On February 28th, from 11am to 1pm, myself, along with many other prominent leaders, will be speaking at the Omni Hotel in San Fransisco. Our message to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey will be very clear: reject your relationship with former rabbi, spiritual leader Marc Gafni.
The reasoning for our demand is credible: The New York Times cited Mackey’s and Gafni’s relationship, as well as Gafni’s alleged sexual abuse of a 14-year-old. Ever since I found out last year, I have been protesting for Mackey to step up as a business leader, and speak for the millions of consumers who have been sexually abused. Refusing to do so and remaining silent on the issue, Mackey is enabling the culture of sexual abuse, something that I am all too familiar with. His silence and failure to advocate for consumers demonstrates his inability to be socially and ethically responsible. For more than a year I have stopped shopping at Whole Foods as a direct result of this issue. The Washington Post covered a national protest that I helped organize and participated in along with Peaceful Hearts Foundation, NAASCA, and author Nancy Levine (The Tao of Pug).
The way I see it, Mackey has had significant time to respond to this situation and address the growing culture of child sex abuse and violence. Instead, Mackey has remained friends with Gafni, and Whole Food’s organization, Conscious Capitalism, which was founded by Mackey, has blocked my Twitter account.
How interesting. Blocking me. A tactic also used by a certain New York Senator who apparently isn’t too keen on a bill that I am pushing – S809, The Omnibus Child Victims Act, which seeks to eliminate the state’s Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse in criminal court and civil court, and gives adult victims a year in which they can sue their abusers and the institutions that facilitated their abuse. Do you see the common theme here? Silence. Denial. Just shut up and don’t talk about it. It’s the same strategy abusers having been employing since the beginning of the act itself.
But I won’t let the problem “just go away;” I will fight to the death to prevent sexual abuse from happening ever again, and I’ve got plenty of supporters, all of whom, are working just as hard. As I travel to San Francisco later this month to speak up for survivors and on behalf of The Omnibus Child Victims Act, I leave you all with my official response:
“I will always defend children, always. Adults can make the decision to fight the fight with me, or become like the abusers themselves when they don’t stand up for what’s right. Let’s leave the politics out of helping those who are helpless, get critical laws passed and continue to encourage small businesses and corporations to be ethical leaders and socially responsible.”
If you’d like to attend the event at the Omni Hotel in San Francisco on the 28th and strengthen our efforts, RSVP at Eventbrite.