Exponential: $10,000 GoFundMe for crying California restaurant-owner hits $109K and still counting

In Los Angeles, the county's early restaurant shutdown, enthusiastically endorsed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, isn't going over well with the locals.

One of them has protested in a massive viral video seen by tens of thousands, and then raised more than ten times her requested $10,000 help amount on GoFundMe, and it's not stopping as I write this.

It's not just the caprice of the local measure to shut all restaurants down and dump the blame for the pandemic, without evidence, on these little guys.  Earlier this year, they also told these battered restaurant-owners to spend thousands of dollars on social-distancing measures and cut dining space.  Now with COVID cases up, they've decided to blame the bar- and restaurant-owners again.  But for the politically connected, such as Hollywood film crews, or a hungry Gavin Newsom, it's not a problem.

According to The Wrap, with my editor notation:

In a video that circulated widely on social media Friday, Angela Marsden, the owner of Pineapple Hill Saloon & Bar, said she was "losing everything" after being forced to shut down outdoor dining and could not understand why the county would allow film productions to continue mere feet away from her restaurant [where film crews laid out huge restaurant-style catering banquets, right in front of her shuttered establishment —ed.]

"Everything I own is being taken away from me, and they set up a movie company right next to my outdoor patio," Marsden said. "And people wonder why I'm protesting and why I have had enough. They have not given us money and they have shut us down. We cannot survive, my staff cannot survive. Look at this."

And yes, it is heartbreaking.  The owners and their employees are losing everything, and there are thousands of them. There's no "we're all in this together" for them as had been hyped earlier.  Now the entire blame, and consequences, for COVID are all on restaurants and other small business, whose penalty is livelihood death.  Nobody outside bars, restaurants, gyms, and other establishments has to pay for this, despite the hordes of people at protests and at Costco, and certainly not government bureaucrats.  Just the little guy pays.

So the faceless bureaucrats of the County of Los Angeles have effectively ordered small businesses to destroy themselves, forcing them to take all of the blame for COVID spike (which isn't going to go away with the shutdowns and business destruction) while politically favored businesses, such as film crews, still get to flourish.

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti claims to be in sympathy with all the small business shutdowns, but that's baloney.  That's worth about 800 bucks to the workers, which is the new proposed onetime county hard-luck stipend, with nothing to the people who employ them or sink down all the capital costs.  In exchange for their jobs, the dishwashers and waiters get 800 bucks, and all of them get the unlovely role of sin-eater for all the COVID cases out there.  Garcetti, of course, as well as Los Angeles County, doesn't need to worry about the tax base collapsing as a result, given that he expects House speaker Nancy Pelosi to approve a blue-city bailout in the still stalled next coronavirus relief package.  What does Garcetti care if Los Angeles's famed bars and restaurants shut down?  Hain't he gonna get the money?

The cri de coeur from the restaurant-owner is moving people across the country.  Her GoFundMe page has raised, as of this counting, $109,000 to aid her.  When I started this piece, it was $106,000.  That is still no substitute for her restaurant being unjustly shut down and the failure of the city to reimburse her costs, but it does tell us that she speaks for many.  (Here's another high-impact Los Angeles small business protest, which signals there are a lot of them.)  It also tells us that people in Los Angeles are listening, and people across the country, too —  some 2,300 donors at last count.  The shutdown political artists who blithely shut restaurants down and then add insult to injury by letting film crews rub it in a weeping restaurant-owner's face ought to be running scared.  There are also election consequences for this kind of hypocrisy.

Image credit: Twitter screen shot.

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