Southeast Raleigh has lacked a good supermarket for quite some time, since a Kroger store closed more than a year and a half ago.
Southeast Raleigh is recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a "food desert," an urban area where the poverty rate is at least 20 percent and at least 33 percent of residents have limited access to a supermarket or large grocery store. After the Kroger store closed, residents had to trek several miles – sometimes on foot, sometimes taking various buses – to get to the nearest supermarket.
Roses typically targets poor and minority communities as its consumers.
And critics of Pope, who happens to be Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget director, contend that this administration in general, and Pope in particular, has targeted poor and minority communities with a variety of policies: cutting jobless benefits, refusing Medicare expansion payments, pushing more restrictive voting policies that disproportionately affect minorities.
Statewide and even beyond, there have been calls for boycotts of Pope’s stores, which include Maxway and Roses.
Closer to home, the Carolina Peacemaker sounded the same call.
Wrote the local African American weekly’s editor, Afrique Kilimanjaro, in an Aug. 29 column:
In the wake of Governor Pope's inauguration yesterday, editorial writers across the state are wondering aloud just what we can expect from the new regime. Readers of BlueNC don't need to wonder at all. We know exactly what North Carolina can expect. Our state is being methodically recrafted into a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mr. Pope's sprawling retail empire: Variety Wholesalers.
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