Activists in Minnesota called for a local food co-op, Valley Natural Foods, to remove a brand from their store after the owner spoke out against Critical Race Theory at a school board meeting. Lareen Narva, the owner of Bittersweet Bakery, a small gluten-free bakery in Minnesota, spoke up at a local school board meeting to oppose the implementation of Critical Race Theory.
Narva said that she was “appalled that she [the superintendent] would push a radical left political agenda.” She went on to say that “CRT [Critical Race Theory] is teaching them [students] to hate our country, and all in the name of social justice.” Narva said that the purpose of schools is to teach “the basics, reading, writing and arithmetic.” She also said that “excellence is not CRT or BLM [Black Lives Matter],” calling Black Lives Matter the “most racist organization that has ever existed in United States history.”
Narva also took issue with the school board’s suggestion to do away with the monthly public meetings and instead offer one-on-one meetings with individual school board members, citing accountability and trust. She said, “Our tax dollars pay your wage. You do work for us.” Narva was referring to a policy change that was approved in the June 28 school board meeting, that will eliminate the open forum for District 196 school board meetings and instead offer monthly “listening sessions” where people with concerns can meet with a school board member.
After Narva’s speech at the meeting, activists began calling for the local food co-op, Valley Natural, to remove her products from their shelves. Activists started a Change.org petition to “stop racism” and get her products removed from any local businesses that stock her products, including Hy-vee, Kowalskis, Dunn Bros, and other local coffee shops. They also began leaving bad reviews about the bakery on the bakery’s Google profile and Facebook page. The petition reads, “This petition is to call on the various retailers, coffee shops, and other food-based establishments to reject bigotry, racism, and social injustice by no longer purchasing and directly supporting the racism that BitterSweet Bakery stands for. Whether you’re Christian or not, we must be intolerant of racial views that divide our society even further.”
A Change.org counter-petition was also created, calling on those who support Bittersweet Bakery to boycott Valley Natural Foods and to contact them and ask them to keep stocking the bakery’s products.
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]