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City commissioner cries racism at grocery store’s dried-out asparagus

- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 18, 2013

As racial tensions continue to boil over nationwide in response to the George Zimmerman verdict, a dried out batch of asparagus is what was the last straw for one University City, Mo. resident.

"It was just sitting there dried out," said David Olander, a member of the city's human relations commission, who first complained in May about the poor-quality vegetables at his University City Schnucks.

Did the quality of the asparagus have any relationship to the store's location in a black neighborhood, Mr. Olander asked a store manager, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"'I certainly hope not,'" Olander recalled the manager saying.

Olander wrote a letter to the store's CEO Scott Schnuck, which prompted a meeting with employees. Spokeswoman Lori Willis said that the store "does not discriminate on any level," the Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday.

Some of the City Council members were upset to learn Olander had made racial accusations against one of the city's long-standing businesses.

"We want businesses in University City, and in particular we want Schnucks," said Councilwoman Paulette Carr. "I think it's a very bad practice on our part to send our citizens to represent the city on sensitive issues such as this."

Olander said that though he may have been in an "ornery mood," he still stands by his complaint.

"I just felt like stirring it up a little bit, letting them know that somebody cares," he told commissioners, adding that the asparagus he saw at his store was a far cry from the asparagus he saw at the Schnucks in nearby Ladue, where it sat in water, looking beautiful, the Post-Dispatch reported.

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