Saturday, August 8, 2020 -
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If only I had had a photograph, not only of my pantry at the time of when coronavirus commenced, but of the table I had set up in our living room filled with the essential coronavirus stock I had amassed.

The word Goya was plastered all over. That’s because I had case upon case of canned Goya black beans, chickpeas and some corn.

It’s funny I never gave Goya that much thought before, not until recently during the pandemic.

While I had long been a fan of Goya chickpeas, noticing over time their superior quality of softness of their beans, I hadn’t given these legumes all that much attention.

But when you have such a large volume of a product, and you are suddenly eating it that much more often, you start noticing details. One day during the pandemic I noticed that the Goya cans lacked the BPA-free labeling. After a quick search online that listed the product as in fact not being BPA-free, I decided to contact the company and learn more about the product.

Long story short, Goya products are in fact BPA-free even though all their products do not yet say it. The customer service experience I was treated to was outstanding.

I continued eating my Goya beans, secure in the knowledge that they were healthful.

Then the other day I started noticing Goya comments and Goya photos one after the other in social media. With my recent inquiry still somewhere in the back of my mind, I just assumed that there was some health alert going on with Goya, when I finally clicked on one of the articles to see what the fuss was all about.

Well. There certainly was an alert about Goya products circulating, but not the kind I was concerned about.

It seems, these days, beans have gone political and joined the ridiculous fray of cancel culture.

On the one hand, I roll my eyes at the utter ridiculousness of this whole cancel culture that has developed. On the other hand, it seriously scares me that we are living in a time when people are being viciously punished for not thinking or believing like a specific group of people that classes itself to be the paragons of enlightenment.

I read poems from, watch movies produced by, and read books authored by people with whom I disagree. Believe it or not, consistently, I even have conversations with people with whom I wholly disagree.

Most often, this fosters mutual respect and understanding for the complexity of whatever issue is at hand. As a byproduct of these types of exchanges, I noticed these types of conversations can serve to distill our respective points of view and why we feel the way we do.

You don’t just hang someone out to dry or actively sabotage a particular person or company because they have a different point of view than you, or voted for someone you detest.

It’s still the United States of America, is it not?

Clearly, I’m not addressing offenses such as the scourge of racism or anti-Semitism, which must be rooted out from any decent civilization or society. But what’s happened to differing points of view, as dead wrong as you might deem someone’s opinion to be?

These days, it seems there’s only one narrative and everyone must be subservient to it. Sheep, as it’s known.

Boycotting is a serious tool. Whipping it out as a first reaction to a situation is extreme, and dare I say, strikes me as unAmerican. Boycotting, even in serious situations that might warrant it, ought to be the final decision, after thoughtful considerations of serious infractions have already been processed, tried and failed.

So much is happening so fast. It seems things have gone from Black Lives Matter to owners of Black Beans, don’t.

Copyright © 2020 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Tehilla R. Goldberg

IJN columnist | View from Central Park

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