Boot Straps to Belt Buckles

People waiting outside of a closed grocery store for the possibility of getting the remaining food is not the picture of the “American Dream.” Yet on March 23, outside the Laney Walker Supermarket in Augusta, Ga., that is exactly what happened.

“American Dream”: Food loaded into Dumpsters while Hundreds of Hungry Americans Restrained by Police
By Sarah Carlson (2013)

Residents filled the parking lot with bags and baskets hoping to get some of the baby food, canned goods, noodles and other non-perishables. But a local church never came to pick up the food, as the storeowner prior to the eviction said they had arranged. By the time the people showed up for the food, what was left inside the premises—as with any eviction—came into the ownership of the property holder, SunTrust Bank.

The bank ordered the food to be loaded into dumpsters and hauled to a landfill instead of distributed. The people that gathered had to be restrained by police as they saw perfectly good food destroyed. Local Sheriff Richard Roundtree told the news “a potential for a riot was extremely high.”

“People got children out here that are hungry, thirsty,” local resident Robertstine Lambert told Fox54 in Augusta. “Why throw it away when you could be issuing it out?”

SunTrust bank is trying to confuse the issue and not take direct responsibility for their actions. Their media relations officer Mike McCoy, stated, “We are working with store suppliers as well as law enforcement to dispose of the remaining contents of the store and secure the building.” Yet he also said that the food never belonged to SunTrust Bank.

There is no need to sugar coat what happened. Teresa Russell, chief deputy of the Marshal’s Office in Richmond County, said the owner of the building ordered that the food be taken to the landfill. Some people even followed the truck to the landfill and were still turned away.

In Richmond County, there are about 20 evictions per day, and the area surrounding the supermarket is one of the poorest in the state. According to the last available data, the poverty rate is 41 percent. Many people in that parking lot probably knew all too well how evictions work, and were in desperate need of the food assistance.

This story is not some bizarre exception. It reeks of the truth of capitalism and is strikingly similar to the H&M scandal that broke in 2010 when clothes were being shredded before being thrown away, so as to make sure the value of the merchandise was unaffected.

In a capitalist society, the motive behind the production of food is not to feed people, housing is not made to give them shelter, clothing is not made to keep them warm, and health care is not offered primarily to keep people healthy. All of these things, which are and should be viewed as basic rights, are nothing other than commodities—to be bought and sold—from which to make a profit. If a profit cannot be made, usually due to overproduction in relation to the market, the commodity is considered useless by the capitalist and destroyed.

In this case, it appears the bank simply did not care. For the banks that have made their profits through evictions and foreclosures, it is little surprise that they showed no remorse in leaving people staring in disbelief, with empty bags, as they watched the food that could be feeding their families dumped into a landfill instead.


9 comments on “Boot Straps to Belt Buckles

  1. it’s like they did it to spite.

    I have long wondered why this put up with. Food that people will be glad to have and all the company has to do is make sure the people know food my be expired or whatever and no lawsuit can be brought against us if you get sick. In other words eat at your own risk.

    I worked at McDonald’s in high school, and they threw away so much food it was embarrassing. I once saw a cashier throw away a hamburger because she dropped it just before it reach the counter. Mind you this food was wrapped and stead wrapped after it hit the floor. The man who ordered it said he still wanted but the girl had informed him that she had to throw it away and make him another. He said okay then, give me the one dropped and the new one. Of course not, she said and tossed it in the trash.

    If you ever find yourself starving and have no money, just go stand outside a McDonald’s and just wait. They have to throw away all cooked food that has been siting for more than an hour.

    • Thrown out junk food will have to do when you are hungry. However, instead of standing in line waiting for poison food, getting together to plant food and filter rainwater may be a better passage of time.
      What I do not get, is that there were so many people, and still they did not bond together to just get the food. There was not one person who could distract, to allow others to start distributing?

    • That is very true. They could have worked together to get that food–eff it I’ll just walk up and take it. If I have little ones at home who look at my when their little bellies are empty, there’s is not a thing on this planet but death that would stop me from getting them some good food to eat. As parents that is your main duty. This is why the Most High didn’t give me children, because he knew I would be nothing nice when it came to them. And that includes digging in dumpsters or sticking a gun in someone’s mouth. The children gonna eat and I would do the same for your children as well. Which brings me to another point; why do these unfit people have children when they aren’t ready to do whatever it takes to make sure they are better than okay? Please, I won’t even get started with that.

    • Black parents are targeted worse than single Black men and women. They come at you directly and through your children. “Unfit”? Not as many as they want to make us believe. You can start with the best intentions, conscious and self-sufficient, to make one wrong move and find your self asking for leftovers. Use that gun and your child will be fatherless. And then when the child has children, everyone points at them as “unfit”. Who made them not fit in? And fit in to what?!
      The fact that these people wait means that they are not homeless junkies or part of a beastie gang. That is why I am surprised that they could not organize themselves to get to that food without anyone getting hurt. Zombified.

    • You mistake my use of the term “unfit” as someone who fell on hard times. No, unfit means you started off that way and then followed through like a truly unfit person. You know what exactly the type I mean.

      And I will tell you this with all honesty; if my children were a little more than hungry (which of course would never happen) I would do any and everything I need to do so that they ate. If they lost me due to death or prison, I have a huge family that would step in. But as long as I could get up and get out it is my sole duty to make sure my children at least have food to eat. Be that by hook or crook and come hell or high water that is what I would do. And please don’t be in between me and my Earthly duty because someone ain’t gonna make it and I will never apologize for that. And I don’t even consider myself a man. But like a said, this is why the Most High left me childless. You sometimes we have to do what we gotta do and let them chips fall where they may. In my estimation anyway.

    • No mistake made. It is just that white Pete does not care why you are standing in that poverty line. “You are Black, aren’t you?” But we do know the difference. This System is built to make anyone of us unfit. Only fit to slavehood. Not victimhood, that one is theirs.
      As for fighting for your children to remain sane and fed. To protect them against the invasion of evil. That is a no-brainer. But you first need to cleanse your brain from the white babble to be able to understand that. And keep it clean.

    • Well, we’ll surely part ways on this issue. Plus, I’m in a pissy mode this morning and should not be speaking to or writing to anyone.

      The only thing I can find good at this time is I can now see the keyboard well enough to be nasty. You will forgive me, if not now maybe later.

    • Was I supposed to feel hurt? Oh well. Maybe next time. At the moment I am a bit busy fending off demons…

    • Nope.

      Godspeed in the demon wars.

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