Retail giant Costco Wholesale has reportedly removed Palmetto Cheese products from its shelves after Brian Henry, founder of the pimento cheese company and mayor of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, branded Black Lives Matter a “terror organization.”
Costco has not yet released an official statement on the removal of the pimento cheese products cited by USA Today. But the Post and Courier, which broke the story, captured a photo of a sign from Costco in Myrtle Beach explaining that the cheese was "discontinued" and would "not be re-ordered."
"Over 120 Costco's throughout the US are no longer carrying this item," the sign noted.
Henry also told the publication that his product was in the process of being removed from shelves.
The controversy stems from a public Facebook post made by Henry on Aug. 25 in which he said he was “sickened by the senseless killings” of Nicholas Wall, 45, and his stepdaughter, Laura Ashley Anderson, 21, by a black man that has since been identified as Ty Sheem Walters III.
"2 innocent people murdered. Not 2 thugs or people wanted on multiple warrants. 2 white people defenselessly gunned down by a black man," Henry wrote in the since-deleted post. "So why do we stand by and allow BLM to lawlessly destroy great American cities and threaten their citizens on a daily basis ... This BLM and Antifa movement must be treated like the terror organizations they are."
Henry, according to News for Georgetown and Beyond, argued that there would be no national outrage over the killings because the victims are white and the shooter is black. He also noted in a statement that he was a friend of the shooting victims’ family.
“My wife and I know the family of the victims. I was deeply saddened and angered by the gruesome nature of the killing and felt grieved for the family and this community," he said. "I typically refrain from social media because of my position as an elected official. But, in this case, I felt compelled to pour out my heart to this family and release some of the emotion I felt, so I drafted a post on Facebook."
Georgetown resident Jacqueline Williams told GAB News that the difference between the white shooting victims and black victims of police shootings is justice.
“I commend our sheriff’s office on apprehending him so he can have his day in court. That is something a lot of black men and black women never get to do,” Williams said. “We are all outraged by what happed [in Georgetown]. All of our hearts are broken.”
On Sept. 3, at a press conference at the Pawleys Island Sea View Inn, which he and his wife, Sassy, own and operate, Henry apologized for the comments after some soul-searching and a series of meetings with local faith leaders.
“I am profoundly sorry to those I offended with my post last week. My comments were hurtful and insensitive,” Henry said. "I spent that past 10 days listening and learning. The conversations I’ve had with friends, our staff, the community and faith-based leaders provided me with a deeper understanding of racial inequality and the importance of diversity sensitivity, which is very much needed to heal Pawleys Island, Georgetown and our country."