Serving Intolerance with An Anti-Democratic Relish: Hawaiian Restaurant Bars Trump Supporters

ff-19-640x454Honolulu’s Café 8 ½ appears to be serving dishes with an anti-democratic relish after the election. To the delight of many of its customers, it has barred anyone who supports President-elect Donald Trump from eating at the Hawaiian restaurant. The sign on the front door reads “If you voted for Trump you cannot eat here! No Nazis.” The sign has caused a firestorm of controversy for the relatively small restaurant.

The owners appear to maintain that there are now 62,979,879 Nazis in the United States since everyone who voted for Trump is now deemed nothing more than knuckle-dragging fascists. They will not be able to enjoy such curious delights as “Italian stir fry.”

The restaurant was founded by Robert Warner and his wife Jali. He is a former hair stylist for Vidal Sassoon in San Francisco and former restaurateur in Seattle. His wife and co-owner is quoted as saying “Robert just wants to express how much he doesn’t like Trump. If people take it personally or it hurts them, we cannot help. That’s why we say they have [a] choice if they want to come or not come. We don’t force them.”

Well, it is hardly that simple. What the owners are saying is that they wish to exclude people who disagree with them politically and further dismiss anyone who voted for Trump as nazis. It is Robert who appears to be channeling his inner “Soup Nazi” in banning customers based on their political beliefs. Many people voted for Trump because they are sick and tired of the establishment (including the Clintons and Democratic establishment). Others feel strongly about issues like immigration or health care even if they did not agree with other aspects of the Trump campaign. There were a myriad of difficult choices for voters to make this election and it was made a close election by the Democratic establishment pushing one of the most establishment figures in the country at a time when voters were demanding change.

Democracy does not guarantee results or, as shown by Robert Warner, civility. However, we are all bound by a common article of faith in our democratic traditions. The position of Warner is that our restaurants and public establishment should be able to exclude people based on their beliefs — an approach that (if followed by others) would create a balkanized system of stores and restaurants for Democrats, independents, Republicans, Greens, Libertarians, and even subsets like Sanders supporters. The alternative is to celebrate everyone’s right to choose. Indeed, with so many people not voting, all voters have a shared value in caring about the direction of their nation and participating in these elections. We do not have to agree on the next president to eat (or even talk) together. That is something Robert Warner appears incapable of understanding.

76 thoughts on “Serving Intolerance with An Anti-Democratic Relish: Hawaiian Restaurant Bars Trump Supporters”

  1. In a place that reveres a revolting plate of canned ham as a gastric indulgence, nothing surprises me.

  2. Some restaurants may still require ties and jackets. There’s a difference?

  3. Along this line, this is what “liberal” has come to in the US. Yesterday I received an e-mail from the alleged “liberal” site: World Can’t Wait. Here is part of what it said: “…In the past 8 years, the Democrats have, among other crimes, waged wars on 8 countries, codified extrajudicial killing through drone warfare and kill lists, expanded surveillance programs, and maintained Guantánamo. We call them war criminals, we call them the leaders of a brutal and horrific empire that spreads devastation across the globe. But we never call them fascists…Right now millions of people feel alone and isolated in their outrage. Many are scared. Many feel helpless and paralyzed. They are being told that they need to “accept the results” and “come together as country.” Imagine if all those people knew that they weren’t alone…that there was a way to act… a way to change history… ”

    Well O.K. then! I’m really glad that Debra Sweet and other “leaders” of the NoFascism movement are all good with putting a war criminal on the throne through extra legal means. I’m thrilled that “liberals” are evidently hoping that people who are vulnerable and upset will get hurt and hurt other on behalf of Democrats. WOW! Never in my life did I think I’d hear “liberals” extolling the idea that what we need is a good old fashioned war criminal on the throne!

