A Virginia small business owner plans to close his coffee shop after he became the target of lies and harassment for sharing his pro-life views.
On Thursday, Ajay Brewer, who owns Brewer’s Cafe in Richmond, announced his decision on Facebook, saying the hatred that he has suffered is affecting his health. Brewer said he wrote the post from the hospital, his second stay in recent months due to “stroke-level high blood pressure” that he attributed to stress.
Brewer began the business seven years ago in Richmond, his hometown, with his wife and mother.
“We literally gave up chasing money and wealth to give back to the city that made me,” Brewer said. “That’s why it’s so hurtful to watch my community turn their backs on me and stand by or contribute to so many lies and misinformation about me and my business.”
In June, he and his business became the target of harassment after he wrote a post on Facebook celebrating the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to Fox News.
Brewer told the news outlet that his business quickly was flooded with negative reviews, including outright lies about the service that he and his employees provide. One review claimed the “owner hates women” and “told me I’m only good for making sandwiches and threw a loaf of bread at me.” Others accused him of spitting in customers’ food and the café of being roach and rat infested.
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Brewer, who is African American, was attacked with racist comments, too, some calling him an “Uncle Tom” and “a– n—-,” according to Fox.
The family still plans to run the business, Brewers Cold Pressed Juice and Brewer’s Coffee, in a limited capacity when they move back to Bainbridge, he said.
In his message Thursday, Brewer said society today makes him sad because he knows he is not the only one who has been punished for speaking his mind.
“If anyone should be able to speak non-hateful, pro-life stances without his own people tearing him down, it should be a black man that grew up in the trenches, and gave up the corporate greedy lifestyle to give back to his community,” he said. “A true free society is not a society that cancels us for speaking our mind but allows us to not only freely express our opinions but also accepts our differences.”
Brewer said he will not apologize for being pro-life, and, despite all that happened, he is excited to begin the next chapter in his life. He concluded his post with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Pro-life advocates like Brewer increasingly have become targets of harassment and violence in the past year. World Magazine recently reported about other pro-life business owners also facing backlash and harassment since the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health ruling in June.
LifeNews and other news outlets have recorded more than 160 acts of arson, vandalism and other violence against pro-life organizations and churches since May. These include an incident last month in Michigan when an elderly pro-life woman was shot by an abortion supporter while campaigning against a pro-abortion constitutional amendment.