A Vancouver waiter was fired after he refused service to a man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, which rose to fame during Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The incident occurred on June 26 at the Teahouse in Stanley Park. According to the general manager Andy Crimp, the Trump supporter was seated on the patio when waiter Darin Hodge, who had been working at the establishment for 18 months, took over the man’s table and demanded he take off his hat.
“[The customer] said he had a right to wear it. [Hodge] said if you don’t take the hat off, we won’t serve you. And the man left,” Crimp said.
Hodge was fired for failing to follow the “philosophy of tolerance” set by the restaurant’s owner The Sequoia Company, but his comments reveal a lack of awareness about the irony of his behavior and his own intolerance.
“I stand by my decision,” he wrote on Facebook. “The MAGA 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.”
His choice of words while supposedly fighting discrimination — “I had to take a stand against this guest’s choice of headwear” — is particularly clueless considering how Muslims, Sikhs and Jews are discriminated against for their own “choice of headwear.”
Crimp condemned Hodge’s behavior, telling the CBC, “We don’t discriminate against people based on political beliefs.”
It’s a sad reality when the political climate in the United States has reached such tumultuous levels that Canadians treat Trump supporters better than their fellow Americans do.
We can only hope that should a similar situation occur in the U.S. again — such as when Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant — businesses remember not to discriminate against people for their political beliefs.