Trader Joe’s refuses to stop carrying Russian vodka. Here is its response to the initiative of the LGBTQ community to stop selling or consuming Russian vodka as a means of showing solidarity with the Russian gays and lesbians who are being persecuted viciously on the state level in Russia:
Thank you for your email. We can assure you that at Trader Joe’s, we do not take stands on local, national, or global political or human rights issues. We leave that stuff up to the governments involved, and we rely heavily on the trade regulations established by the United States government. We bring in many products from around the world as allowed by the U.S. government. We are an economic democracy, meaning that if people don’t buy a product, we won’t sell it. Our customers make statements about our products with their dollars every day, and we are dedicated to this approach. The Russian products we carry continue to sell well and will not be discontinued for any other reason! We hope you will continue to enjoy these and the many products we bring in from around the world!” – Trader Joe’s, responding to a customer request.
Of course, it is obvious that “we do not take stands on local, national, or global political or human rights issues” is a fallacy. Not taking a stand against injustice perpetuates the status quo and, in fact, constitutes taking a stand in a pretty major way.
I hope that this email is not real because the annoying chatty tone and the complete lack of sensitivity it demonstrates are very disappointing.