Protesters Boycott Whole Foods After Employees Turned Away for Wearing BLM Masks

Jacquie Cadorette
July 06, 2020 - 4:02 pm

    Black Lives Matter advocates are calling on Whole Foods to change its policy on not allowing workers to wear face masks supporting the cause.

    About 40 protesters gathered outside of a Whole Foods in Cambridge, Massachusetts where seven employees walked out on the job after being turned away for wearing Black Lives Matter masks to work, according to the Boston Globe.

    "There should be no place safe for racism, and the only way that happens is if they say it out loud and stop hiding behind neutrality," protester Jason Slavick told the publication.

    Meanwhile, Suverino Frith, one of the employees who was turned away for wearing a BLM mask, says the company is comprised of "careful people" who wish to avoid taking a stance on the matter either way.

    "They don't want to alienate anyone," Frith said to the crowd of protesters. "They don't really want to choose a side; they just want to seem like they are. ONly that's too bad, because we're choosing a side for them."

    In the days following the incident involving the masks, more than 20 additional employees walked off the job on June 30 in solidarity with the move to change the company's policy.

    Frith remains shocked over the company's response to his activism. "With the core values that we have at the company, that we always talk about, it didn't seem like that would be the response," he explained.

    A Whole Foods spokesperson has confirmed that employees are barred from wearing clothing with messages that are not company-related.

    Starbucks recently came under fire for a similar issue. Following the backlash, the company reversed its policy on banning Black Lives Matter masks.

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