Mac’s food store has right to free speech

Free speech has always been controversial in our country. People become divided when the discussion of who can and cannot speak their mind freely arises. The latest addition to the discussion of free speech is a local here in Monroe-well, sort of.

Mac’s Fresh Market is a grocery-store chain with locations in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. They have a weekly ad and in it they include a quote for their shoppers every week.

Recently, the quote said, “Heaven has a wall, a gate and a strict immigration policy. Hell has open borders. Let that sink in.”

The quote is a political reference and although insulting to many, Mac’s has no need to apologize.

Reggy McDaniel, Mac’s owner, refused to apologize after receiving backlash about his ad online. In an interview with KALB, he admitted he used a political message in the ad, but said it was used to highlight Jesus. When threats of boycotting the grocer became apparent, McDaniel said that being in America gave the shoppers the privilege of shopping where they pleased.

Mac’s and its owner are an example of free speech in America whether we like their message or not. They cannot be forced to censure themselves or apologize for their statements, but they must accept the consequences of their actions, which, according to the owner, they have.

The problem here is Mac’s willingness of free speech and some people’s wish to see it censured. The solution is simple- ignore it. The grocery store continues to post a weekly quote. The most recent one was a Ronald Reagan quote about abortion supporters.

The owner also posted a statement on the store’s website and said Mac’s would continue “to share the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.”

We cannot continue as a country to strike down everybody who doesn’t agree with us, but instead we must learn to coexist. If Mac’s owner is ok with people shopping elsewhere, then the people criticizing the store should be ok with seeing it express its beliefs. Nobody is forced to shop at Mac’s.