is a newspaper. Krogers in our area have free newspapers that cater to parents, African Americans, etc., so I'm unclear as to the difference between these publications and "Out and About". I am neither a parent nor an African American, but I'm not bothered in the least by there being publications available in my Kroger for these particular groups of people. I just simply don't pick up free newspapers in which I have no interest, rather than insisting that my choices are more important that those of others and removing their ability to make their own decisions about what to read.

Nashville, and other cities, have other options for grocery shopping, and I will definitely take my business to Publix or any other grocer who doesn't have a policy of discrimination. I strongly urge Kroger to consider the impact of thisdecision on the wider community, and opt for tolerance, the first amendment, and freedom of choice.

I close this post with a statement from Rev. Martin Niemoller:

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.


RunAwayImagination said...

Let me just say for the record that I am one proud husband.

Cathy said...

Here you are!!! Honey, I have left a message for you at that BMH site but maybe you didn't see it....I told moof, "heck yes, let her in here"..

My blog was hi-jacked awhile back. I now have a new one. It is clickable through my name on this comment.

I have missed reading you So much! Im going to go add your link right now so I dont lose you again...:)

Sarah said...

Proud to know you, dude :) And I'm happy I came across your blog and the quote at the bottom. It's going inthe running fro my senior quote.