An Instacart driver ran over a couple's groceries when she saw their pro-police sign
“Instacart doesn’t pay employees. Sry find another slave racist," she allegedly wrote in a note to them.
Last week in Wisconsin, an elderly couple ordered their groceries via Instacart. When they went out to check on the driver, who they thought might have been stuck in the snow, they found that the driver had run over their groceries and left them a note that said, “Find another slave, racist.” The driver had clearly been triggered by the sight of a blue line flag on their lawn, which indicated that she was at a cop-lovers’ home, the Washington Post reported. Oof. There’s a lot to unpack here, so try to keep up.
While it’s tempting to quickly take sides, I think this story perfectly encapsulates the clash of cultures we’re all experiencing in America right now. The elderly couple whose groceries were destroyed are being portrayed by some as the obvious victims. They did, after all, show concern about their delivery person by going out to check on her when they saw her car on their snow-covered street. Were they just kindly residents who love their hometown “public servants,” and were concerned with the safety of their driver, as their family claimed on their GoFundMe.
Look, I’m not saying this couple were gunslinging klansfolk, but at this point in time, it’s hard — nigh impossible — to mistake a "thin blue line" yard sign for anything less than a marker of overt racism. The couple’s sign read, “THANK YOU BLAINE P.D.,” with the “o” replaced by a heart filled with the “thin blue line” flag. This "thin blue line" graphic is contentious, to say the least. It was created in support of cops, but has been denounced by many law enforcement officials because it has been so successfully co-opted by right-wing extremists. The contentious nature of this sign is hard to ignore, particularly in Wisconsin, where it has been hotly — and publicly — debated.
Personally, I think that it’s bad enough to post a sign supporting this country’s inherently racist police system, but once you take into consideration the extremist implications of the imagery, it’s hard not to read what may seem benign as, in fact, hateful. In that context, the driver’s enraged response to the sign seems pretty justified. Instacart has repeatedly proven to be a uniquely exploitative employer, and I cannot imagine how angry I would be if I was being paid next to nothing to cater to racists.
In my opinion, destruction of property is a legitimate form of protest. And, it’s not like this driver just ran over these people’s groceries and took off. She left them a note explaining her actions. In her note, she explains that Instacart doesn’t pay its employees and denounces policing, WaPo reported. Yes, she did use stronger language than that, calling the cops, “pigs,” and the couple, “racist,” but I am not here to tone-police what I read as justifiable anger.
As for the supposed victimhood of this couple, well, they were reportedly not physically hurt during all of this. And while “elderly” in this country is often interpreted as weak and needing protection, in the words of my grandmother, what elderly actually means is old enough to know better. From my perspective, there are no victims in this case. This is what happens when belief systems clash and one set of beliefs has more power than the other.
In response to the incident, the couple’s family filed a police report, issued a complaint to Instacart, and started a GoFundMe that has raised more than $12,000. Instacart told the Washington Post that they have issued the couple a refund and are cooperating with police, the outlet reported. “We’re appalled by the unacceptable actions of this shopper, who has been removed from the Instacart platform,” an Instacart rep told WaPo.
In other words, this woman lost her job because of her response to what many would deem hate-driven symbols displayed by a customer, the cops are going to go after her, and the couple themselves will likely be rewarded with a big cash payout. There may be no victims here, but there is definitely a winner. If all of that isn’t evidence of the massive conspiracy that is white supremacy in late stage capitalist America, I don’t know what is.