This, by rights, should be a Kaboom!, but after the Starbucks fiasco, my head is no longer surprised enough by outrageous race-bullying and craven corporations to explode. It is a terrible story, however. I don’t advocate boycotts, but this bakery deserves to be picketed.
On the other hand, it’s Portland, Jake, so maybe I should forget it. But still …hold on to your skull…
Two employees of a bakery denied a black woman service because the business had closed at 9 pm, as was its policy. The woman, however, cried racism, and the store released multiple apologies and public statements. In one, the bakery’s co-owner wrote, “We are doing business in a gentrified neighborhood in a racist city within a racist state of a racist country.”
I’m not even going to comment on that, except to recommend that the guy run onto the field of an NFL game and kneel.
Oh, I almost forgot the beauty part: the bakery fired the two employees. For following the store’s policies. For closing the store on time. For not giving special dispensation to a woman demanding entry because she was black.
According to its own surveillance video, a black woman named “Lillian”, who is known as a “professional equity activist”—that is, a social justice predator who was probably lying in wait until the store closed to provoke this controversy— entered at 9:06 p.m….after the bakery’s closing time, after the Catch 22-doomed employees turned off the “OPEN” sign. Two white women tried to enter the bakery two minutes before “Lillian, “and were properly informed that the business was closed for the night. Ah, but they had no race card to play. “Lillian” left the store briefly and began recording video. Of course she did.
The bakery’s statement—hold on to that cranium, now!— says that even though the employees were following the business’s protocol of closing at 9 p.m. and did nothing to suggest racism, they were fired because “sometimes impact outweighs intent.”
In other words, they should recognize that society has handed blacks and the race-grievance mob the weapons to destroy them, and behave accordingly. Is there any other interpretation? The bakery also said that the way the employees went about denying the woman service, “lacked sensitivity and understanding of the racial implications at work” and that “this is more about how a black woman was made to feel.” Not a white woman, now or just a woman. How they choose to feel would be their own problem. A black woman, however, felt that the rules should be bent for her, and then felt that two employees trying to do their jobs had to be sacrificed.
“Back To Eden” even admitted that the employees were fired because the woman and the “clamoring public” demanded they be fired. The bakery endorses mob rule, apparently. It even admitted, in one statement, that the employees did nothing wrong.
So how does the culture, the society and the public do the responsible thing when there is outrageous, unethical, unjust conduct like this because of racial intimidation, facilitated by group-grievance bullies? The mainstream news media will not cover it: watch. It has to be pigeonholed as a “conservative news story,” because those people are always trying to stir up race resentment. I don’t believe most of the public would approve of what happened to the “Back to Eden” employees, and the mainstream media knows it too, so as a result, it will bury the story. Or lie about it: here is the leftist cyber rag Raw Story’s headline: “Portland bakery fires employees who denied service to a black woman after just helping white customers.”
Disgusting. Those white customers had entered the store before closing time. As with restaurants, banks and all other businesses, if customers get in under the closing time, they get to complete their business after closing time. That is, unless the customer is black and in Portland, and then she can demand that employees get fired for not letting her into the store after closing time.
Every Democratic politician in every locality across the country should be asked to comment on this story. Black leaders as well: I can’t wait to hear the rationalizations from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Joy Reid. This conduct has to be emphatically condemned. “Lillian” needs to be called out and shamed. The bakery should be forced by the Portland working community to rehire the victimized employees, who should have a great lawsuit.
And the tale of this symptomatic outrage should be spread far and wide, because the complicit, race-baiting mainstream media has to be opposed and foiled in its efforts to misinform the public. Put the story on every Facebook page. Make your friends defend this craven, racist bakery, or admit that we are seeing race-bullying rising to am unbearable, dangerous level.
And if you happen to be in Portland, don’t buy anything from “Back to Eden.” Do go in the store however, preferably after 9 pm, and tell the owners for me that they are irredeemable assholes.
41 thoughts on “When Businesses Have No Principles, No Courage, And The Community Likes It That Way….”
How is this not a lawsuit waiting to happen? Shouldn’t the two only have to point to their own public comments and policies?
That’s why the weenie, racist bakers took down the statement that they did nothing wrong. Too late.
Morons. And assholes. And weenies.
“I can’t wait to hear the rationalizations from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Joy Reid.”
