There’s a war raging at North Carolina’s Concord Mills Mall over, Simon Property, the mall management’s decision not to extend the lease of the owner of conservative leaning “Free Market Warrior” kiosk. Loren Spivack, the owner of the kiosk has contended that he’s being kicked out of the mall for political reasons. He reportedly traced his exile to a letter to the editor in the Charlotte Observer criticizing his business, saying it promotes “ideas such as racism, sexism and even slavery.” Yesterday, about 100 people rallied in front of the mall to support Spivack and his right to free speech.
He opened his kiosk last spring and sold items such as “Impeach Obama,” “Al Qaeda’s 2 favorite days: 9/11/01 & 11/04/08,” and “Obama’s coming, Cling to Your Guns and Religion,” bumper stickers and baby bibs that say, “My parents chose life. Thanks Mom and Dad!” As much as I hate the rhetoric and content of his wares, he is governed by freedom of speech under the Constitution. He says he wants to take America back, but wasn’t the biggest damage to this country done under a Republican president, George. W. Bush?
Spivack said he’s found other stores in the mall selling T shirts and other merchandise with offensive slogans and feels he’s being targeted “purely for politic reasons.” Needless to say, since the controversy commenced, he said his business has been brisk.
I believe Mr. Spivack’s love for his country is obvious, but his methods of showing this love is questionable. Why does he have to feed into right wing extremism to get his views across? The same holds true for the other stores at Concord Mills Mall that sell the same hateful bumper stickers and paraphernalia.