CHICAGO — A flower shop is asking its customers a big question before allowing them to shop on its website: "Do you condemn racism, Nazism and white nationalism?"
The question pops up for everyone who tries to shop online with Flowers for Dreams, 1812 W. Hubbard St. The shop gives customers two possible answers: "Yes, and I can't believe we're still having this conversation," and, "No, I'm ignorant and complicit in hate."
Hitting the first option will earn you a thank-you note from Flowers for Dreams and you'll be able to proceed to the website and buy flowers.
Hit the second option and Flowers for Dreams writes, "Thank you but no thank you. We don't want your business here." The note includes a link to the website for the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Flowers for Dreams is asking its customers if they "condemn racism, Nazism and white nationalism" before allowing them to shop on its website. [Flowers for Dreams]
The business posted the question on Sunday night, said co-founder and CEO Steven Dyme. The hope is that the message will reinforce Flowers for Dreams' values of being inclusive and supporting people while rejecting ideals like Nazism or racial superiority, Dyme said.
The message comes after a weekend that saw white nationalists — some bearing Confederate flags and torches — march at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville, Virginia. One woman was killed when a driver ran over a crowd of counter-protesters, and two officers died in a helicopter crash while monitoring the rally and counter-protest.
It isn't controversial to reject Nazism or white supremacy, Dyme said, but some people feel like their more progressive views are "under attack." He's hoping Flowers for Dreams can make them more comfortable in their values.
"People feel a little more vulnerable about their ideas ..." after the weekend's events, Dyme said. "We want to reinforce and reiterate our values that we shouldn't feel like we're under attack. These are shared values from many, many, many people — the vast majority."
Flowers for Dreams is dedicated to using its business to "advance causes we care about," Dyme said. It hosted a promotion to send flowers to refugees last year, and it's donated nearly $200,000 to local charities in recent years, according to its website.
"Our customers tend to use their dollars to express their values," Dyme said. "We want to be a leader in that. [Rejecting Nazism] is not that controversial."