After much debate in Fairbanks over the sale of Ms. at their local Co-op Market, citizens have won the battle to keep the magazine on the shelves. Local assemblyman Lance Roberts hadn’t wanted the market to carry such an “extremely left-wing magazine,” but once it refused to bend to his conservative will, he dropped his Co-op membership and wrote this Facebook comment:
It’s done now, I no longer have an ownership position in the Co-op. I hope that this whole episode gets people really thinking about the responsibility of ownership.
Mary Christensen, the general manager of the Co-op, was closely involved in the brouhaha. She eloquently responded to Roberts:
Lance – I am sorry that you see it this way. Co-op Market doesn’t take a political position by the content of the literature it offers. [Ms.] magazine exists to tell stories about all kinds of issues that affect women and children; teaching them, loving them and raising them to be kind and love life … is that political? YOU made this a political issue. My mother always told me that the things you put energy into grow. You made interest in Ms. magazine grow by putting your energy there. We at Co-op Market welcome everyone. We offer an opportunity for people on all sides of the political spectrum to find common ground in healthy food and community. We ordered another magazine, the National Review, that I hope offers a balance in perspectives. It was started by William F. Buckley, one of the foremost conservative thinkers of our time. As always, you are welcome at Co-op Market and we respect that you choose not to be a member-owner.
Lance, we too hope your “episode” gets people thinking about responsible owners—and managers such as Ms. Christensen.