A Tennessee restaurant owner is refusing to back down after becoming a target of the left’s angry abuse.
The severe backlash after Tom Courtney hosted an event for U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn shocked the independent Mt. Juliet restaurant owner who plans to take action in response, but in contrast, like a mature adult.
Democrats decry calling out protesters as an “angry mob” but that’s exactly what Blackburn, who is vying for the open U.S. Senate seat against former Democratic Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, said in her note of thanks to the owner of Courtney’s Restaurant and Catering.
The radical Left is out of control, and their angry mob is right here in Tennessee. Tom, we appreciate your opening your restaurant up to us, and we hope you are treated with the same respect as you treat your customers.https://t.co/DbJriASwZO
— Marsha Blackburn (@VoteMarsha) October 17, 2018
Courtney was stunned by the hostility of reactions after he rented out a space in his restaurant for a meet-and-greet by Blackburn over the weekend that hosted about 175 people, including Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty.
“People have posted they love our food, but will no longer come to the restaurant,” Courtney said Monday. “I have never in my life experienced such a thing. It’s scary.”
The small business owner did not give it any thought initially, expressing later that he would have rented the space out to the Bredesen campaign as well.
“I did not think anything of it,” Courtney said. “I run a business. We were going to serve a hundred-plus people.”
But the left’s meltdown was immediate once Courtney posted a picture of Blackburn on social media to say thanks, as hundreds of comments poured in attacking the restaurant owner and his staff with threats and boycotts.
“At first, I didn’t make a deal,” Courtney told The Wilson Report. “Right to free speech and everything. I don’t need to expose the idiots who are keyboard crazy and damage a small local business. The ghosts behind their posts. It will blow over. I’m just blown away though.”
The personal and vicious attacks left him reeling.
“I was called a Nazi sympathizer of all things,” Courtney said. “It’s hurt my business, my staff, me and my family. I’ve never seen grown people, or whoever is hidden behind the screens, act in such a manner. I have partners.”
Protesters declared, despite years of doing business with the restaurant, they would no longer frequent the establishment because Blackburn was allowed to host an event there.
“I can’t support a business that is supporting her. I love your food but won’t be eating at your restaurant again,” one person commented, according to The Wilson Post which noted over 500 responses.
If you host an extremist, radical politician who doesn’t seem to favor inclusivity of race, sexual orientation, you are indeed endorsing her positions. And you deserve to be called out on it.
— Ivan Karamazov (@IvanKaramazovD) October 17, 2018
The intensity of the backlash convinced Courtney, who was previously undecided, that he will use his vote to help send Blackburn to the Senate, according to the Wilson Report.
It’s the ultimate payback and the only kind that makes a positive and meaningful difference.
“I’m one who votes for the person, not the party,” he said. “But with everyone saying they are going to boycott my restaurant because Marsha came here to treat my employees and customers, I can’t even fathom people like that.”
Courtney also defended his decision to host Blackburn in a scathing rebuke on social media:
“This is a family restaurant. It sells food. When people come in and order food, we sell it to them. We book events for all sorts of things including charities and business alliances, social organizations and such. We do NOT discriminate on race, religion or political affiliation. We have all manner of people eating in our establishment every day. They sit beside each other as neighbors and get along just fine. We are a family restaurant and we treat everyone as family with integrity and respect. Our employees’ political affiliations are their own. We have both parties represented and we work shoulder to shoulder each day. We would appreciate you treating us with the same respect as we treat each of you.”
Nancy Keckler Mitchell was exasperated with the thread of nasty reactions and called them out in the comments.
“You all sound like big babies! Whining over Marsha Blackburn at Courtney’s?? Give me a break. Do you have nothing else to do? There are so many more important options you could be talking about other than Marsha Blackburn visiting Courtney’s. Grow up and quit whining,” Mitchell wrote.
Many Twitter users agreed and slammed the left for their usual hypocrisy and double standard.
The left has lost it. One of the beautiful things about our country is the ability to vote FOR WHO YOU WISH and to not be punished. This behavior is why so many will never vote Dem. Most businesses dont run on party lines. They dont ask who you voted for before you order dinner.
— Theresa Ferneyhough (@Theresaferney) October 17, 2018
If those same detractors wanted the store owner to do something he didn’t want to do like … oh, say, bake a cake, they’d be all over him too. So it’s ok for a business owner to serve all people EXCEPT the ones the mob doesn’t want them to serve? #idiots #DoubleStandard
— Danah (@ChickOnTheWrite) October 17, 2018
I guess this is another instance of the loving, caring, all inclusive libs showing their real colors. They cannot hold an educated conversation with anyone so they attempt to shout you down. Not in Blackburn country kiddos.
— Angryotter (@romines_scott) October 17, 2018
This is a perfect example of why Democrats Should #WalkAway
— mathewsjw (@mathewsjw) October 18, 2018
I live down the road from Courtney’s. This SICKENS me that people in this awesome city are so brainwashed and narrow-minded. They don’t get their way then they throw a fit like a CHILD. Leave this city if you are so inclined.
— Brian Mason (@masonb30tn) October 17, 2018
We’ll gladly eat at Courtney’s!
— Linda from HR (@Linda_R98) October 18, 2018
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