Canadian Restaurant Upholds Decorum and Civility by Firing Ignorant and Aggressive Bigot
by Jonathon Kneeland
The Canadian city of Vancouver is a very tolerant and friendly city. Located within the city is Stanley Park. It's one of the most beautiful and frequently visited seaside parks in the world and has more than a thousand acres of forests and trails, and a paved seawall that makes up its perimeter. The Teahouse Restaurant is located within the park and is an excellent destination for tourists.
I love Vancouver and I love Stanley Park. I've run thousands of kilometers in the park, seen whales from its seawall, and spent many an evening sitting on one of its many grass hills with my wife, overlooking its beaches and having a drink while watching the sun go down. I live blocks from Stanley Park and there isn't any other place on the planet I'd rather live.
I'm quite happy to see the thousands of tourists who also seem to love the park. They come from everywhere on the planet and they all come for the same reason – the city and the park are beautiful. I run the seawall very frequently and, on sunny days, I have to navigate my way through tourists from Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and from all over North America. Frequently, I get asked for directions or to take a picture with the camera of some visiting couple. You might think this would be irritating, but it's not. These people bring money and I'm happy that we share in common the idea that the city I live in and love is worth their time and money to visit. These tourists remind me of how lucky I am to call Vancouver home.
The first thing to notice about the large numbers of tourists in Vancouver is their diversity. Nearly every race, nationality, and political affiliation you can think of is represented by the hordes of happy and spending visitors. More than a few times I've been asked in broken and barely understandable English how to get to some landmark or attraction and I'm always happy to help and I'm careful and thorough in my directions. I've never once considered demanding that any visitor pass a political affiliation test before I provide directions or take a picture.
Now imagine, if you will, my irritation upon finding out that there is one arrogant and ignorant imbecile in the beautiful city I call home who has decided to take it upon himself to decide who is allowed to visit and what services should be available. I'm irritated because I know the type. If you've read very much of my work then you know the type as well. This type is irritating because of their staggering ignorance and their insistence on viewing everything upside down and backwards. They get everything wrong and yet somehow persist in imagining themselves as morally superior to those who actually do the real thinking for them. They understand nothing about human nature, psychology, virtue-signalling, racism, bigotry, or anything else important.
The man who proudly carries the labels above is named Darin Hodge. I say proudly because since being fired he has stated that he stands by his ignorance and stupidity. He worked – before they rightfully fired him – for The Teahouse Restaurant that I mentioned in the beginning of this article. A customer of the restaurant was wearing a hat (Make America Great Again) that Mr. Hodge imagined had negative political implications. Hodge had apparently mapped out those implications in detail in his own mind and determined that those who wear the hat are not entitled to eat. He then put his internal delusions into action and refused service to the offending patron. The restaurant then fired him, stating that Hodge's actions are not in keeping with the business's policies on "intolerance" – finally, a business that actually understands what the word means.
Hodge made the following statement to CTV News after his firing: "As a person with a strong moral backbone, I had to take a stand against this guest's choice of headwear while in my former place of work... The MAGA hat has come to symbolize racism, bigotry, Islamophobia, misogyny, white supremacy, homophobia."
Hodge's ranting is as childish and as arrogant as it looks – "I'm really good and I ban the really bad people". Let's unpack his statement a bit. He declares that he is a person with a strong moral backbone and is taking a stand against bigotry. The problem here is that by refusing service to someone because they might have some different opinions than you, on some topics, some of the time, you are actually for bigotry and not against it. You also can't behave that way and claim to have a functioning moral compass. He then states that the MAGA hat has become a symbol of racism and homophobia etc. Mr. Hodge really ought to explore politics a bit before he makes sweeping pronouncements on things he clearly knows nothing about. People who do this are known in polite circles as ignorant assholes.
Does Hodge assert that the MAGA hat wearing Candace Owens is a racist? What I really want to know is if Mr. Hodges would refuse service to Ms. Owens if she wore a MAGA hat into his restaurant. If he did, would it be because she is a black women, or because she holds the wrong political opinions; and, what would be the difference anyway? And what about Gays for Trump? If they came in to eat while wearing their political affiliations on their heads, would Mr. Hodge eject them from his restaurant for homophobia? Does Hodge really want to go back to a time where blacks and gays are subject to the whims of some ignorant and bigoted waiter? I think that Muslims for Trump might also feel a little insulted if they visited a Canadian city only to find that some self-entitled know-nothing had the power to refuse them a meal. And if Hodge were to refuse service to Women for Trump, I'd have to say that he was the misogynist, not Trump. Is Hodge familiar with the rapidly growing #WalkAway movement, and would he refuse its founder service? Does Hodge have any idea that he and his type are the very reason for the growth of the #WalkAway movement?
What I recommend to Mr. Hodge is this: Spend six months studying the arguments opposite your current political position and try and learn and understand. I mean really listen and try to understand in an honest and serious way why people voted for Trump. You should keep the good and honest things from your current political leanings and gather the good and honest things from the other side. Discard all the garbage and everything you're not absolutely sure of. If you're thinking properly and honestly, the list of things you're really sure about will be very short. If you do this, you'll begin to develop something resembling the seeds of a coherent political position. From there, with some work and some luck, you might actually begin to develop into a decent and thoughtful human being. Until then, you really are just an ignorant asshole. You can tell yourself all the comforting stories you like; but the problem that will always remain is that we don't judge people by what they think of themselves. We judge people by how they act.
I'd like to assure our American neighbours that they really are welcome here. We don't care if you voted for Hillary or for Trump; although, if you voted for Trump it's probably because you are tired of racism and bigotry and want to go back to seeing people judged as individuals, based on how they act in the world, and not just as members of identifiable groups. Please extend us the same courtesy and don't judge Canadians based on the behaviour of this one individual. You know the type and you've got them there, too.