Two grocery stores removed pro-American products after receiving complaints that the items were insensitive given recent mass shootings.
The decision to pull the items was subsequently denounced as an act of political concession that would cost the chain pro-gun customers.
On June 20, a Twitter user objected to items sold at Harris Teeter that read “Give me liberty or give me death” and “America, love it or leave it.”
“Why are you allowing this type of item to be sold at your grocery store in Huntersville NC? Clearly in light of the recent mass shootings, you can understand how this IS NOT a good idea,” the Twitter user wrote on June 20, per Fox Business. The post has since been deleted.
The patriotic items are part of the store’s “Freedom Series.”
“As soon as these items were brought to our attention we put a recall request into place and these items are being removed from all store locations. We appreciate your concern,” Harris Teeter responded on Twitter.
The company’s decision was applauded by some and panned as a political statement by others.
Way to go, @HarrisTeeter and thank you. Please don’t allow your stores to sell items that encourage gun violence ever again.
— Carol (@sevenoakshotmom) June 20, 2022
Congratulations on caving to the Woke. We (Those that still believe in our country, and are looking forward to the red wave) will speak with our wallets. When you choose to go woke, don’t try to win us back as you go broke. #GoWokeGoBroke
— MysteryGirl (@1MysteryGirl) June 21, 2022
Why do you cater to ONE customer? Causing you to loose several thousand for playing woke games —- enough is enough
— Sheryl (@Sherylsreyem) June 21, 2022
Well, I guess I'll be doing my grocery shopping at Giant EAGLE from now on. Good to know you still sell cigarettes, cuz those never hurt anyone…
— InsanityEverywhere (@InsanityEveryw1) June 21, 2022
The North Carolina-based chain was acquired by Kroger in January of 2014. At the time, there were over 200 locations of the store across the mid-Atlantic – many of which were near universities and resort areas.
The Kroger brand also includes the Oregon-based grocery store chain, Fred Meyers.
On the same day Harris Teeter said it would pull its America-themed items, a candidate for the North Carolina House of Representatives complained on Twitter about two coozies sold at Krogers and Harris Teeters in the state.
The can holders include a Bald eagle holding a gun with the phrase “Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death” and Thomas Jefferson holding a gun and the second amendment with the slogan “Arms Change, Rights Don’t.”
“I am disappointed these coozies are being sold in an NC store. 110 Americans die every day from gun violence and most recently children, educators, health care providers, and family members were killed in mass shootings,” wrote Christy Clark. “Please remove them.”
Kroger told Clark they would send her request to its leadership for consideration.
Thanks for reaching out, Christy. We will tell our leadership about your request that we remove these items from our shelves. We appreciate your feedback.
— Kroger (@kroger) June 20, 2022
Subsequently, Harris Teeter said it would remove the items from its stores.
Thanks for reaching out, Christy. As soon as these items were brought to our attention we put a recall request into place and these items are being removed from all store locations. We appreciate your concern.
— Harris Teeter (@HarrisTeeter) June 20, 2022