The Power of a Brick

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9 Responses

  1. SteveB says:

    Today I learned that destroying private property is an acceptable way of conducting myself and furthering My interests and the interests of this like me.

    I will use my experience as a combat vet to better train instigators and would-be rioters so we can all bring more attention and change to our nation.

  2. John Pepper says:

    Thanks Steve. I understand and respect your experience but as to the sarcasm, but that’s hardly the point of what I wrote. Thanks for reading regardless.
    Cheers, John

  3. Jay B says:

    Found your article on reddit, and decided to give it a read.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/boston/comments/gz5jod/founder_of_boloco_on_looted_store/

    I understand the symbolism used with the rock and your window, but I disagree with the rioters and destruction and will never agree with it. People worked hard to get where they are today, and small business is the backbone of our great country. Many people have had homes, businesses, and cars destroyed or looted in the name of “Awareness.” I’m also willing to bet a lot of these people that picked up a brick, could care less about anyone that died. People with the real message dont feel the need to destroy, and if you look at the videos of people protesting… its the protesters that are stopping the rioters in most cases.

    I just want to say, I am not racist. I do agree that there is a serious problem corruption in SOME law enforcement and injustice to minorities. I’m just not sure the destruction of property is the best way to go about it. I’m happy to see business owners, such as yourself, taking a stand here and using your platform for good. We need change. We need a system of law enforcement we can trust. We need to work together to make all of this happen, big guys and the little guys. I really hope this desire to change and the want to change continues past the protests. Too often i feel important changes get left behind when the “mood” shifts to the next big thing.

    I support the protestors. I do not support the rioters.

    My wife and I make less fortunate bags for the homeless. While working, I will commonly hand out bags of simply toiletries and such that most people take for granted. I’m not looking for praise, but if everyone just did their part, the world could be a better place. White, black, orange, purple… it doesn’t matter. These are people. Human beings. Someone who once had a loving family, maybe still does. Little boys and girls who had dreams, aspirations, and goals. People forget that we are all human.

    My son is 6. He doesn’t see color at all. When I tried to tell him what was going on, he simply didn’t understand. I asked about his friend from school (who is an african american) and i asked him if he notices anything different about him. He can honestly say no. We can all learn so much from a 6 year old.

    On a side note, i used to do service work for your huntington location every month at 7am or so. Used to get me a truck stop every time. Your food is delicious and your staff is awesome. Thanks for the read!

    • Kara says:

      Hi Jay, your intentions for seeing everyone as human are good. I just want to point out that “not seeing color” is actually lessening the black experience. In fact you should be telling your children it’s okay to see color! It’s a difference in melanin and it IS visible to adults and children alike. And it’s OKAY that we are different and we can respect those differences without erasing them. And from there, we can acknowledge that those differences lead to differences in privilege and make lasting, generational change. I’m not trying to attack, but rather educate with some of what I have recently learned myself.

    • John Pepper says:

      Jay,
      I really appreciate your thoughts here. To be clear, and perhaps I should have made this more clear, I don’t condone the rioting and looting, etc… but I have sought to understand it. If for no other reason than to have a more informed response and set of actions.
      By the way, our youngest is 6 too. We’ve had the same conversation. And yes, seeing the world through his eyes has its moments!

  4. Steve says:

    It is far easier for Boloco to hide behind their B Corporation status and give a payoff to BLM (which will all end up going back to the DNC anyway) instead of actually helping people by being honest with them. I don’t blame them since honesty would get them shut down by the ignorant mob.

    What does honesty look like?
    >It would be explaining to people that POCs have a bad reputation because they commit far more *violent* crimes per capita, than whites and Asians.
    >It would be explaining that that POCs pay far less in taxes than whites and Asians.
    >It would be explaining that “White privilege” is a myth – Asians do better than whites (fewer arrests, much higher income per capita) in a majority-white country.
    >It would be explaining that POC culture doesn’t value education as much as white and Asian cultures.
    >It would be explaining that one graphic, violent video does not accurately represent reality.
    >It would be explaining that the reality is that the biggest threat to black people are other black people, not the cops. Not being killed by cops is also pretty straightforward (don’t commit a crime and don’t resist arrest)
    >It would be explaining that the reason they are not given respect is that their reputation is terrible because of the amount of crime they commit. They can easily fix this reputation by changing their collective behavior.
    >It would be explaining that every perceived slight is not because of racism.
    >It would be showing them that countless immigrants come here with nothing and make it big – they can too.

    Your donations will not help because the mob does not want to be helped, they only want to feel good. They don’t want the doctor to tell them to diet and exercise, they want the doctor to tell them it’s not their fault.

    The mob will not listen to reason or evidence or care about your thoughtful positions. They will burn you down again no matter how much time and money you give them. Apologizing, “listening” or sharing your feelings won’t help you either.

    Throwing money at BLM isn’t going to help black people get respect. Anyone with half a brain sees these “protests” and makes a note to 1) never live anywhere near these types of people and 2) don’t open businesses near these types of people – or you’ll get what you deserve

    A real leader is courageous enough to stand up to the mob and give them the truth.

    Ask yourself if a donation to BLM would help or if an honest conversation would help more. Ask them if the same lies they’ve been fed will help them or maybe an dose of the truth. I think the time for honest conversations is here.

    I don’t expect you to actually do this because our insane cancel culture will lead these morons to try and tear you down if you actually gave them a taste of what the facts are.

    • John Pepper says:

      Steve,
      Its fine to believe what you believe. But when you say “It is far easier for Boloco to hide behind their B Corporation status and give a payoff to BLM (which will all end up going back to the DNC anyway) instead of actually helping people by being honest with them”, I am not hiding behind anything. I’m in plain sight. You, on the other hand, are undetectable. Boloco won’t “do well” because of anything we’ve written here. We are barely surviving as it is, and I’m not sure this is what the marketing experts would recommend at this juncture. We are calling it like we see it… for better or for worse. We aren’t always correct, and have been called out for it by the very same kinds of people you seem to damn in this post… and we listen to them as well as to you. And then we decide. In this case, I don’t agree with most of what you’ve written. And that’s ok. Thanks.

  5. Kim says:

    Dear John,
    It takes a LOT to listen, to REALLY listen. Thank you for for listening to your employees about their very real experiences with customers who would likely argue that they don’t see color, yet treat her rudely. Thank you for listening to those who disagree with your brave stance and hide behind statistics that don’t make sense… 12% of the population could NEVER pay the same amount in taxes as 61%, that’s just math. I for one have been a Boloco customer since it was The Wrap and I will continue to be one gladly.
    I am African American and I do not approve of the looting. I also noticed that the people I saw on the news looting were not exclusively Black, and as some were outed on TV, they were not all Bostonians. These were opportunists, and I am sorry they took the opportunity to loot your store. I appreciate your trying to make sense of what happened and taking the high road of not getting angry. I am amazed by how many store owners have chosen to be change agents, not victims.
    Furthermore I appreciate that you have taken the time to try to move in a different direction. Your staff diversity and competitive pay structure demonstrates to me you are “not racist”. Your willingness to listen shows that you are anti-racist– a more profound and important position. Thank you for taking a thoughtful corporate position, and for taking a loving and profound human position. I hope some day in the future I will enjoy a burrito and a George Washington Carver shake with my grandchildren.

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