The bakery’s crisis management consultants have already provided these: the employees “lacked sensitivity and understanding of the racial implications at work.”
I can’t wait until Mrs. Q weighs in on this with some of her local humor.
Interesting that the newspaper article says the bakery’s statement (or statements, I can’t tell which) “have since been deleted.”
Yet no one is sensitive to the needs of these 2 employees. If people demand that employees remain open to serve them after normal closing those employees may incur higher child care costs, a missed bedtime story, or any other personal desire. Stores may stop allowing new customers from entering but their day is not over until they complete the cash closeout, cleanup, and prep for the next day. Lillian, may be an activist, but she definitely is insensitive to others.
” Lillian, may be an activist, but she definitely is insensitive to others.”
By others, you must mean actual real people, like the ones she got fired? Instead of THE PEOPLE, the conceptual greater good of which she presumes to be serving by her “activism”, by getting people fired for doing their jobs?
Yes, other people means real people. People who may not be able to pay thw rent now, people that can no longer afford to buy that doll for her 3 year olds birthday present, or pay for their childs school lunch.
Looks like you have to break a few eggs to make a completely “woke” omelette. Of course, as George Orwell asked about the horror of Stalinism: Where’s the omelette?
I assume these are minimum wage workers. Ironic. I suspect there are labor lawyers ready to take these two’s case. Easy peasy wrongful termination, as near as I can tell. I suspect that’s why the bakery’s statements were taken down ASAP. Guess you cant unring the bell.
I didn’t hear about this until now. I need to chew on it & will comment later.
given that you live in that neck of the woods, I can’t wait.
I wish to point out that the Portland in question is the OTHER Portland.
Though the one on the right coast appears to be only a year or two away from similar ridiculousness.
Portland, Maine? Hah. Well, the northeast is not far behind the northwest, I guess.
As soon as I read “professional equity activist” my fight-or-flight reflex kicked in.
This is why business owners have two employees around at closing time: one to finish serving the last customer(s) who got in under the wire; the other to see that the Closed sign is on the door to be opened only to let the last customer out and nobody else in. Once closed – and locked – any knocking can be responded to with a rueful expression and a shrug or answering the door with a mop in one hand and a pail in the other. Then there’s always the “Sorry. Manager’s orders.”
Unless it’s the only bakery in town, nobody needs a croque monsieur that bad.
On second thought, Make that “Owner’s orders” and kick it upstairs.
p.s. I’d like to see Ms.Pro Eq Ac try that trick at the post office.
Is there some law in Portland or some company policy that prevented the employees from locking the door at 9 PM?
I wondered about that, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve walked into establishments where I’ve been told, “Sorry, we close at ___” and I leave. If I stay, I’m trespassing. A store shouldn’t have to bar the door, anywhere,
It’s a matter of practice here in NJ, especially in the cities, where things can get dangerous real quick after dark. The bodega and deli owners lock the door first chance they get, and “Oh, I just need to get something to drink,” or “I just need to get a quick quart of milk for the kids’ breakfast” cuts no ice. That’s what Walgreens and 7-11 are for.
How does this sort of thing not incite hatred or resentment of black people?
It does. But if one expresses that, one is condemned as a racist.
So, if they are going to be treated racist anyway, then why would they not embrace racism?
Why would they not join the Stormfront White Nationalist Community?
Things like this will allow Stormfront and those like them to expand their recruiting market outside their current market of meth-headed pedophiles.
Because then it would be obvious. The most insidious racists aren’t the ones burning crosses and marching with torches. The most insidious racist is the motorist who passes up the honest black guy whose tire blew out who he would have stopped to help if he was white, or the coworker who just can’t see his way clear to swapping shifts so his Hispanic counterpart can go to a family member’s quinceanera, but will happily trade with a white coworker who wants to take a fishing trip, or the juror who convinces himself that the black plaintiff’s case is just short of a preponderance, or that the state’s case is just over the line for a conviction, where if the party were white, he’d vote the other way. None of them will admit to being racists, but some of them will be thinking of just this kind of crap.
I agree with Steve. Human nature. Resentment at this sort of BS will haunt totally innocent people down the line… and around the cycle goes.
We’re ALL in trouble if normal people start joining these clowns (Stormfront).
