Last week, Sneakers Bistro and Cafe in Winooski, Vermont removed a sign reading “Yield for Sneakers Bacon” from a garden at the Winooski Rotary after a woman who described herself as “a vegan and a member of a Muslim household” called the sign offensive in an online post.
“Given the large number of Muslim families in Winooski, as well as many others who do not eat pork for a variety of reasons, it seems unnecessary for this insensitive business sign to be at the city’s main crosswalk,” she wrote. Sneakers, obeying the growing U.S. cultural mandate that any individual has a veto over words and conduct that he or she finds offensive regardless of 1) whether it is offensive to anyone else and 2) whether the alleged offense is certifiably bats, apologized, and took the sign down.
I am happy to support that this decision did not play well, even in ultra-liberal Vermont, and under a barrage of criticism on the web and elsewhere, the Sneakers’ management posted the following message on its Facebook page, thus making their situation worse:
“We are here to serve people BREAKFAST, not politics. We removed the sign that was located on public property as a gesture of respect for our diverse community. There were also concerns raised about safety. Removing it was not a difficult decision. We still love bacon. We still love eggs. Please have the political conversation elsewhere.”
That idiotic statement was the disaster anyone conscious should have been able to predict it would be. And let’s be thankful this is still true. Tomorrow, Sneakers’ response may be standard operation procedure, even if ISIS doesn’t take over the country while the President is breaking par.
First of all, the safety concerns claim is insulting, and an obvious lie. Would “safety concerns” have prompted the Bistro to remove the sign if a political correctness bully hadn’t protested? No. The worst aspect of the message, however, is its acceptance of the ridiculous premise that the word “bacon,” used to describe an item on a restaurant’s menu, is by any sane measure “politics.” What made it politics is the bistro’s craven, pusillanimous, foolish and culturally dangerous capitulation to a single, unreasonable, presumptuous complaint, in the name of “diversity.” For that surrender was indeed a political position; it is the political position of radical progressives who believe in prompting self-censorship by threats and the strict enforcement of bland public discourse, expression and communication, in which nothing can be permitted in the marketplace of ideas or commerce that may conceivably offend anyone at all—especially Muslims, because as we all know (ask Comedy Central), they might just kill you if they’re offended—and all statements of offense are equally valid, except for the opinion that such slavish kow-towing to claims of offense is itself offensive to free speech, free thought, and American values.
This is the political position being relentlessly sold by the Left, that its driving, divisive priorities of group grievances, group identification, and favored status for minorities most be advanced across the culture, and that any ideas or sentiments not supportive of these goals, or in any way deemed uncomfortable by any of their designated beneficiaries, should be condemned, suppressed, shunned and punished.
Thus the U.S. Senate feels that it had the right to force a football team’s owner to change his team’s name. Thus ESPN suspends a commentator who dares to suggest that an abused woman who marries abuser after he cold-cocks her might be enabling her own abuse, and another for daring to use the term “chink in the armor.” Thus Harry Reid has to apologize for acknowledging that a self-identified group of Asians has Asian names. Thus a web browser must be boycotted because its CEO dared to support a position not held by gay advocacy groups. Thus Hallmark Cards pulls a card that refers to “black holes” because the NAACP accuses the card of being racist.
And now Sneakers takes another step toward a Tyranny of the Tactically Offended (TTO), accepting the premise that single citizen can dictate that a foodstuff not be mentioned in advertising, because of “diversity.” This decision may take place in out of the way Winooski, Vermont, but a million such decisions are being made in schools, businesses, advertising agencies, entertainment mediums, colleges, government agencies and media outlets every day, under the relentless attacks by the enemies of free speech and thought, not to mention yummy BLT sandwiches. Sneakers’ cowardly and unprincipled surrender is a defeat, and every defeat counts. It is a particularly galling defeat, because it was so unnecessary. The woman who wrote the post should have been informed, clearly and sharply, that she had no right to dictate the fare of the restaurant or the ability of the establishment to advertise that fare to those in the community who might want to consume it, and for her to presume to be “offended” at the mere fact that food she doesn’t choose to eat is mentioned on a sign suggests an exaggerated sense of entitlement and quite possibly mental derangement.
Sneakers deserves every bit of bad publicity and criticism it is getting, and more. If Americans don’t have the fortitude and principles to stand up for their rights, which are also your rights and our rights, there are plenty of people out there, many who are in powerful positions, indeed high elected positions, who are working around the clock to relieve us of them.
Stop being nice, accommodating and understanding to political correctness bullies. They mean us and the nation no good whatsoever.