American politics work their way northward
By Katie Czenczek, Staff Writer
It appears as if Teahouse at Stanley Park has made neither Trump supporters or adversaries happy with how they handled kicking out a man who wore a Make America Great Again hat to the restaurant.
In late June, former manager Darin Hodge asked a customer to remove his Make America Great Again hat before being served at the restaurant. The man refused. As a result, the man was kicked out of the restaurant. A few days later, Hodge was fired from his job as a response to his refusal to serve the man wearing the Make America Great Again hat.
The Sequoia Company, who own the restaurant, said that Hodge was fired because he did not follow its “philosophy of tolerance,” though some have taken to the keyboard to tweet that the hat itself symbolizes a lack of tolerance many have attributed to Trump’s presidency, which includes policies that lead to the separation of migrant children from their parents and the growing trade war with Canada.
Jean Podrasky tweeted that she supports Darin Hodge’s decision and said the Make America Great Again hat is the equivalent of a swastika.
“I fully applaud Darin Hodge,” she wrote. “He knew that he could be fired, and he took a stand. Th[e] stupid hat represents a swastika to me. If a restaurant allows customers to wear Make America Great Again hats on their premises, you’ve lost me as a customer.”
Following the incident, both Trump supporters and deniers have flocked to Yelp and Google to post poor reviews about the restaurant—many reviews having nothing to do with the food and service itself and more to do with the controversy. As a result, Yelp has had to filter through reviews to remove those that only seem to reference the scandal.
Hodge said on a Facebook post that he doesn’t regret kicking the man out or being fired for doing so.
“I stand by my decision,” Hodge wrote on Facebook. “The Make America Great Again hat has come to symbolize racism, bigotry, Islamophobia, misogyny, white supremacy, [and] homophobia.”
“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. Absolutely no regrets,” he wrote.
Mira Zhou, a student at Douglas College said that she felt that Hodge should not have been fired for kicking out the man.
“I think getting fired is a little too serious,” Zhou said. “If I were the boss, I would suspend the manager for one week. Vancouver is a multicultural city and that hat is a symbol of racism.”
Another student, Jackie Young, said that the man wearing the contentious hat should not have been refused service if he wasn’t being aggressive.
“T person shouldn’t have been kicked out and not served. I think it’s hard to know what the right thing is to do because it’s a tough time politically, but if the person wasn’t causing any problems it’s wrong to not serve them.”