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SCOTT DREYER: Kroger Plays The Woke Card – But Do Shoppers Know it?

“Kroger has always been a family-friendly store,” a woman who has been shopping at Roanoke-area Krogers for almost 60 years recently claimed. However, as many major corporations from Coke to Disney have recently made the decision to go “woke” and inject leftwing politics in their businesses and policies, the Ohio-based Kroger corporation has signaled that it too has chosen to follow that same path.

Many Kroger stores rotate monthly a prominently-located poster touting “Bringing Diversity to the Table” which in previous months has highlighted Latino or Asian and Pacific-Islander Heritage. However, in June, those signs displayed the logo of the Washington DC-based organization, “Human Rights Campaign” (HRC) and boasted that Kroger enjoyed a high score on the HRC’s “Diversity Index.”

Most shoppers are likely unaware that HRC has a Political Action Committee (PAC), and on May 6, 2020 that PAC endorsed Joe Biden for President. In January 2016, the HRC Board of Directors unanimously endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for president.

In addition to the signs in some stores, the Kroger website has a page dedicated to “pride” and it shows a cartoon figure — characters Kroger has used in its advertising — waving an HRC flag. (In an ironic twist, both the Human Rights Campaign and Mrs. Clinton share the same initials, HRC.)

Since inflation is at the highest rate since the 1970s, that means Americans in their 40s and younger have never before experienced such out-of-control price hikes. Prices of groceries and gas have skyrocketed. Polls indicate that President Biden’s approval continues to sink, and despite his attempts to shift the blame to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, most Americans believe the Biden administration’s policies are creating these difficulties.

The Roanoke Star reached out to Kroger’s corporate offices in Cincinnati to ask why, when so many are struggling, Kroger would enthusiastically endorse a political organization that enthusiastically worked to put President Biden into office. In another ironic twist, two key areas where many are suffering are rising prices of groceries and gas: two of Kroger’s mainstays.

Moreover, with the exception of Roanoke City, most of Southwest Virginia is trending more and more Republican. For example, in last November’s elections, many localities in our region voted GOP over Democrat by a 4 to 1 or even 5 to 1 margin, up and down the ballot.

One resident of Botetourt County is married with two young children. He and his wife are college-educated, professional people, and when asked if he shopped at Kroger, he replied “Almost exclusively.” However, upon learning that Kroger is closely entwined with the leftwing HRC, he noted, “we’ll have to start finding alternatives.”

Why, The Roanoke Star inquired, would Kroger chose in this time of hyper-partisanship and economic dislocation to publicly support any political organization – much less one that many disagree with, or even find offensive? If Kroger endorses the HRC, what other political groups do they support? Does Kroger have an official stance on, say, the National Rifle Association? Or Planned Parenthood? Or the Sierra Club?

As politics are encroaching on– and some would say, corrupting– more and more areas of life and culture, why would Kroger want to inject politics into the grocery shopping experience? Moreover, since the grocery business is known to have notoriously-thin margins and competition in that market keeps ratcheting up, why would Kroger risk alienating a potentially large portion of its customer base?

As of publication time, no response has been received.

–Scott Dreyer

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