retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Chicago Sun Times has a piece about something I've never heard about before - the "sanctuary restaurant movement."

So I checked it out, and quickly found out that there actually is a website dedicated to the movement - SanctuaryRestaurants.org.

According to the site, "Sanctuary restaurants have a zero tolerance policy for sexism, racism, and xenophobia. We believe that there is a place at the table for all. Sanctuary Restaurants is a joint project of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United and Presente.org with participation by dozens of restaurants nationwide. Sanctuary Restaurants offer support and resources to workers impacted by hostile policies and actions, including women, immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQI people and others."

It is interesting, especially within the context of a politics in which the word "sanctuary" seems to be used more and more often. A number of cities, college campuses, churches and now businesses are declaring themselves to be "sanctuaries" where there will be potentially considerable resistance to expected changes in federal priorities. (There's even a state - California - where, without using the word "sanctuary," there is a sense that many people intend to rebel against some national trends.)

Here's the deal. I know when I bring stuff like this up, there will be members of the MNB community who will wonder why such political issues are being discussed in a business context. But I think that regardless of whether you agree with proponents of the sanctuary movement, it is important to know that this stuff is taking place - that customers on either side of the aisle may end up making purchase decisions based on positions staked out by businesses.

Not everybody, and certainly not in every case.

But this stuff is out there. The potential exists, I think, for the kind of cultural upheaval that hasn't been seen in the US since the late sixties and early seventies.

No choice. We all have to keep our Eyes Open.
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