The opening of the new frozen yogurt store, Yapple Yogurt, in Carytown has caused a stir.
I have been reading numerous comments about unfair and overly aggressive business practices. Yapple Yogurt opened up next to Carytown’s other established frozen yogurt store, Sweet Frog. This will be Yapple’s 5th location and competes against one of Sweet Frog’s over 60 locations. It would seem that Yapple is the underdog in the fight considering it has less market penetration, experience, and overall resources. People have expressed the idea that Yapple should not have placed their shop so close to Sweet Frog because it was rude, unfair, unprofessional, and overtly competitive.
However, I question this logic considering its location in the United States. The United States has and continues to be the homeland of capitalism and democracy. We fought in the Cold War against communism and its evil tentacles of controlled markets and economies. The Cold War ended 22 years ago, yet now we clamor to control the entire frozen yogurt market–a truly cold war!
The other issue involved in this debate involves religion and business. Interestingly, communism forbade religion from the marketplace and was considered by many to be ‘godless.’ Yet, Capitalism also teaches us that economics is always godless because it gets in the way of profits. For example, a truly Christian frozen yogurt company should be feeding all the homeless it can find with its yogurt. There are many other stores like Chik-fil-A, Forever 21, or Urban Outfitters that expound Christian values.
The Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United vs FCC that corporations are entitled to the First Amendment; Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Thus, this landmark case would extend into the SweetFrog vs Yapple because SweetFrog is entitled to the same rights as people and, thus, is allowed to be religious. The company may continue to to be Christian but we can still boycott, which hopefully will lower the price per ounce of frozen yogurt.
As the yogurt wars continue, my only advice comes from an adapted mantra against Jonestown: Dont Eat the FroYo.
Jon Henry comes from the small town of Washington, Virginia. Xe finished xes degree at the University of Richmond and was named GayRVA.com's Out.Spoken. Richmonder of the Year for 2011. When not in class, xe is either in the studio or rabble rousing with other queer activists. Follow xem on Twitter.
Enjoy the holiday season however you can this week, and in the weeks ahead, and support small businesses AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.November 23, 2015
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