Would the employees have been fired if they were black or otherwise visibly not white? If not, they have a credible case that they were fired because of their race. They were fired for “following the (reasonable) rules while white.”
EC, you may have just hit upon the NBT (Next Big Thing):
Working while White
Notice that the target here, is a SJW friendly business. Back to Eden is a vegan gluten-free bakery…you don’t get more precious than that here. And they say all the right things about their platform (http://concordiapdx.org/2017/09/bakery-offers-case-study-delicious-growth/).
Yet because 2 employees didn’t virtue signal the right way according to Lillian Green (whose career includes “introducing racial equity work into different schools in the Portland Public School District”), they had to pay. This business was picked because it was weak. I guess this bakery was/is participating in the next ‘Reparations Happy Hour’ that takes place here a few weeks from now. https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/05/26/us/reparations-happy-hour-portland.html
Burgess Owens notes that liberalism turns good men into whiners, weenies, and wimps. This bakery was just too easy to manipulate and I suspect this stunt is just another to keep so-called allies and others on their toes. These stunts are not as random as media might lead one to believe.
I moved to Portland because back then you could be yourself, and thought diversity was as important as skin deep diversity. No longer! This place is increasingly more totalitarian every day. ‘Moscow on the Willamette’ is an apt description of living here (increased crime, crumbing roads, homeless explosion) and I tell folks now not to move here unless you want your head to explode often. All I can say is don’t let cultural Marxism take over your town!
Not everyone here is ok with this event. Check out the ‘reviews’ on Yelp.
God bless you, Mrs. Q. You always provide such thoughtful, clear commentary.
I followed the link as you suggested, and came across the following post from the owner (bold text added for emphasis):
5/29/2018 To be clear the majority of 1-star comments on our page are coming from people who live far away from Portland and have no experience with our company. They are nothing more than trolls resistant to facts and with nothing better to do than tear a small business down that stands for social justice in a country that sorely needs it. For the record, we did not fire any employees to save face or to appease anyone. Their employment was terminated because it was the right thing to do given the circumstances. While this may not be a case of overt racism there was a degree of implicit bias at work when you consider that the two white women who also came in after closing continued to be entertained for 10+ minutes after everyone else had left the premises. Back to Eden does not discriminate against anyone except for white supremacist fascists intent on harming others.
Res ipsa loquitur.
Did the two white women come in after closing or not? Is the actual store manager just lying about what happened now?
”Is the actual store manager just lying about what happened now?”
Who you gonna believe: a manager trying desperately to maintain their business’s…um…cred after getting its taint caught in a shredder in a town that has clearly-n-voluntarily forfeited observing fact-based reality or your lyin’ eyes watching that surveillance footage**?
**provided it accurately confirms the timeline indicated above.
That’s not what the original news account says—in fact, it says that the opposite: “Two other white women who went to the bakery two minutes before “Lillian”, and were also informed that the business was closed for the night.” Obviously the store owners are changing the facts. If the employees had served two white women while refusing to serve a black woman, that would obviously be racial discrimination. But then why would the store say “sometimes impact outweighs intent” and that they “lacked sensitivity and understanding of the racial implications at work” and that “this is more about how a black woman was made to feel” and “the employees did nothing wrong.” If it’s clear discrimination as their new version of the facts would suggest, then of course they did something wrong, and its an easy call.
They are lying, because they are caught.
That last sentence tells me all I need to know about these jerks.
And..”entertained”? Were they served or not? That’s weasel wording. If they made a purchase, why wouldn’t he say that? Did the employees dance for the women?
Ms. Q, I don’t know if you have been to the site you have posted in the last few minutes. They have since posted THIS (Bolding is mine.):
Active Cleanup Alert
This business recently made waves in the news, which often means that people come to this page to post their views on the news.
While we don’t take a stand one way or the other when it comes to these news events, we do work to remove both positive and negative posts that appear to be motivated more by the news coverage itself than the reviewer’s personal consumer experience with the business.
As a result, your posts to this page may be removed as part of our cleanup process beginning Thursday, May 31, 2018, but you should feel free to post your thoughts about the recent media coverage for this business on Yelp at any time.
”your posts to this page may be removed as part of our cleanup process”
A “wiped clean” cleanup process, like with a cloth…?
I saw that. I think it’s standard when there’s a controversy.
