No good deed goes unpunished. You can’t win for losing. Some things are worth dying for. Take your pick of cliche adages; they all apply in this case.
A Vermont diner called Sneakers Bistro is under fire from, well, just about everybody except Muslims and possibly vegetarians after participating in a community beautification project.
All the owners wanted to do was plant some flowers in local traffic medians as a part of a Winooski city project. Now they’re at the center of an online backlash that they didn’t bargain on but that is probably well-deserved.
The deal in Winooski is that local businesses that participate in the flower-planting project in return get to post a free roadside sign advertising their wares and services.
Sneakers posted a sign that said “Yield for Sneakers Bacon.”
A self-described vegan Muslim woman complained on a website called Front Porch Forum, calling the sign offensive. “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.
She took it even further, suggesting that the sign was a safety hazard because it “clutters an already dangerous crosswalk.” Her complaints initially drew support from several other people.
Bacon and driving don’t mix, apparently.
I’m not sure just how much you have to hate yourself and the world to voluntarily be a vegan Muslim woman, but her shotgun vitriol persuaded the bistro’s owner Marc Dysinger to take down the sign. In the spirit of the Obama Era, he even apologized as “a gesture of respect for our diverse community.”
Call it dumb-versity in action.
And now Sneakers Bistro is paying the price as Internet users from as far away as Hawaii share how offended they are by the owners’ kowtowing to Muslims’ religious prohibition on pork.
It’s not so much that the owners removed the sign, although I’m pretty sure the First Amendment protects pork products. The owner is welcome to bend over and grab his ankles anytime he feels like it.
But a lot of people, especially in light of hostilities by Hamas against Israel and by ISIS against Christians, don’t really feel like being pushed around by Islam, and they don’t appreciate their fellow Americans who just acquiesce to the absurd complaints of some random vegan Muslim. The fact that the owners apologized to the complainer just put gasoline on the flames.
Obviously, those who complain about the restaurant’s caving to the bacon hater (myself included) are applying the same sort of pressure as the original complainer did. But I think the pro-bacon side is on more solid footing morally speaking.
Bacon is food. You don’t like, you don’t eat it. Period. End of story.
Expecting the rest of the world to comply with your food choices, and to the point that a restaurant can’t even put the word “bacon” on a sign, well that just goes against everything that is quintessentially American, like freedom of speech, freedom of choice and, oh yes, diversity.
One thing that really grinds my corn is when self-appointed PC police throw around the word “diversity” while they’re in the process of limiting everyone’s choices. Sneakers Bistro is entitled to put anything it wants on its sign, or to remove that sign entirely. Just don’t try to tell me that bacon has to be removed from public sight because of diversity. Diversity — real diversity — is when a restaurant can advertise bacon to its owner’s heart’s content and offended vegan Muslims voluntarily shut up about it because they are at least American enough to realize their choices are not other people’s choices, and they can always order a fruit salad.
God forbid Winooski vegan Muslims ever see an ad for a Kevin Bacon movie. …