    I find this movement repulsive. Just like the govt. they seem to work for, they would like others to sacrifice themselves for the cause of powerful as they sit back and reap the rewards of their alliance with war criminals. As Glen Ford writes with regards to this movement: “Go to DC to Fight for Black Self-Determination – Not for Clinton and the CIA”

  4. This is silly since the vote is secret, and there is no way to tell who voted for who. I am astounded that there has been not a word about the situation in North Carolina where democracy is being trashed wholesale. There are a number of interesting legal questions about the dictatorial conduct of the GOP there with the so called laws they passed to strip a Democrat of all appointments that are the purview of the governorship. The incoming governor has said he will contest those laws in court. I used to think that this was a legal blog, but I see that silliness is the order of FAUX employees. So we have a sign that has no possible means of enforcement, or even legal redress, and nothing on a historic departure from constitution law. I guess it is time for Biden to do the tricky thing and confirm Obama’s choice for SCOTUS when the Senators terms end and before the new ones take office. That would also be legal,if unprecedented. When the GOP wants to play the game this way, Dems need to do the same.

    1. If you cannot bribe people to vote for someone or even vote (see Dunkin Donuts) then certainly it is against the law to penalize people for voting and voting for someone.

    2. You may find the article linked below helpful in understanding what is going on in North Carolina. Two excerpts:

      >> David McLennan, visiting professor of political science at Meredith College, said what happened Wednesday is reminiscent of 1987, when Democrats controlled the General Assembly and welcomed new GOP Gov. Jim Martin.

      “In 1987, when Martin was in power, the Democrats took some powers away from the governor,” McLennan said. “It really has a longstanding tradition in North Carolina, this fight.” <> Dinan also noted that Democrats stripped the lieutenant governor’s office of some of its powers when Republican Jim Gardner won in 1988. Many of the lieutenant governor’s powers as president of the Senate were given to the Senate president pro-tem then.<<

      I'm sure you agree that Democrats were "trashing democracy" and engaging in "dictatorial conduct" when they were stripping power from the incoming Republican governor in 1987 and Republican Lt. Governor in 1988. Right? Or is it only "trashing democracy" and "dictatorial conduct" when Republican legislatures strip power from Democratic governors?

      1. Too bad you forgot to mention the FACT that Martin is one of the critics of this move which goes FAR beyond anything the Democrats tried. In FACT the NC Supreme court agreed with the governor that the legislature exceeded their authority in a similar case. The case of the Lt Governor is a bit different since he is part of the senate and they can basically do what they want in their own house. Then one has to wonder HOW DID THE GOVERNOR GET THE POWERS BACK IF THEY TOOK IT AWAY IN 1987? My reading shows that some Dems tried, but failed.

    1. If I remember correctly, they make a cake of spam and rice, and wrap it with seaweed. No accounting for taste, I guess.

        1. A bigger deal to whom? Some people of very little influence say they’ll be discontented if Trump reneges on certain promises. The Guardian then adds a misleading headline. The whole exercise is onanistic on your part.

    1. That’s earth shattering news Joe. What’s next, “a serial killer in a supermax facility in Colorado says he will kill again if he ever gets out.”?

    2. A “racist” or “white supremacist” is someone who disagrees with a liberal. Or even worse someone who is winning an argument with one.

      I am afraid that dog won’t hunt anymore.

        1. Joe

          Liberals will call me a “racist” no matter how I reply or the strength of my arguments. Calling someone a “racist” is not meant to enlighten or inform others but to shut them up and destroy them, if possible.

          Give me something original.

        2. I have nothing to do with anyone in Montana or any events occurring there.

          I do know that Spencer’s mother, who has absolutely no connection to his political activity and does not agree with his beliefs is being extorted by one Ms. Gersh.

          But of course, that’s ok, all done in the name of social justice. Any “collateral damage” is unfortunate. Ms. Gersh’s words, not mine.

        3. It is up to Trump to denounce them.

          It is not up to Trump to issue statements concerning unsightly and unimportant people, just because chewing over this is one of your hobbies.

