Last month, the Brooklyn Papers ran an exposé of sorts under the headline HAS SLOPE FOOD CO-OP’S LEFTY ETHOS LED TO CRIME? The muckraking piece quoted unnamed members as saying that those who appear to be outsiders (which some read to mean poor blacks) are not being carded at the door because the co-op’s members (which some read to mean privileged whites) are afraid of looking racist, resulting in purse-nabbings. One anonymous member was quoted as saying that the organization had dropped its bag-search policy after being accused of racial profiling and now might as well wear “a big rob us sign” on its back. Letter writers quickly lashed out, defending the store (“We’re not pushovers … we do prosecute thieves!”) and attacking the story (“Both racist and insulting”). But in the end, Joe Holtz, the co-op’s general manager, seems most offended by being dubbed a namby-pamby liberal. “Lefty ethos did not lead to these crimes,” he said. “People feeling comfortable enough to leave their purses inside their carts while they went back to aisle three to pick up the can of tuna fish they forgot led to these crimes.” Plus the co-op’s installed video-surveillance cameras that recently helped the police arrest one offender (who was not a member).
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