I have to say I look forward to our bi-weekly Sunday grocery shopping sojourns to the Batavia Trader Joe’s. I love it’s more manageable size, their fascinating food options, and the staff, many of whom have toiled there for years, are always pleasant and friendly.
In fact, TJ’s is so much fun I couldn’t begin to imagine how the Cancel Culture could possibly come up with something to put them in their crosshairs. But I should’ve known better because the second I dismissed that thought, those parents’ basement dwelling Hot Pocket eaters said “Hold my beer!”
This time it is was the amusing appellations TJ’s applies to their in-house brand of ethnic foods. To wit, they sell Trader Jose’s enchiladas, Trader Giotto’s spaghetti sauce, and Trader Ming’s kung pao chicken.
It’s one of the plethora of reasons that the Trader Joe’s chain is so successful. I don’t feel nearly as inspired to visit Jewell.
But after employing those sobriquets for decades, the Cancel Culture caught up with them in the form of a California high school student who posted a Change.org petition insisting TJ’s drop those ethnic names.
This student claimed they create “a narrative of exoticism that perpetuation harmful stereotypes.”
So, now a freakin’ cellphone addicted 17-year-old is driving the cultural and corporate conversation? As if the adults weren’t already freakin’ bad enough! This is exactly why high schoolers should be rarely seen and NEVER heard.
Please also note that starting an online petition is literally the least anyone could do to combat racism.
But instead of falling as flat as it should have, smelling corporate blood, the Cancel Culture leapt upon TJ’s, and the patently puerile press, who can’t even spell the word “journalism” anymore, whipped the Hot Pocket crowd into yet another self-righteous who’s-the-most-woke frenzy.
Faced with that onerous onslaught, TJ’s parent company initially backed down faster than Ellen DeGeneres from a workplace harassment complaint. They said something to the effect of we were gonna phase out those names anyway.
But then something strange and wondrous happened! An even larger number of Trader Joe’s customers cancelled the Cancel Culture by submitting their own petitions and emails explaining just how much they enjoyed those whimsical names. And just like Cindy Lou Who’s effect on the Grinch, their corporate cojones grew three times their size and TJ’s declared they’d keep those appellations after all.
Bereft of the mob mentality that empowers and drives them, like that suddenly curtain-less Wizard of Oz, the now terrified cancel culture-ites skittered back into their dark corners like cockroaches confronted with a bright kitchen light.
Then, though I’d never recommend threatening anyone online, much less a teenager, liberals and conservatives alike savaged our intrepid high schooler who claimed she was “surprised” by the counterreaction.
That’s probably a better lesson than anything she’s ever learned in school, too!
You see, in the end, the Cancel Culture is nothing more than a case of the political stars occasionally aligning such that people who’ve never had real power have temporary power over those who do. But because wisdom isn’t part of their equation, they wield it like a weapon and not a catalyst for change.
And they truly savor those brief minutes when they can destroy other peoples’ lives.
These are the sons and daughters of the parents who fully bought into that 1980s California Self-Esteem movement lie that children could develop self-worth without having to earn it. They are the progeny of the parents who presented them with a dozen roses simply for singing in that annual first-grade music program choir.
The Cancel Culture is the inevitable result of grown up participation trophy kids who were showered with all sorts of accolades awards and accolades for simply showing up.
But then a strange thing happened! These children, who were endlessly told they were “special” in grade, middle, high school, and even college, walked directly onto that real-world rake only to be smacked squarely on the forehead by a swiftly unraveling lie.
They weren’t special. In fact, they were barely average. They had no clue the best thing that ever happened to Michael Jordan was being cut from his high school basketball team. He took that failure and turned it into the kind of inspiration to become the NBA’s greatest.
Since no one ever told them they were “wrong,” they weren’t equipped to look into the bathroom mirror and say, “Whoa! This isn’t going to be easy, but all the evidence indicates success will not be simply thrust upon me. It requires hard work, perseverance, and most of all, a willingness to risk failure! I need to start making the appropriate adjustments pronto!”
Nope! These overly entitled folks took another tack. If they couldn’t succeed, then no one could. So, rather than make an effort to improve, they realized they could feel better about themselves if they brought down successful people who had the temerity to incur their wrath for something they did 20 years ago.
But just like it is with any addiction, the Cancel Culture will continue to get crazier until it finally implodes upon itself.
And all it takes to hasten that collapse is for people like us to stand up to them in the same way Trader Joe’s customers convinced corporate not to cave. And what’ve the consequences been…? That’s right zero! Because the only power this mob really has is intimidation. Once you pull back the Wizard’s curtain, you quickly realize they ain’t got nuthin’
The George Floyd tragedy and the pandemic have provided them with the opportunity to slither out of their corners one more time. That means it’s up to us to send them scurrying back.