Wednesday, June 27, 2018

the Red fuckin' Hen

You may have heard the recent news about how the manager of a restaurant called the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, kicked out White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, her husband, and the group that had come with the couple. The manager, who polled her staffers before making the unusual move to deny Sanders et al. service (after some of the patrons had already ordered), felt that she had to stand on principle: Sanders represented everything that the manager, Stephanie Wilkinson, stood against. According to Wilkinson herself, Sanders and her group left without making a big deal; since the incident, Sanders tweeted some disappointment, but has also been clear that she feels no hate should be directed toward the restaurant and/or its manager.

The public, of course, has a mind of its own and is free to vote with its feet:

(seen on Gab)


Even more hilarious is the following image, which purportedly shows a health-inspector's report about the Red Hen:

(seen on Gab)

It's possible the report is a fake, but the PR damage has been done: the above image has already been seen and passed around by thousands.

The argument is being floated that, if a Christian baker has the right to deny service to a gay couple on religious grounds, then Stephanie Wilkinson has the right to deny service on political grounds. I'm not a fan of either "right": I think that, when a member of the public comes to your establishment, you have an obligation to serve that person unless your establishment is explicitly religious in nature.* But let's grant the argument for the moment: let's say that Wilkinson was in the right to stand up for her political principles. If she's any kind of businesswoman, she has to know that there will be significant consequences for denying someone service—especially someone who remained civil and took the high road. I see the Red Hen's move as, ultimately, stupid—just another example of self-righteous virtue-signaling that may very well lead to the restaurant's closure. But we'll see: apparently, the Red Hen is located inside a very blue region that is itself inside a larger and very red region. There are already silly Yelp! wars going on, from what I've read, with supporters of Wilkinson rating the Ren Hen at 5 stars while detractors are giving the restaurant 1 star. Too bad Tom Wolfe is dead: he'd have had a field day with this nonsense.

UPDATE: just saw this on Gab:


Too fuckin' funny.



*This goes back to the "Muslim baker" argument: would you seriously ask a Muslim baker to bake you a bacon-wrapped cake when you know full well that bacon isn't a halal food? If you're willing to grant an exception for the Muslim—the argument goes—then you ought to grant it for the Christian who refuses to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. As I've written before, I need to read up on what the law actually has to say about such cases. It seems to me that the Christian has less of a leg to stand on unless he's billing his bakery as explicitly Christian. If he's not—if he's merely a Christian who happens to be running a generic bakery, then it seems to me he ought to swallow his objections and bake the damn cake. But as I said, I don't know the specific, applicable laws in this situation, and even if we don't evoke religion in this argument, it could be that any privately owned business has the right to offer or deny service to whomever it pleases, no matter the reason. So until I do more research, I can't say I have a firm position on the matter. The best practical solution, for any gay couple that runs across anti-gay Christians, is simply to give their business to a different, more open-minded bakery. That's essentially the solution you see in the above photo of the empty restaurant: people will vote with their feet and with their wallets. Oh, and I see that President Trump has weighed in, calling the Red Hen "filthy." I doubt he's actually been there, so his unsurprisingly cavalier use of language is, once again, hilarious.



5 comments:

King Baeksu said...

You're leaving out the part about how after Sarah Huckabee Sanders' party politely left and went to dine at a restaurant across the street, the owner of the Red Hen followed them and a led a protest outside the alternate eatery.

Red Hen owner followed Sarah Sanders' family to protest their presence at different restaurant
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/red-hen-owner-followed-sarah-sanders-family-to-protest-their-presence-at-different-restaurant

Meanwhile, Maxine Waters is refusing to apologize or back down after calling on her supporters to physically harass Trump officials and ordinary Magapedes.

The Democrats are losing their minds. The midterms are going to be a massacre. Let's hope they come to their senses before people start to get seriously hurt – or worse.

Kevin Kim said...

Yeah, I saw that news only belatedly, after I had already scheduled this post to appear. I had thought about updating, but you've provided the update. Thanks.

King Baeksu said...

The DNC have released their official campaign ad for the 2018 midterms and it's beautiful:

https://youtu.be/eFRHX6glTSM

I do have to wonder why they didn't include Peter Fonda's demand that Barron Trump be locked up in a cage with pedophiles. Are they getting soft?

Annie C said...

Actually, the Trump tweet about filthy had a photo of the outside. He said:

The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!

Kevin Kim said...

Annie,

Could be that the Prez has a point!