Code Red Politics

Anti-Trump fever takes threatening turn

The toxicity of the resistance to President Trump has risen in recent days, with the nation's most respected newspapers publishing rationalizations for denying Trump supporters public accommodation and for doxxing career federal employees, while a journalist found himself under physical attack from the so-called anti-fascist group Antifa, which has stepped up its violent activities since Trump's election.

The justification for denying public accommodation came from the Washington Post in an op-ed by Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of a farm-to-table restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. Wilkinson became famous in June of last year, when she refused to serve White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders and and told Sanders and her family to leave the restaurant. Wilkinson's staff then followed the Sanders group in protest as they tried to find another place to eat.

Wilkinson later told the press she ejected Sanders because the Trump administration is "inhumane and unethical" and because the Red Hen "has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation."


In her new article, Wilkinson discussed the case of The Aviary, a trendy bar in Chicago where a waitress recently spat on Eric Trump, the president's son. Wilkinson wrote that the incident, along with her own decision to oust Sanders, shows that in the age of Trump "new rules apply" in public accommodations: Americans who work for the administration or support the president should stay away.

"If you're directly complicit in spreading hate or perpetuating suffering, maybe you should consider dining at home," Wilkinson wrote.

Wilkinson noted that "no one in the industry condones the physical assault of a patron," but at the same time declared that Americans should understand that a "frustrated person" — for example, a restaurant employee — will "lash[] out at the representatives of an administration that has made its name trashing norms and breaking backs." Americans should accept that such things will happen.

"If you're an unsavory individual," Wilkinson concluded, "we have no legal or moral obligation to do business with you." Better to stay home than risk the spittle. (And of course, Wilkinson and her colleagues in the hospitality industry will decide who is "unsavory.")

The apology for doxxing came from the New York Times in a piece by Kate Cronin-Furman, an assistant professor of human rights at University College London. The article focused on the treatment of illegal immigrant children in detention centers near the U.S.-Mexico border.


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