Stephanie Wilkinson has re-affirmed the Red Hen’s stance that it is perfectly acceptable to refuse service to political and social figures you disagree with, and it was quickly met with backlash from those who have maintained their sanity.
The Red Hen rose to national recognition in 2018 after refusing to serve then-Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders. This account was confirmed by Sanders herself in a tweet made over a year ago.
Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 23, 2018
Since this shocking incident, we have seen a rise in the number of establishments that are refusing service to Trump family and staff, and even high-profile Republicans, with the most recent situation involving a Chicago cocktail lounge employee spitting on Eric Trump.
While Wilkinson rejects using violence against these “unwelcome potential patrons,” she does note that eateries have become political stages, whether they merely serve as the location for the protests or they take an active role in the refusal of service, as her restaurant did to Sanders.
“A portion of the public will scold owners and managers about ‘staying in their lane’ and express chagrin at the loss of a perceived ‘politics-free zone,'” she stated in her OpEd to the Washington Post, continuing on to say that “[e]ateries have always reserved the right to refuse service. But in the main, the real hospitality code comes down to a simple if paradoxical statement: All are welcome. Terms and conditions apply.”
In yet another insulting paragraph, she declares political opponents “unsavory individuals,” claiming that every business has the right to serve according to their “values.”
“On a variety of levels, pressure is increasing on companies to articulate and stand by a code. Customers are demonstrating that they want to patronize companies that share their values. Our workforce also increasingly demands that employers establish a set of ethical standards.”
The high-profile clashes rarely involve one citizen fussing at another over the entrees. It’s more often a frustrated person (some of whom are restaurant employees) lashing out at the representatives of an administration that has made its name trashing norms and breaking backs. Not surprising, if you think about it: You can’t call people your enemies by day and expect hospitality from them in the evening.
At the tail end of her spiel is an ominous declaration that leaves the reader sensing an unwritten “or else.”
“If you’re directly complicit in spreading hate or perpetuating suffering,” she says, “maybe you should consider dining at home.”
With everything that isn’t politically correct being defined as “hate” these days, this is essentially a warning to everyone who isn’t a progressive liberal that they should be discriminated against in their daily lives, as they try to eat, shop, and engage with local businesses.
Conservatives were quick to decry Wilkinson’s call for intolerance, some with more humor than others.
haha. i Love it when a woman is Honored in front of people who revile her and who don’t possess the Strength she has. and likely never will because they don’t win the same prizes that the Courageous do. pic.twitter.com/ZoAYj1L2Qe
— gianna jessen (@giannajessen) June 21, 2019
One Twitter user pointed out the hypocrisy in the article.
“…this isn’t about politics. It’s about values…”. Translation: if you don’t value our political agenda, get out! We are witnessing the combination of rabid political activism with business.
— Political Masquerader (@politicalmask) June 29, 2019
Yet another pointed out that Wilkinson didn’t engage in acting out her principles in business, but out-right harassed Sanders by following her to another eatery across the street.
An important tidbit about the Red Hen owner : She’s hateful and lacks boundaries. Odd character traits for someone in the hospitality business. pic.twitter.com/IcNhBE9sXp
— Janet Jackson (@JanetJa55586250) June 29, 2019
Politics is no longer a dinner table topic to be discussed in hushed tones; it has invaded every aspect of our lives, with labels and political affiliations becoming more important than humanity, empathy, and privacy. To some, it is the only identifier that matters, and truly determines if you’re a human worth interacting with, or an “unsavory individual” to brush aside.
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