There is a Deseret Industries store on Main Street in Logan and another on Main Street in Brigham City. There is one on a main drag of St. George and just off the main drag in Centerville. Dozens of other Utah communities have D.I.s in the heart of town.
But now that Draper has declared Deseret Industries a company run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, owners of this newspaper unfit to live among the more gentrified set, what does that say about Utah's other communities?
We know exactly what it says.
It says most Utahns are not ready to adopt the caste system of India and label one segment of the population "untouchable."
It says that charity, good will and inclusiveness are still values in most Utah towns and neighborhoods, that most places in Utah still feel it's better to lend an open hand than to offer the back of one.
It says not everybody in Utah thinks people who shop at D.I. have cooties.
It also says most Utah towns understand that thrift stores have a wide clientele, including many customers who could afford to shop elsewhere.
Still, we suspect that communities that refuse to allow Deseret Industries to set up shop in their retail cores are not really thinking so much about social norms and America's shadowy "class culture." They are really thinking about themselves and their pocketbooks. The real fear, we suspect, is that the presence of a Deseret Industries would somehow affect the value of property in the area or make it harder to attract upscale businesses. Struggles of this nature aren't about "traffic" or "storage" or "unwanted elements." They are about greed.
We have a suggestion for folks who feel like that.
Then go back to your English lit textbook and read the poem "Richard Cory" by the American poet Edwin Arlington Robinson. There, a moneyed soul seems to have everything a person could ever want prestige, property, power. But the guy goes home one night and puts a bullet through his head.
Because he was hollow. He'd mortgaged his soul. He'd forgotten what mattered most.
Some believe one day the perfect city will indeed be ushered in. It will be a thing of grace and beauty. But one thing that city will undoubtedly have is respect for all people, along with a way to aid those in need.