It isn’t my job to make political statements or use my title to promote my own views. It isn’t our role as grocers to alienate shoppers by taking politics into our aisles.
IGA is an American company; our family-owned businesses are the very best of what makes the American system work. We serve and protect our communities and in return, they reward us with business. Our parents and grandparents grew their communities through their efforts and provided for generations of associates. We support local churches and charities and Little League teams; we help out those in need. Because it is the right thing to do.
We do the right thing in our communities, always.
Yesterday I watched in horror as unlawful and violent protest took over the very symbol of democracy and freedom in the modern world: the U.S. Capitol Building.
The right thing to do, right now, as an American, is to condemn what happened yesterday in our nation’s capital. Whether it's appropriate for me to share or not, I can’t sit still and not voice my horror and shame about what happened.
Regardless of where we stand on any issue, regardless of what political party anyone favors, no one is above the law. When protest turns to riot, our system breaks down and we pander to the basest animal instincts of the mob. Burning American cities, ramming cars into protestors, or breaking into the Capitol are abhorrent, shameful displays.
As a global company, IGA members around the world were watching alongside us as the role model for peaceful democratic rule broke down into the dangerous display of extremism.
I am proud of the politicians on both sides of the aisle who came out and denounced the lawlessness. The democratic process works. It has transformed the world and given voice and power to people to self-govern, self-rule. Liberty comes at a cost, though—to protect it we have to work within the rule of law. Democracy is slow, it is bureaucratic, and it can be amazingly frustrating. But it protects and empowers social and economic growth wherever it flourishes.
As an American, I condemn what happened yesterday. As an American business leader, I say to our associates here in the United States and IGA associates all around the world that January 6, 2021, a day that will go down in infamy, was not who we are.
As a country, how we behave today will—I am confident—show how the actions of a radical few cannot destroy, cannot tarnish the great institution of American democracy. We will not cave to fanaticism, and we will endure and prosper, as we always have, through lawful discourse within the framework of the constitution of the United States.
God bless us.
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