Update at the end with a statement from Mr. Hafer.
Black Rifle Coffee sells itself as America’s coffee but in a recent NY Times interview, its CEO Evan Hafer didn’t seem to like some conservatives, maybe all. The Trump-endorsed coffee by vets was the subject of a hit piece at the NY Times, but it was Hafer’s own words that did him in across the Internet. He either fell for it in a weak moment or he wanted to distance himself from some or all of his base.
The company started in 2014 branding itself as pro-military, pro-firearm, pro-law enforcement, and ‘anti-hipster.’ All of which are popular views among the right. That is why the brand gained popularity in the conservative and MAGA movement in 2017.
In his interview with The New York Times, Evan Hafer started out straddling the fence, but staying mostly on the right:
Like most Americans, Evan Hafer experienced the Jan. 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol from a distance, watching it unfold on his television and his iPhone from Salt Lake City. What he saw did not surprise him. Hafer, who is 44, voted for Donald Trump. He was even open at first to the possibility that Trump’s claims of sweeping voter fraud were legitimate, until William Barr, Trump’s attorney general, declared in early December that he could find no evidence that such fraud occurred.
Still, Hafer told me recently, “you’re told by the commander in chief for months that the election was stolen, so you’re going to have a group of people that are really pissed.”
While he disapproved of those who stormed the Capitol, he didn’t believe that they or their actions constituted a real threat to the republic. “I’ve seen an insurrection,” said Hafer, a former Green Beret and C.I.A. contractor who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. “I know what that looks like.”
Most of the interview was like that. The Times baited him over his hat being worn on January 6th and the Rittenhouse episode in which the teen used an AR-15, a gun promoted by the coffee company.
The Times got more than they could have asked for from Hafer and they put it at the end for everlasting impact. The Hafer comment was made in relation to Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen who was attempting to protect an auto showroom when he became engaged in three assaults. He shot three in what looks like self-defense, and two men died.
“You can’t let sections of your customers hijack your brand and say, ‘This is who you are,’” Best told me. “It’s like, no, no, we define that.”
The Rittenhouse episode may have cost the company thousands of customers, but, Hafer believed, it also allowed Black Rifle to draw a line in the sand. “It’s such a repugnant group of people,” Hafer said. “It’s like the worst of American society, and I got to flush the toilet of some of those people that kind of hijacked portions of the brand.”
Then again, what Hafer insisted was a “superclear delineation” was not too clear to everyone, as Munchel’s [Ultimate Fighting Championship contender] choice of headgear [on 1-6] vividly demonstrated.
“The racism [expletive] really pisses me off,” Hafer said. “I hate racist, Proud Boy-ish people. Like, I’ll pay them to leave my customer base. I would gladly chop all of those people out of my [expletive] customer database and pay them to get the [expletive] out.” If that was the case, I asked, had Black Rifle — which sells a Thin Blue Line coffee — considered changing the name of its Beyond Black coffee, a dark roast it has sold for years, to Beyond Black Lives Matter? Surely that would alienate the racists polluting its customer base.
Hafer began to laugh. “You wouldn’t do that,” I ventured.
“I would never do that,” Hafer replied. “We’re trying to be us.
He’s seen as the Megyn Kelly of coffee now.
The company lost customers for portraying Trump supporters as racists or Nazis, and we have some reactions below, but this is the one we might want to be more concerned about.
THE WOKE PENTAGON
The Pentagon thinks St. Michael the Archangel is a hate symbol? We wouldn’t doubt it since they use the Christian-hating Southern Poverty Law Center as advisors.
St. Michael the Archangel doesn’t belong on a coffee bag in the first place, but to connect Catholic iconography to racism is beyond the pale. This is Black Rifle Coffee today. pic.twitter.com/AJ9PuxSt4G
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 16, 2021
Black Rifle Coffee takes a knee in a far ranging NYT interview, where they claim St Michael is a white supremacist symbol according to “a friend in the Pentagon,” and that those who believes Kyle Rittenhouse acted in self defense are racists to be “flushed down the toilet.” pic.twitter.com/IoGE3dOcHc
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 17, 2021
It looks like Black Rifle Coffee, a company which became famous because of conservatives, is now trying to distance themselves from conservatives.
I never tried their products before and it looks like I never will.
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) July 17, 2021
Effective immediately, Black Rifle Coffee Co. will be known as as LGBTQNONBINARYPOC Rifle Coffee Co.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) July 17, 2021
I don’t need or drink black rifle coffee. We drink Beard Vet coffee. True patriots. pic.twitter.com/yNKwyaPK8R
— Kambree (@KamVTV) July 17, 2021
Apparently I’m not allowed to criticize Black Rifle Coffee because people love the brand too much even after the founder called Kyle Rittenhouse’s supporters Nazis.
— Ian Miles Cheong @ stillgray.substack.com (@stillgray) July 17, 2021
Founder of Black Rifle Coffee donated to Obama. pic.twitter.com/bujsjTHfWM
— Chris Buskirk (@thechrisbuskirk) July 17, 2021
— Robert Barnes (@barnes_law) July 17, 2021
Black Rifle Coffee said they would pay their customers who sympathetic with Rittenhouse to stop buying their products. The boycott is just following their stated demand, minus any payout https://t.co/qXfUBdFk2y
— Scott Greer 6’2” IQ 187 (@ScottMGreer) July 17, 2021
— Nick Searcy, INSURRECTIONAL FILM & TELEVISION STAR (@yesnicksearcy) July 17, 2021
Black Rifle coffee’s founder Evan Hafer, smeared half his conservative customer base. He said they’re repugnant, he would like to flush them down the toilet. They’re the worst of American society, I hate racist proud boy-ish people. I’ll pay them to leave my customer base! DONE✅
— Domenica D’Elia (@domenicadelia22) July 18, 2021
— Politically Stripped ™️ 🇺🇸🗽 (@politstrip) July 18, 2021
Mr. Hafer said he is a conservative and was not talking about conservatives. He says he was only referencing racism and anti-Semitism. You can listen and decide for yourself.
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