Peace be with you
It has been a while since I was on-line. I can’t say I really missed it, but, then again, if I really didn’t miss it why am I here now? I guess I still have some shit to say.
Since you last heard from me a lot of shit happened. The first was on October 2nd. It was a hot day, and I had found some work. After working all day I went to the Co-Op to get some organic food. While I was doing my daily shopping, and unknown to me at that time, I had picked up a tail. The guy in the front of the photo, a “security officer,” also unknown at the time, was profiling me. Now I don’t know why after ten years of shopping at the Co-Op they would suddenly get it in their heads that I am a thief, but that is exactly what they did.
What had apparently happened was that while being followed through the store, I pulled my money out to see if I had enough to make additional purchases from their establishment, and they took that as me thieving something. I checked out not aware that the management was all in an excitement to ambush me on my way out of the store. As I exit the fuck in the picture lifts up his shirttail and flashes what looks like a cop badge, and says, “see this badge?” “What did you put in your pocket?” Now I’m confused. What the fuck is a cop doing waiting for me outside the Co-Op?
I empty my pockets to prove to the fuck I wasn’t the droid he was looking for. He, then satisfied, marches back into the store, leaving me with my pockets emptied in front of the entire town. Never identifying himself as a Co-Op “security officer,” he didn’t even thank me for allowing him to abuse me, nor apologize.
I’m more than a little miffed at this point. My brain was starting to work again and I realized what had just happened – I was profiled, falsely accused, and made to believe I was facing a cop, by the fucking CO–OP! I marched back into the store and made badge dude show me his badge again. Though I left the Co-Op laughing my ass off about Mr. plastic badge, I have never been back. I bought damn near all my food there. I bought coffee every morning I could afford it there. And a lot of my friends shop there too.
It doesn’t seem that the Co-Op turned out to be what they originally claimed to be creating. Once the Co-Op was a meeting place, that practiced altruism, and community spirit. They went from a community space to a little yellow “freespeech zone.” From donating 3% of their profits to charity, to taking credit for giving what you donate at the checkout. They went from giving food out the backdoor, and supporting Food Not Bombs out the front, to locked dumpsters. They went from acceptance of differences of community members, to cop impersonating security guards profiling hippies. They went from promoting community morals to renting from Rob Arkley. They went from promoting from within to hiring big city corporate managers. And they went from a cooperative to a co-opted corporate interest who put profits before people.
Every member of the Co-Op should never again talk about how stockholders should be held responsible for the corporate abuses their stockholding allows. It is as if each and every one of you had a hand in profiling me because of my dreads, tiedye, or what ever bullshit Mr. tin badge used in your name. If your are the coolest of a predominantly cool community then physician heal thyself.
I know it is a pain in the ass to boycott a store, but that reluctancy to action is exactly why nothing changes, and in fact keep getting worse. I do know that Eureka Natural Foods is cheaper, and they dress their security guards as security guards, not police detectives.
Four or five years ago Safeway did the same bullshit to me. I stripped damn near naked to prove my innocence in that one. Even though that security guard was fired over that shit, I still haven’t been back in Safeway. I doubt that the worlds biggest grocery store is going to change its policies very easy, but the local so-called Co-Op might just come around if enough people would give a shit. Otherwise maybe it is time to start a Cooperative, or two, or a dozen.