Take a recent incident at a Golden Corral in Nebraska. There, the police were called and a man was kicked out of the restaurant for wearing a “F‑‑‑ Trump” shirt, after other customers complained, WOWT News reported Monday.
In a video recorded by the man’s son, he complains that he “paid for the f‑‑‑ing food,” and that if other customers “don’t like it, don’t look at it.” The shirt has the expletive phrase on the front, and on the back, it says “Loser.” The man, Riek Mock, thought his First Amendment rights enabled him to wear the shirt anywhere, but that’s not the case on private property, like a business. Officers explained to Mock that the manager had a right to refuse his business. And so, he was escorted out — but not before being stopped by other customers to take selfies (2017!). Bizarrely, Mock told WOWT that he voted for Trump.
Golden Corral appears to hate swear words, no matter who is sporting them: Last year, a location of the restaurant had to escort out a man who was wearing a “F‑‑‑ Black Lives Matter” T-shirt. “We’re a family restaurant. … This is not a place for you to spread your agenda,” an employee said to the man, who identified himself as an ex-cop.
Cook Out, a southeastern fast-food restaurant with a cult following, also has a Trump problem as of late. Twice in the past year, customers reported being harassed for wearing Trump T-shirts.
Daniel Kaspar said last week that Durham, N.C., Cook Out employees threw ketchup packets at him for wearing a Trump T-shirt in the restaurant. “This is unacceptable, unprofessional and un-American,” he wrote on Twitter. The chain apologized on Twitter, writing that “it is being handled to ensure it never happens again.”
The incident followed a previous Cook Out clash in Colonial Heights, Va., last summer. There, WTVR reported that Shannon Riggs and her family went to the restaurant in Trump hats and shirts after a rally.
“As soon as we got to the window, someone inside said ‘Hell no! I’m not serving them,'” Riggs said. Eventually, employees took her order, but after they laughed at her, she canceled it and asked for her money back. Cook Out issued a statement, saying that it “is, and always has been, a politically neutral company. We welcome all customers regardless of political affiliation.”
And, of course, there’s Starbucks, one of the country’s most prominent places for recent culture clashes. Last month, one woman said she was bullied at a Charlotte store for wearing a Trump T-shirt. Kayla Hart said that when she walked in, the baristas laughed at her and labeled her iced tea with the phrase “Build a Wall.”
“I just found it really sad that I can’t wear a T-shirt with our president without being made fun of,” Hart said to her local Fox station, which first reported the incident.
That incident went viral, following on the heels of other flare-ups: A Miami man claimed Starbucks refused to serve him because he was a Trump supporter (a witness said the man got angry that his coffee order took too long), and in a separate incident, a customer started a campaign to get people to give their names as “Trump” so baristas would have to call out “Soy macchiato for Trump!”
In Charlotte, Trump supporters retaliated by hosting a sit-in, going to the restaurant in Trump-branded clothing and carrying signs. During the event, at least one of the supporters gave her name as “Trump” to the barista, and reported that they were gracious about it.
“It’s really good to come together and take something negative and just come in here and be respectful,” Trump supporter Shellie Anderson told Fox.
Will that respectfulness last? The way things have been going lately, probably only as long as the wait at the drive-through.
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