    3. Even the once respectable but now unhinged and discredited Southern Poverty Law Center estimates the number of KKK members at between 5000 – 8000 members. Let’s be generous and say there are 10,000 “white supremacists”.

      For perspective, about one person in 3000 is born with an extra finger.

      Assuming a population of 300 million, that means there are about 100,000 people running around with an extra digit vs 10,000 white supremacists. In other words, you are 10x more likely to randomly run into a six fingered man than a white supremacist. And six fingered men are hard to find. One guy famously spent 20 years searching for one:

      Given their superior strength in numbers, I’ll worry more if the six fingered men decide to riot than if the white supremacists do.

      1. The Anti-Defamation League estimated around 1983 that the sum of memberships in the various klanlets then in existence was about 8,500. Shortly thereafter, Bill Wilkinson’s Invisible Empire declared bankruptcy and revealed its membership to be 1,800. The ADL had thought the Invisible Empire was one of the two largest Klans and had a membership of about 3,000. The FBI usually reports figures in the range of 2,000 to 2,500. They actually have informants in the body, which direct mail scamster Morris Dees does not.

  5. Nothing puts the ‘rest’ in ‘restaurant’ like a steaming heap of the cook’s personal politics on your plate.

    I was always taught to avoid talk of politics and religion at the dinner table for just this reason.
    Shops and eateries that virtue signal, prog self-identify, and Trump-shame violate this simple advice.

    That’s why I stopped getting coffee at Starbucks.
    I don’t need another vapid lesson in multi-culti liberal politics and leftist religion with my coffee.

    Do they think I don’t already get enough of that pablum on TV shows, in the movies, and on the news?
    Do they really think their loss was because they didn’t tell me I was hated loudly and often enough??

    But keep it up, Mr. and Mrs. Restaurant folks.
    I get it.
    You hate me. You really, really hate me.
    Good news for you: I can avoid you, and will do so.
    Please, self-identify more often, so I know which places to quit buying from.
    You don’t need my money, clearly.

  6. What’s not clear is how they are going about identifying the Trump supporting customers. Just walk in, order your food, GET THE FOOD, eat and then start talking about how happy you are that Trump will be our next President. If the owner decides at this point you are not welcome, then thank them and walk out…without paying.

    1. Olly – I was thinking that since you are a Trump voter, they really do not want your money, so you dine and dash. 🙂

      1. Now that wouldn’t be ethical Paul. 😉 Just claim you voted for Trump and see how solidly they will stand on principle.

        1. Olly – ethics are not involved here. It is what the restaurateur wants. He and she do not want the money of Trump voters, but there is no way to clarify who did or didn’t vote for Trump. Therefore, dine and dash fulfills the principle. Trump voters get fed, the owners don’t get their money.

          1. Paul, good idea! There is such a thing as a free lunch. I didn’t even vote Trump but I’d do your plan!

    2. Olly,

      That’s a great idea! I thought it was Paul’s but it was your idea. Excellent!

      Sorry for my mistake!

      1. Andrea – I think you could be arrested for trespass, but not sued for it. And if you leave when requested, it is not trespass.

    1. It would simply be a matter of whether any anti-discrimination law (state, municipal or federal) makes voting choice a protected category (they do not). It is perfectly legal to discriminate against people based upon who they vote(d) for.

      1. Help me figure this out. I have to bake the cake for the homosexual “wedding”, and this guy doesn’t have to serve me in his restaurant. This makes me a horrible bigot deserving to lose my business, and makes him a hero. Of course, no irony here. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  7. Since I would expect a great number of restaurants in Hawaii cater to tourists, the state’s political leanings might not be of such a benefit to him. And, if he relies on new customers, calling them Nazis only works so long before they go elsewhere. And, that time might be measured in milliseconds or fourths.

    Why throw away business? No worries, if his business fails it’s nothing that can’t be replaced with something else. From reading the source the owners seem to have a real attitude problem when it comes to their own arrogance.

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