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Why Sarah Huckabee Sanders Was Asked To Leave Red Hen

June 24, 2018

If a baker can decline a wedding cake for gay couples, then we have a right to ask bigots and dishonest people to get out, too.

Stephanie Wilkinson was at home Friday evening — nearly 200 miles from the White House — when the choice presented itself.

Her phone rang about 8 p.m. It was the chef at the Red Hen, the tiny farm-to-table restaurant that she co-owned just off Main Street in this small city in the western part of the state.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders had just walked in and sat down, the chef informed her.

“He said the staff is a little concerned. What should we do?” Wilkinson told The Washington Post. “I said I’d be down to see if it’s true.”

As she made the short drive to the Red Hen, Wilkinson knew only this:

She knew Lexington, population 7,000, had voted overwhelmingly against Trump in a county that voted overwhelmingly for him. She knew the community was deeply divided over such issues as Confederate flags. She knew, she said, that her restaurant and its half-dozen servers and cooks had managed to stay in business for 10 years by keeping politics off the menu.

When she walked into the restaurant, Wilkinson saw that there had been no mistake. The Red Hen is no bigger than some apartments, and the group table was impossible to miss: Sanders in a black dress, her husband, three or four men and women of roughly similar ages, and an older couple.

“They had cheese boards in front of them,” Wilkinson said. Like any other family. The kitchen was already preparing the party’s main course. Wilkinson interrupted to huddle with her workers.

Several Red Hen employees are gay, she said. They knew Sanders had defended Trump’s desire to bar transgender people from the military. This month, they had all watched her evade questions and defend a Trump policy that caused migrant children to be separated from their parents.

“Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave,” Wilkinson told her staff, she said. “They said ‘yes.’ ”

It was important to Wilkinson, she said, that Sanders had already been served — that her staff had not simply refused her on sight. And it was important to her that Sanders was a public official, not just a customer with whom she disagreed, many of whom were included in her regular clientele.

All the same, she was tense as she walked up to the press secretary’s chair.

“I said, ‘I’m the owner,’ ” she recalled, ” ‘I’d like you to come out to the patio with me for a word.’ ”

They stepped outside, into another small enclosure, but at least out of the crowded restaurant.

“I was babbling a little, but I got my point across in a polite and direct fashion,” Wilkinson said. “I explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation.

“I said, ‘I’d like to ask you to leave.’ ”

  1. June 25, 2018 8:07 AM

    Purplepenquin…lest we forget what happened in Madison in it was written on this blog. Public shaming is a good thing.

    I am glad that there are some who are not afraid to tell Governor Scott Walker exactly where he can go. In this case….out of a Madison restaurant.

    After the union-assaulting Wisconsin Governor thought it would be a good idea to step out last Friday night (Feb 18th) for some food he was greeted with boos and chaos from others who had gathered in downtown Madison. One of the bartenders working at the establishment spoke of the disturbance that Walker was making by his very presence, and the owner then asked the Governor to leave.

    That must have been an unexpected upcommance for Walker. I bet there was some un-Christian language coming from this son-of-a-preacher-man’s mouth as his shoes hit the sidewalk…….

  2. Purplepenquin permalink
    June 24, 2018 9:00 PM

    I thought you thought it was wrong for that bakery to refuse to make a wedding cake for that couple. Have you really changed your mind on that one or are you simply lowering yourself to that bigot’s level?

  3. June 24, 2018 7:44 PM

    The hypocrisy of the right is on hyper drive, using the baker in Colorado as an example. Quite frankly, I am sick of the double standards in America right now

  4. smokey3 permalink
    June 24, 2018 6:08 PM

    I’ve heard some pretty lame and sick excuses to push a liberal agenda, but this one most likely floats to the top of whatever the red hen owner and her ilk are floating in. To make a trip from your home to make a fool of yourself being mean to someone is a new high in hypocrisy.

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