To be fair, apparently the white women entered after closing time too and about two minutes before the black woman. Still doesn’t really change anything though.
This story is fascinating on so many levels, from all angles: legal, business practices, ethics, public relations damage control, and a whole host of other areas. Thankfully, geometry and nationalized medical care were spared.
From the outset, it seems kind of dumb to deny a patron pastry at 9:06 p.m. because of a rigid application of store hours. This is a bakery and the business of a bakery is sell baked goods. Any sale of a baked good is a good sale, no?
Yet, if the bakery declares the store hours, the employees should not necessarily be punished for enforcing that policy. Otherwise, you would have people coming and going at all hours and the employees would have to stay beyond their shifts, which may result in hardships on them and others the employees depend on. For instance, if a child is at daycare, there may be an additional fee payable to the daycare because the employee arrived late to pick up the child. Termination of the employees for enforcing the store’s hours seems cruel, harsh, and unfair to the employees.
How this situation spiraled out of control is truly amazing. At first, I thought the fired employees posted about it; then, I learned the Lillian, the Perpetually Aggrieved, posted videos she took from outside the bakery on her Facebook feed, which then went viral. Many Facebookers banded together in a quasi-online lynch mob and filled the bakery’s Facebook page with love letters and messages.
The owners, dreaming of gluten free cookies, awoke to a public relations nightmare. One of the owners contacted Lillian via Facebook Messenger to try to apologize and resolve the problem (without knowing the real facts); though well-intentioned, he stepped into a virtual hornets’ nest. He then tried to make further amends by writing a preliminary statement, which failed miserably. His response: a 3400 word statement, which he subsequently deleted. Here is a link I found on a site called “The Way Back Machine”* that includes the bakery’s initial statement and the update:
The two statements, taken together are a brilliant lesson in multiculturalism, diversity, virtue signaling, damage control failures, capitulation to The Mob, sacrificing someone for the Greater Good, and the ranking order of privilege and standing in the Grievance Industry.
The initial statement had this little gem:
“Back to Eden Bakery is 100% committed to being a welcoming and supportive environment for all customers who share our values of inclusivity (sic?) and dismantling the white supremacist hetero-patriarchy.”
“First and foremost, we have let the two staff members go immediately as there will never be room in our organization for anyone who is inclined to give such poor customer service. . . Whatever their reason for denying you service is not acceptable and flies directly in the face of the experience we aim to provide our customers.” (That last sentence is awkward.)
So, two employees are whacked because they denied service to a Grievance Warrior of Color. Shouldn’t they have been whacked for denying services to the white patrons, as well? Seems fair, no?
And, then there is this:
“But we also recognize that simply firing the employees in question is not nearly enough to fully address the incident. Even though a very large portion of our staff are women of color and/or members of the LGBTQPOC (Ed. Note: is that acronym getting longer with addition of new letters?) community it is clear that we obviously have some more work to do to make sure that every single person we employ upholds our values and commitments.” Apparently, those values include doing “business in a gentrified neighborhood in a racist city within a racist state of a racist country.” Nice. Portland, Oregon, is the new headquarters for the KKK and the White Nationalist Party.
The take away from those paragraphs is that the bakery is in the business of addressing centuries, nay millenia, of social injustice up for enforcing store closing hours based on the mere suggestion that doing so has a disparate impact on people of color. Will there be a new closing policy? Will that new closing policy require a meeting of the employees to discuss what negative impact closing at 9:10 pm will have on people of color? Should they discuss closing at 9:15? 9:20?
Will the management provide a training session where the employees will learn that they must not deny after-closing hours service to any patron until the employees have reviewed and agreed that appropriate boxes on the Bakery Diversity Product Acquisition Form have been met? Does the Bakery Diversity Product Acquisition Form contain a sliding scale? If only one boxed is checked, employees may deny service after 2 minutes of closing; if two or more are checked, then an additional minute must be added to the patron’s constitutional right to acquire pastry after the official closing time?
In that second statement, the owners wrote this:
“At a base level, Lillian, a proud Black woman who has roots in the Alberta neighborhood and has seen it systematically gentrified (Ed. Note: there’s that word again) over the years by property owners and businesses like ours, chose to patron our bakery for the first time trusting that our company is who it portends to be and was denied service while the room is filled with white people getting served their vegan treats without incident.”
