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Shoppers call for Hobby Lobby boycott over pro-Trump display

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  • Hobby Lobby is once again in hot water in response to a now-viral tweet that allegedly shows a display of decorative letters at one of the company’s locations that reads “USA Vote Trump.” 
  • The boycott is one of several efforts made against the company in the past decade, in response to its controversial stances on everything from reproductive rights to coronavirus safety policies. 
  • “I’m not a fan of Hobby Lobby. I would never shop there,” Kari Brekke, the author of the viral tweet, told Business Insider.”I’m a Democrat. I hate the company.”
  • Some Twitter users pointed out that another customer may have arranged the letters rather than an employee.
  • Hobby Lobby did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request to comment. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Shoppers are once again calling for a boycott of Hobby Lobby, the arts-and-crafts company that’s no stranger to controversy

The growing #BoycottHobbyLobby effort began picking up steam on social media on Sunday, in response to a now viral tweet shared by user Kari Brekke. In the tweet — which now has has more than 33,000 likes and over 10,000 retweets — Brekke shares an image of what is allegedly a Hobby Lobby store with a display of decorative letters arranged to read “USA Vote Trump.”

 

Brekke told Business Insider that she did not in fact take the photo, but rather pulled it on a public post shared in a national Facebook group for the Lincoln Project, an organization started by former Republicans in 2019 dedicated to preventing President Donald Trump’s re-election. 

Brekke said she not have any additional information regarding who may have arranged the display, nor at which store location the photo was taken. Some other Twitter users pointed out that these letters are free for customers to move around — in other words, a customer may have arranged the picture, rather than an employee.

 

Hobby Lobby did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

“I’m not a fan of Hobby Lobby. I would never shop there,” Brekke told Business Insider.”I’m a Democrat. I hate the company.”

The call to boycott the craft store was swift on Twitter, as users shared the image with captions like “I’ve never stepped foot in a Hobby Lobby and never will” along with the hashtag #BoycottHobbyLobby.

 

This new boycott is just the latest in a smattering of outcries against the company in the past decade. 

In 2012, the company faced widespread scrutiny for denying access to contraceptives reproductive health care to employees. A high-profile Supreme Court case subsequently ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s right to withhold reproductive benefits, determining private companies are allowed to be exempt from the law on the basis of religious preferences.

Hobby Lobby has also been the subject of boycotts in response to anti-Semitic and homophobic comments made its openly conservative Christian CEO and founder, David Green. In 2013, Green told a shopper the company did not carry products for Jewish holidays because it “doesn’t cater to your people,” a statement he later publicly apologized for in a formal statement to the Anti-Defamation League.

Green has also been reported as a massive donor to the National Christian Foundation, an organization that promotes anti-LGBTQ efforts.  

Hobby Lobby drew additional ire in 2020 when it illegally reopened stores in states with stay-at-home mandates calling for the closure of non-essential businesses to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Green allegedly told employees in March the decision to keep Hobby Lobby stores open was informed by a message from God bestowed upon his wife Barbara Green. 

By April, Hobby Lobby moved to officially close all stores and furlough employees, after several spoke out that they feared for their lives by being forced to continue working.



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Business owner says sign is not racist

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“It’s kind of sad that people go to these extents to read into stuff and twist and turn a question. [It’s] not a racist question. I am not a racist,” Mike told WTRF, adding that he has Black customers and deliverymen. “The racist stuff is just somebody twisting and turning, and it’s ridiculous. Everything right now is very high tension, and this might be some of it, some way that people try to let the steam go.”

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SpaceX is rapidly growing its Internet satellite business

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With an eventual public offering in mind, SpaceX is ramping up its Starlink Internet service, as it’s slated to launch another 60 satellites on Wednesday.

The launch, according to a list from the Federal Aviation Administration, is slated to happen from Cape Canaveral, Fla. It will take place at 12:36 p.m. EDT on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket, according to SpaceflightNow.com.

On Sunday, SpaceX launched another group of 60 satellites, which the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company said will provide “high-speed broadband Internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive or completely unavailable.”

MUSK’S SPACEX WINS PENTAGON AWARD FOR MISSING-TRACKING SATELLITES

More than 700 satellites have been launched, according to CNet, which also notes that 60 of the older satellites are in the process of deorbiting

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SpaceX continues to bolster its service ahead of its public launch, scheduled for later this year. On Monday, SpaceX teamed with Microsoft to use its Azure cloud computing service to help connect and deploy new services for its Starlink unit.

The Musk-led company has said it is targeting service in the northern part of the U.S. and Canada this year, but has not given an exact time frame yet.

In the past, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said that the company will “probably” take its Starlink Internet business public, but only when it has “predictable” and “smooth” revenue growth.

MICROSOFT TEAMS WITH ELON MUSK’S SPACEX TO PUSH CLOUD BATTLE WITH AMAZON INTO ORBIT

In October 2019, Musk sent a tweet using the Starlink satellite system.

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In April, Musk said there were 420 Starlink satellites in space.

In July, Morgan Stanley said SpaceX could be worth as much as $175 billion if Musk’s Starlink Internet service is successful.

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Kilani Bakery in business 61 years turns to social media to bring in customers

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WAHIAWA, (KHON2) — To survive the pandemic, small businesses have had to adapt to the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines. Many long-time local businesses have also had to find new creative ways to bring in customers amid the pandemic.

[Hawaii news on the go–LISTEN to KHON 2GO weekday mornings at 7:30 a.m.]

One of those businesses is Kilani Bakery, a Wahiawa gem that has been serving the community for 61 years.

The bakery is old school. It first opened in 1959 on Kilani Avenue in Wahiawa.

“We literally have the best customers, and it’s because of them that we keep going,” said Dawn Takara, the manager of the bakery.

Sidney Takara’s father started the tiny, humble bakery.

“I worked in the bakery washing dishes, doing little things I picked up here and there,” said Sidney Takara about his childhood.

Eventually, the bakery expanded to its current location at 704 Kilani Ave., and Sidney Takara and his brother Jeffrey took over the business.

Dawn Takara said the bakery is hard work.

“My husband and my son, they start at about six in the evening and then they go from there, and then another baker comes in about one o’clock [in the morning],” she explained.

Sidney Takara said working through the night is worth it for his community.

“I meet people at the bank like on a weekend, the teller and is there and says, ‘Oh yeah, I used to go there after high school,’” Sidney Takara said.

Kilani Bakery is known for its irresistible brownies that often sell out.

“It’s a little chewy. We have nuts in it,” Dawn Takara explained about the brownies. “[Customers] call it crack brownies,” she said.

However, the pandemic has been a difficult time for many businesses.

Sales at the bakery are down, so Kilani Bakery has come up with new ways to get customers.

“We’re very old school. We don’t like social media, but we’ve turned to social media to put ourselves out there and to do some advertising,” Dawn Takara explained.

On top of COVID-19, it doesn’t help that there is construction daily along Kilani Avenue.

The Takara’s said the construction deters many customers from going to the bakery.

However, for those who do want to support the long-time local business, there is plenty of parking available.

Because of COVID-19, the Takara’s said it is no longer about making money. It is simply about surviving for their customers.

“They follow us to the end,” Dawn Takara said about their loyal customers. “They threaten us if we ever even think of shutting down,” she said.

Dawn Takara said they also hope to stay in business for years to come, so their kids can one day take over.

“I always tell my kids, you have to love what you do,” Dawn Takara stated.

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