Red Hen bigotry, or 'moral conviction'?
This nation is now at a place where those who have no “moral conviction” about the things that matter view unbridled bigotry directed at conservatives as “moral conviction.” Case in point, recently, a pink pussy hat-wearing restaurant owner in Lexington, Virginia decided to expose her narrow-mindedness by asking President Trump's White House Press Secretary to leave a small chapel-like restaurant she calls the Red Hen.
According to the Washington Post, Stephanie Wilkinson, who loves to write, knit, community organize, and march in women’s rights parades, responded to an emergency phone call from the chef of her small veggies-from-Mexican-immigrant-run Rancho Calixto farm-to-table restaurant.
The cause for alarm was Sarah Huckabee Sanders and a small party of seven being seated and (OMG) snacking on “Cheese to You” cheese boards while waiting to be served dinner. Wilkerson told the Washington Post that when Sanders showed up, the staff was “a little concerned,” asking her, “What should we do?”
Not for nothing - as they say in Brooklyn - “concerned” about what?
The ethical knitter, who was probably crafting her husband and son pink pussy hats, dropped her sustainable knitting needles and rushed down to E. Washington Street to save the day.
Sounding like Barack Obama weaving hate into flowery rhetoric and justifying stirring racial division by painting lofty word pictures, in an article entitled: The owner of the Red Hen explains why she asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave, Avi Selk and Sarah Murray explain how while driving Stephanie mulled over the moral dilemma.
Like a Big Hen in the little Red Henhouse, Stephanie contemplated her community’s opinions on Confederate flags, and how Sarah worked in the service of an ‘inhumane and unethical’ administration, and “publicly defended” what Wilkinson viewed were “the president’s cruelest policies.” In the brain of the social justice warrior, “that that could not stand.”
So, as Meryl Streep’s cousin neared the eatery, she decided a confrontation on behalf of Mexican farmers and flying fox farm duck eggs was in order.
Located in a town that voted against Trump, in a county that voted for Trump, Wilkinson told the Washington Post, “I’m not a huge fan of confrontation. I have a business, and I want the business to thrive.” Even still, Stephanie Wilkinson must have considered the chance to get in Sarah Sanders’s face a seminal “moment in our democracy.” So, rather than just sell Palmers Prairie Quail Eggs, Wilkinson decided to “make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold [her] morals.”
Fired up with righteous indignation, Wilkinson marched into the 26-seat restaurant, made a positive identification that the suspect was indeed Sarah Sanders, and decided that cheese board, or no cheese board, the White House Press Secretary deserved to be escorted out of the Red Hen. However, rather than rush in and rip the flatbread and pickled beets from Sanders’s hands, Wilkinson decided first to call an emergency summit with “concerned” employees.
Because Sanders defended Trump’s stance on transgenders in the military, Stephanie was uneasy for her gay employees. Meanwhile, as parsnip puree boiled over, the restaurant’s painfully misinformed employees discussed with Wilkinson how Sanders evaded questions and defended a Trump policy that they believed “caused migrant children to be separated from their parents.”
In other words, the staff at the Red Hen would have had no problem with the White House Press Secretary eating in the restaurant if, rather than concur with Trump, Sarah agreed with them that it is far better to place migrant children in the care of coyotes, human traffickers, and drug cartel members.
As the Sanders party munched on appetizers, a conflicted Wilkinson told the Washington Post that she inquired of the staff, “Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave?” The staff agreed that Sanders should go. So, after making sure Sarah was already served, Wilkinson approached the table and announced, “I’m the owner, I’d like you to come out to the patio with me for a word.”
Wilkinson shared that once outside, “I was babbling a little, but I got my point across in a polite and direct fashion.” Wilkinson then shared, “I explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation. I’d like to ask you to leave.”
Stephanie Wilkinson and the staff of her “red diaper doper baby” Red Hen restaurant threw the White House Press Secretary out in the middle of appetizers and cited “honesty, compassion and cooperation” as the reason?
Even still, Wilkinson said that at the time she didn’t know how Sarah would react.
Stephanie, who was in attendance at the Women’s March on Washington when Madonna threatened to bomb the White House, didn’t see Sarah Sanders comport herself with dignity while being publicly ridiculed by low rent comic Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.
Always the lady, Sanders’s response to being 86’ed by a pack of classless political activists was immediate. According to the Red Hen owner, Sarah said, “That’s fine. I’ll go.”
Wilkinson, who expressed that separating families on the border was immoral, mentioned that the rest of Sarah’s family was welcome to stay. They didn’t. Never getting a chance to dig into the Red Hen’s leftover gay wedding cake served by a transgender waitress, or given the courtesy of a chocolate meal finisher, the party gathered their things as concerned staff hurriedly fumigated the table.
Wasn’t it just a few months ago that two men loitering in a Starbucks, who happened to be black, asked to use the restroom and were arrested after they refused to free up space for paying customers? Didn’t bias allegations and diversity training result from the incident?
Now, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a paying customer, is refused service because of her religious and political convictions and bigotry is entertained as moral conviction?
Nonetheless, Red Hen proprietor, Stephanie Wilkinson did mention that although “They offered to pay,” in the spirit of munificent liberal kindness, she told the woman she refers to as “the mouthpiece of Trump,” that, “No. It’s on the house.”
Asked if she would do it again, the Red Hen owner said, “Absolutely, yes, I would have done the same thing again. We just felt there are moments in time when people need to live their convictions. This appeared to be one.”
Image Credit: Ted Eytan, via Flickr, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0