The cynic in me suggests that Lillian had ulterior motives as she is probably in the business of stoke racial tensions for her own gain. Anyone who is described as “professional equity activist” probably has a history of incidents. Perhaps she was predisposed to perceive as racist an inconvenience. But, according to the owners, “[s]ometimes impact outweighs intent[.]” Lillian felt discriminated against; that is all that is needed. Hence, the employees were fired, and while their identities are not disclosed, they have been humiliated by the online posts.
The second message includes a detailing of the video timeline:
“Since people are seeking the precise details of what occurred here is what we were able to view in Thursday night’s security camera footage:
“-At 9:02 pm we were unusually busy for closing time which is stated as 9pm everywhere that our hours appear. Most of the seats were filled and there were four people in line waiting to be served.
“-At 9:03 pm our employee turns the “Open” sign light off.
“-At 9:04 pm two more white women walk in and line up to be served. At this point the customers present are informed that we are officially closed. (Ed. Note: the statement does not clarify if these women were served or if they left. If they were served, then it was not fair to Lillian; if they were denied service, then Lillian should take her videos and go away.)
“-At 9:06 pm Lillian enters and stands in line to be served assuming given how many people are still inside and the doors unlocked that we are still open. Lillian is told we are closed and the last two women in line are the last to be served. After that she exits the building and begins taking her first video.
“Lillian’s videos came to my attention when I awoke to feed our dogs at 6am and I immediately began pulling our management team together around the issue. . . .”
This is the new normal: “Making her story public was a powerful move on her part and while it is giving us a lot of growing pains we are thankful that she was able to document her experience and garner support far and wide because prejudicial treatment is a reality for Black and brown people that none of us can ignore. ”
The owners systematically endorsed, validated, and promoted mob rule and online shaming. Rather than have a customer contact them directly about the problem, the Perpetually Aggrieved need only post unflattering videos online for all the world to see and allow The Furies will do their stuff, and management will capitulate to appease them: they fired the two female (wait – doesn’t that assume the employees’ gender?) employees, in their words, “[s]ince both Lillian and the clamoring public were demanding that these staff members be fired.” Two employees were sacrificed to please Lillian and The Mob. That didn’t work, did it?
The longer statement concludes, “But no matter how long it takes Back to Eden Bakery is in this fight for equity and justice for the long haul and will do everything within its power to foster the ‘Beloved Community’ Dr. King so beautifully envisioned.” When in doubt, throw in Martin Luther King, Jr., at whose name all should genuflect.
*You know I love anything that is remotely related to a Rush (the band, not the radio talk show host), because as we know from the Time Machine Tour, the “Way Back Machine” is a glorious apparatus that allowed fans to peruse their entire catalog, past, present, and future.
Wonderful job, JB. Great overview and analysis.
How do people get like this?
The dilemma of the blurry line would obviously be the culprit here. I have seen it so often. Your choice is to have a hard deadline, and show no mercy, or start being generous, and be taken advantage of. Obviously, they should have locked the door. If a couple women came in quickly after the formal closing, and the employees decided to be lenient, but also that they were the last ones to be served, it shouldn’t matter whether the next customer in is black, white or with purple spots: they have every right and reason to say “Nope.” It sounds like this may have been what happened, and the owners are saying that because she was black, they had to make an exception for her. And, of course, what if they said NOW no more exceptions, and the next one in the door was Muslim, or a serviceman, or a cop, or a handicapped trans Asian Jew?
And a Comment of the Day.
Mrs. Q’s comments above are illuminating, too. She correctly points out that the bakery in question is vegan and gluten free, and promotes/adheres to the progressive narrative of diversity and inclusion. It is also interesting that the owners are a same-sex couple. Yet, in a clash between race and sexual orientation, clearly, race prevails.
I did not mention that the bakery posted this on its Facebook page about deleting critical comments of the bakery:
“These comments are not simply critical of our actions (we can handle that) but they are meant to be intimidating and dehumanizing to everyone involved. Our employees and the community that is attempting to support and/or actually dialogue with us is feeling unsafe and we have an obligation to them. We are anti-censorship and support everyone’s freedom of speech but will not allow any of our platforms to be a repository of hate.
Also, the bakery will, in fact, be hosting the Brown Hope Reparations Happy Hour, in which whites get to pay for persons’ of color’s purchases.