Costco will reportedly no longer sell Palmetto Cheese in at least 120 of its stores after Brian Henry, Palmetto Cheese’s founder, said that the Black Lives Matter organization was a “terrorist organization.”
Henry, who is also mayor of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, made the remarks in a since-deleted Aug. 25 Facebook post that prompted many people on social media to call for a boycott of the company.
What are the details?
According to NBC’s “Today,” a Costco store announced the company had removed the cheese items in question from at least 120 stores as prompted by Henry’s remarks.
Henry’s remarks were purported to be in response to the news of a murder of two residents in Georgetown, South Carolina.
The Facebook read, “I am sickened by the senseless killings in Georgetown last night. 2 innocent people murdered. Not 2 thugs or people wanted on multiple warrants. 2 white people defenselessly gunned down by a black man. So why do we stand by and allow BLM to lawlessly destroy great American cities and threaten their citizens on a daily basis … this has gone on too long. Rise up America. This BLM and Antifa movement must be treated like the terror organizations they are.”
The outlet pointed to a release from the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, which detailed the incident.
Henry, in the post, apparently referred to 23-year-old Ty Sheem Ha Sheem Walters III, who was arrested the day before Henry’s viral post after reportedly shooting three people and killing two others following a car accident that day.
In a store sign announcement following social media outcry, a Costco franchise wrote, “Over 120 Costco’s [sic] throughout the US are no longer carrying this item.”
The sign also read, “The *(asterisk) on this sign means that these 2 items are discontinued and will not be re-ordered by Costco.”
Several outlets — including “Today” — reportedly reached out to the company to confirm the decision, but the company refused to provide comment.
A popular pimento cheese brand will no longer be carried at 120 Costco Wholesale locations nationwide.https://t.co/QXBG2u6zsP
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) September 18, 2020
Henry says ‘sorry’
On Sept. 3, Henry issued an apology during a news conference.
“I am profoundly sorry to those I offended with my post last week,” he said in his remarks. “My comments were hurtful and insensitive. I spent that past 10 days listening and learning. The conversations I’ve had with friends, our staff, the community and faith-based leaders provided me with a deeper understanding of racial inequality and the importance of diversity sensitivity, which is very much needed to heal Pawleys Island, Georgetown and our country.”
In response to Henry’s August remarks, Marvin Neal — the NAACP branch president in Georgetown, South Carolina — called for the Pawleys Island mayor’s resignation.
“When two white people were allegedly killed by a black man in Georgetown, SC, Mayor Brian Henry of the neighboring town of Pawley’s [sic] Island Beach had the opportunity to bring citizens closer together,” the statement read. “He instead chose to use his platform to cause further racial divide and controversy by venting his frustrations on social media.”
In a statement to “Today,” Neal said, “Mayor Henry used the power and privilege afforded to his office to further his personal agenda and spread hateful, racist rhetoric with the potential of inciting violence. These situations must be taken seriously. Racism cannot and will not be tolerated by the citizens of Pawley’s [sic] Island Beach and Georgetown County, SC. Mayor Henry’s actions reflected negatively upon himself and the community in which he serves.”
Author: Sarah Taylor