The owner of Wursthall Restaurant and Beirhaus in San Mateo California recently refused to provide service to some customers. Owner and head chef J. Kenji Lopez-Alt recently shared sentiments about conservative patrons, indicating that they would not be welcome in the dining establishment.
In a recent tweet, Lopez-Alt stated that he would not allow customers wearing Make America Great Again hats inside his restaurant. He compared MAGA hats to Ku Klux Klan and Nazi symbols, and stated that customers wearing Make America Great Again hats would not be welcome or served at the establishment.
“It hasn’t happened yet, but if you come to my restaurant wearing a MAGA cap, you aren’t getting served, same as if you come in wearing a swastika, white hood, or any other symbol of intolerance and hate,” the now-deleted tweet read.
The rant continued as the restauranteur had plenty to say beyond Twitter’s 280 character limit:
“MAGA hats are like white hoods except stupider because you can see exactly who is wearing them.”
It wasn’t just MAGA hats that were unwelcome in the establishment, either, apparently…
“If you’re comfortable sitting next to a MAGA wearer I’m probably not interested in serving you either,” the restaurant owner added.
The day after the Twitter rant, the restaurant owner backpedaled significantly, claiming that he did not really say that the hats were racist. He also deleted the tweets he made about hat wearing potential patrons. The latest tweet read instead:
“I didn’t say maga hats are racist,” the owner said with a sudden change of heart. “I didn’t even say the people wearing them are racist. I said MAGA hats represent support of a racist and racist ideas. Wearing one doesn’t necessarily make you racist but it sure associates you with them.”
The restaurant owner describes himself as an atheist and feminist; he is also a parent and cookbook author. According to local television station WTVD-TV, the initial tweets by Lopez-Alt garnered attention on Twitter, as some users rallied around the restaurant owner in support of his anti-conservative views. Other users pointed out his discrimination and apparent loathing of some of his patrons.
There was enough controversy that Lopez-Alt deleted his tweets entirely – but the Internet is forever. Users continued to share copies of the tweet from screen grabs and saved images. Conversations continued about both sides of the issue.
One Twitter user wrote, “Mr Kenji I will be at your restaurant Saturday with my #Maga hat and @realDonaldTrump hoodie. Also I will be have a Freesom [sic] meeting there too! Just an FYI.”
Another Tweeter “Have you ever spoken to a person wearing a MAGA hat to see what they believe? Judging people’s appearances is the essence of intolerance. And please, comparing MAGA to a Swastika is truley [sic] downplaying the horrors of Nazi Germany. Are you a holocaust denier?”
The chef and restaurant owner has since deleted all traces of the conversation from his own timeline, and has been quiet on Twitter. While the controversy has died down, the lack of media interest in discrimination against conservatives remains.
~ Liberty Planet