POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Explosive outrage is being unleashed on a popular supermarket chain after it published a 2010 calendar marking the date of Dec. 7 with the Islamic New Year, while eliminating any mention of Pearl Harbor Day, commemorating the 1941 attack on the U.S. by Japan.
The forward magazine of USS Shaw explodes during the 2nd Japanese attack wave on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941. To the left of the explosion, Shaw’s stern is visible, at the end of floating drydock. At right is the bow of USS Nevada, with a tug alongside fighting fires.
Joyce Kaufman, a talk-show host on WFTL Radio in South Florida, made the “date which will live in infamy” the centerpiece of her broadcast today, expressing outrage at Publix Supermarkets for its calendar omission.
Florida talk-show host Joyce Kaufman of WFTL Radio
“We have guys that are fighting Islamic fundamentalists right now in Afghanistan and guarding them from ruining what little freedom they have achieved in Iraq,” said Kaufman. “And now I gotta celebrate their new year over here in my country when they’re getting on airplanes and trying to blow up planes out of the sky in Detroit? I gotta have their New Year’s Day on my calendar and not Pearl Harbor Day? We’ve lost our minds!”
Kaufman and many callers to her station called it a “slap in the face” to all those who fought for America’s freedoms over the years.
“I’m done,” she said. “I’m not walking into a Publix until there’s a formal apology. I’m not walking into a Publix until the calendars have all been pulled. I’m not walking into a Publix until they reissue a calendar and re-evaluate what they put on their calendars. It’s a free country, but I don’t have to shop there.”
Some enraged listeners called in to suggest consumers shred the calendars and mail them to the supermarket’s corporate headquarters in Lakeland, Fla.
One man claimed he spoke with two managers at two separate Publix stores, both of whom confirmed the 2009 edition of the calendar also had no mention of Pearl Harbor Day.
This year, while Publix’s calendar is marking well-known observances such as Passover and Palm Sunday, it also includes some obscure times including National Boss Day and Professional Assistant’s Day.
Ironically, the calendar has a laundry list of independence days for foreign countries such as Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Central America, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay and Trinidad and Tobago.
“That’s nice,” opined Kaufman’s fellow broadcaster Jeff Katz. “Don’t you find it odd, though, that in South Florida with such a large Jewish population, they don’t bother to mention Israeli Independence Day? I found that fascinating. Again, that would be a decision that someone in the Publix intergalactic headquarters had to make. Somebody had to decide, ‘Here’s what we’re putting on, here’s not what we’re putting on;’ or even worse, ‘Here’s what we’re putting on, and here’s what we’re taking off.'”
Islamic New Year is not based on the 365-day solar calendar, so it falls on a different Roman calendar date each year.
Kimberly Jaeger of Publix
Kimberly Jaeger, the media and community-relations manager for the Miami division of Publix, sent Kaufman an e-mail stating:
For several years, Publix has given away calendars with valuable coupons inside. Traditionally, our calendars have solely noted holidays. Due to the number of holidays in a calendar year, days of remembrance have not been noted.
This year, Islamic New Year happens to fall on Dec. 7 (like Chinese New Year, which is also a holiday, Islamic New Year rotates dates), is a holiday, and is noted on the calendar as such.
We regret that the day of remembrance – Pearl Harbor – is not noted, and as a result of customer feedback, we will add Pearl Harbor to next year’s calendar. The calendars are no longer available at retail.
“That is a deflective move,” said Katz of the decision to pull the calendars off the shelves. “That’s designed to get you to just simmer down, just to say, ‘Hey, it’s enough already. Stop talking about it. Talk about how cold it is and mention the fact that Publix sells a lot of stuff to help you deal with the cold.'”
WND spotchecked several Publix stores in person throughout Florida this afternoon, and none had the free calendars available to shoppers any longer.
Kaufman declared victory after receiving the Publix e-mail, and highlighted the power ordinary citizens have when they speak out.
“You did it!” she exclaimed. “That’s how we do it. That’s how we take this country back. One phone call at a time.”
Katz added, “There is a much bigger issue at stake. and that’s about education and that’s about knowledge … and the sacrifices of our American heroes. … My concern today was what was missing.”
Founded in 1930 by the late George W. Jenkins, Publix has grown to 1,014 stores in five Southeastern states. It’s the largest employee-owned supermarket chain in the U.S., employing more than 142,000 workers and generating nearly $24 billion in sales in 2008.
One woman caller said, “This is bigger than Publix,” explaining many calendars published in America today don’t mention Pearl Harbor Day on Dec. 7.
“Someone has deliberately made the deliberate decision to keep it off the calendars,” she said. “It’s a slap in the face to America, a slap in the face to our veterans, and I’m just sick about it.”
It was the December 1941 attack on U.S. forces in Hawaii that precipitated America’s entry into the Second World War.
The day after the Japanese onslaught, President Franklin Roosevelt declared, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, Americans losing their lives that day numbered 2,403, including 68 civilians, most of whom were killed by improperly fused anti-aircraft shells landing in Honolulu. There were 1,178 military and civilian wounded.