The Warmth of Bread — and of Blood

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On July 8, a small group of senior citizens conduct a silent, peaceful vigil outside an Oakland bakery. Shortly after their arrival, they are confronted by a group of thugs.

Sometimes a single event is a microcosm of larger and more dynamic forces. The vigil outside the bakery was such an event.

On the one hand, this is a purely American story of entrepreneurship in the manner of 19th century Horatio Alger stories of individual achievement. On the other hand, it’s a grim story of the deterioration of civility and the Left’s increasing use of violence in contemporary politics.

Reem Assil, the owner of Reem’s Bakery, is a former labor activist who holds an undergraduate degree in international relations from Tufts University. After parting ways with labor activism, Ms. Assil showed that she was not afraid to get her hands dirty and that it was not beneath her dignity to enroll in a community college to acquire economic skills.

With some on-the-job experience, a Kickstarter fundraiser, and the courage it takes to start a new business, Ms. Assil launched her bakery. Modeled after the stand-up, Arab street bakery, Reem’s advertises that it extends hands across cultures and experience through the warmth of bread.

So, what’s the problem? A young entrepreneur opens a successful bakery in an underserved part of Oakland and appears to have made a success of it. It’s as American as apple pie.

Continue reading in the American Spectator

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