“Ignorant, Stupid And With Dead Ethics Alarms Is No Way To Stay In Business, Atlantic Sports Bar & Restaurant…”

And now for something completely appalling! The Tiverton, Rhode Island eatery posted this meme to Facebook:

Now what?

What occurred after the meme went up was that a local talk radio host called to investigate. She says the restaurant owner told her that he thought the meme was funny and then cut off the call. The employee who posted the gag alleged that he didn’t know who the girl in the photo was.

After the post had been taken down by the restaurant, a contrite apology went up in its place:

The team here at The Atlantic wants to issue its sincerest apologies for a deeply insensitive post shared by our account on 7/22. The post was poorly thought out and we realize that it was incredibly inappropriate and does not reflect our values as members of our community.

There is no excuse for the sharing of this post, and there is nothing we can do to rectify it, all we can do now is offer our deepest apology to those who were rightfully hurt by our actions.

The Atlantic Restaurant prides itself on being a tolerant, inclusive and safe space for all people. We love and respect all of our incredible customers and members of our larger community, irrespective of their religion, race, creed, sexuality or gender identity. Moving forward we will be vigilant in vetting all social media posts to ensure that nothing like the events of this past week ever happen again.

We appreciate the outpouring of support, as well as the outpouring of rightful criticism, this will certainly be a teachable moment for our team.“Thank you again for allowing us to serve our community, doing what we love – we hope that with time we can regain the trust of those who we’ve hurt and move forward, as a better, stronger and more sensitive organization.

Wait…there’s been an outpouring of support? From who, the Eichmann Fan Club?

Observations:

1. The apology is okay; indeed it probably makes the top rung, a #1 apology on the Ethics Alarms Apology Scale. My only reservation is that this is a Pazuzu Excuse. The paragraph that dutifully lists all of current virtue-signaling buzz words screams of insincerity. Posting that meme is signature significance: nobody does it who “prides itself on being a tolerant, inclusive and safe space for all people ramalamadingdong.” No business does it that isn’t run and staffed by morons, either.

2. There is no chance, none, that the employee who posted this didn’t know that the girl was Anne Frank.

3. The Newport Daily News headline for the story stated that the meme was “viewed as anti-Semitic.” That’s unusually nuanced for a headline! It’s right: many people see the meme as anti-Semitic, but it’s just a tasteless, ugly, sick joke. Sick jokes are supposed to be funny

they are outrageous. Making such a joke or laughing at it doesn’t prove bigotry.

4. This is one of those expressions of online free speech that I would defend to the death if it was intended to be private and between friends, but that if it somehow became public, the position here would be that those circulating it had no grounds to complain. However, this meme was intended to be seen by the public! How dead does one’s ethics alarms have to be to think like that? It doesn’t seem like the employee who posted it was trying to destroy his or her employer. This is a life competence failure as well as a business one: Know your community! Know your country! Know basic history! Be culturally literate!

5. Is it really possible to go through public school and grow to adulthood without learning who Anne Frank is? Is our education system that bad?

6. Back to “Now what?” The Daily News says, “While some called for a boycott of the business, others felt that was extreme for an error in judgement.” This is encouraging, I think: running a business out of town for a terrible attempt at humor on social media is indeed excessive.

7. Personally, I would never patronize such a place. I would feel unclean.

8. Finally, I have yet to find a media account of this event that featured the meme. Some, but not all, described it. This is lousy, cowardly, politically correct journalism, just like the stories that revolve around someone’s use of “a slur” that is never mentioned in the news story.

8 thoughts on ““Ignorant, Stupid And With Dead Ethics Alarms Is No Way To Stay In Business, Atlantic Sports Bar & Restaurant…”

  1. I do believe it’s possible to get through school without knowing who Anne Frank was, but I doubt that was the case here. The whole joke was based on someone thinking it was funny to compare the temperature outside to the temperature of the ovens in concentration camps. Whoever posted that knew, at the very least, that the girl in the picture was a Holocaust victim.

    • Agreed. There is a sick part of society that claims Anne Frank had white privilege. As a result, I might conclude that the poster thought the meme was just too funny not to post.

      As for the apology, it rings hollow because it is full of buzz words and “we’ve learned so let’s move on.”

      jvb

  2. Annaliese Frank and her sister, Margot died of typhus in Bergen Belsen in Germany just a few weeks before the liberation of the camp by British forces. The sad irony is that she and her sister most likely would have survived if they had remained in Auschwitz in Poland.

    Nevertheless, the wheel on collective memory has turned and what is obvious to the oldies is completely lost on the youngers. We should all be ashamed of this.

  3. Ha ha. It is to laugh. A young girl dying of typhus under filthy, horrible conditions, then being incinerated, just like 6 million of her co-religionists and six million other “undesirables,” by one of the three or four most evil regimes to rule in this world is just so much funny they couldn’t resist.

    I’ve said before that I am an inveterate joker and punster. I also believe that humor should be given more of a pass rather than less of a pass, otherwise we will quickly find ourselves reduced to chicken-crossing-the-road jokes. I’ve told a few jokes myself that were NOT politically correct by any way of thinking. Normally, I say that people who claim to be offended at jokes need to develop a thicker skin, roll with the punches, and generally be less rather than more sensitive, because society does not benefit if everyone here is easily offended and everyone is afraid to say something because some poorly chosen words could ruin him.

    That said, as with everything, there are certain lines that shouldn’t be crossed, and anyone with a functioning brain should be able to see where those lines are. It’s really not funny to joke about 9/11, there are still far too many spouses and children of those lost, and there’s really nothing funny about hijacking airliners, turning them into manned missiles, and committing mass murder with them. It’s really not funny to joke about deaths caused by attacks or disasters either, like saying you know some victim had dandruff because they found the person’s head and shoulders in the wreckage, or that someone who perished in a fire was wearing a smoking jacket. Objectively what’s funny about that? And the Holocaust? Huh?

    The problem is that, with humor, as with a lot of other things, it’s very easy to get caught up in whatever and for your filter and/or objective thinking to shut down, especially when stringing a whole bunch of jokes together or trying to one-up one another. Before you know it, you cross the line or you knowingly ignore it. It’s also true when you become really angry, as I have, but that’s not the situation here. Still, when this is all over, you should be able to regain your objectivity and your wisdom and NOT do anything with this level of foolishness that will compromise your personal or professional well-being. Publishing a joke about someone who died in the Holocaust is such a thing. Duh!

  4. This is why you don’t hire a nineteen-year-old to run your social media, people. Yeah, they know their way around Twitter and Instagram, but they’re also idiots whose cultural literacy extends to about eight years ago and then stops cold.

    Well, at least a PR firm somewhere got paid (probably including a handsome emergency fee) to write that apology, which helps the local economy… It seems unlikely that a company that would post that meme publicly could also craft such a perfectly sculpted apology. It hits all the right notes and buzzwords – “regain your trust” , “those who were hurt” (spoiler: nobody was “hurt”), etc. That was written by a PR professional, or at least stolen from one.

  5. Wouldn’t it be funny (inakarmicsortofway) if the individual who wrote that was to die in a house fire because they fell asleep while smoking in bed?
    Well, not really and I doubt this person’s friends/acquaintances would conjure a meme regarding the incident.
    So why is Anne Frank any different?

  6. Regarding #5. I have no doubt that the students of today’s educational system, but public and private, have ever heard of, read, or been taught about Ann Frank and the other 6+ million victims of the Holocaust. In fact, I doubt the topic is even broached. After all, there is no room for real history when the system is actively promoting the false history of the ideologues.

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