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A New York grocery store owner said he is now facing calls for boycotts after announcing a 20 percent discount for supporters of President Donald Trump, even after he extended the offer to supports of Joe Biden as well.
In a Wednesday Facebook post, the Fresh Food Supermarket in Oakdale posted the announcement with a graphic indicating that customers would be able to claim the discount if they voiced their support for the president at checkout, though beer purchases were not included, Fox News reported.
Store owner Jose Colon, who was born in the Dominican Republic and is now a U.S. citizen, immediately faced criticism as platform users threatened to boycott his business and report him to local health inspectors.
Colon appeared dumbfounded by the reaction.
“We’re supposed to live in a free country,” he told Fox News. “This is weird. It’s crazy.”
As of Thursday, there was no similar post about a similar deal for supporters of the former vice president. However, Colon said he would nevertheless honor the same discount for those customers.
“We live in a free country where we support democracy, where we can go both ways, we can support left, right — whatever you want,” Colon said. “I decided to vote and support the best interest, I believe, for this country.”
“But at the same time, I meant to post, to do the 20 percent, also for Biden,” he added.
Another post to the store’s Facebook page contains a photo of a sign on a deli case that says, “ALL law enforcement, fire, EMS, doctors, nurses, healthcare staff, health department officials and senior citizens eat free until further notice,” with a thank you message “for all that you do now and everyday to keep our community safe & supplied.”
However, Colon said, before he could get the Biden offer posted he was blasted with hate messages and threats of boycotts.
Messages under the post were mixed, but it appeared as though there were more negative comments than positive ones.
“Way to alienate customers,” wrote one Facebook user under the name Cecelia Karen. “I will make sure friends out that way don’t shop in your store. When you support Trump that tells us that you don’t care about what he has done to this country and how he has hurt the environment and taken away the rights of so many, including women, LGBTQ, other minorities, and immigrants.”
But, Colon noted, “I’m an immigrant as well. I came here to this country legally, and I’ve been working hard since day one.”
The store owner went on to defend his support for the president, who is from New York City, adding that he believes Trump has done well with the economy especially, pre-COVID, and that he’ll lead the country to a rebound.
“I made my comments, I made my point, I think I gotta live with it,” said Colon, stating further that his support wasn’t going to change.
“If this is gonna cause me losing my store, I’ll run it until Election Day. I’ll run it until the last day.”
As to his post about offering free food to public service employees and senior citizens, Colon noticed a difference in the responses.
“Nobody shared those posts, nobody put a nice comment on those posts,” he said.
One person did comment, saying “a massive rush” of pro-Biden health workers would “be a big problem for y’all.”
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