The right to refuse….

One of the more recent trends in the industry is banning small children. This, predictably has caused quite a bit of uproar with owners saying that screaming kids are a major disturbance for the majority of patrons while parents are screaming discrimination. 

So where is the line? 

Oh, we all know that this can be a slippery slope down a very nasty path. Discrimination is bad but so are kids who can’t behave. At what point do the owners of a place make the choice? 

It’s not like they want to lose business but that’s the point, these kids are not really paying the bills but they’re driving away the customers that do. While I sympathize with parents, I don’t have kids, I don’t like kids and I sure as hell don’t want to deal with your hellspawn when I pay good money to go eat. If anything, I’ll go out of my way to even support a place that bans small children since it adds to the appeal of the place. 

We went through similar a few years ago when that “Christian”  bakery decided to refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding. I’m going to be an asshole and say that, while I support equal rights and marriage equality for all, I have to back the bakery on this. I sure as shit ain’t baking a cake with a swastika on it nor do I feel like a private business should be forced to do something they don’t feel is morally correct. I don’t agree with their position at all but I stand for their rights. 

My personal attitude is “fuck em”. 

If a place doesn’t want to serve you, let the situation be known in your community and support places that do practice equality. And before you say anything, no, nazis don’t count since they don’t believe in anything other than their own agenda

Here’s the issue, when is it okay and when is it not? 

I tend to work in some very liberal environments since they tend to be the only places tolerant of my attitude. I find it best if I surround myself with people who are open-minded. If you wear a MAGA hat in my bar, it’s going to make a whole lot of people uncomfortable and thus create a hostile environment. You should know what to expect and know that a lot of people are going to be offended by this. It would be like me wearing a Pride shirt to a Rodeo in Wyoming, while I might run into a few supporters, I should also be aware of my surroundings and know that people are going to stare and make comments. 

It’s a matter of private business. 

Let’s talk about the smoking ban for a minute. Years ago when I lived in Fayetteville Arkansas there was a whole uproar about the smoking ban being passed in the city. The thing that wasn’t pointed out was that, before the ban passed, over half the bars and restaurants were already nonsmoking by choice, without government intervention. They made the decision to cater to their customers and do what they felt was best for their business. The places that got screwed were the dive bars, the places that people knew would be filled with smoke. 

Talking art with Mike

Smokers like myself had no issue with this since we still had places we could go and we respected that certain places no longer allowed it. We respected the right of the business owner to run their establishment the way they saw fit. The flip side is that, I, as a smoker and business owner, am not allowed to smoke in my own business? 

And what about dress codes? 

A place has the right to enforce a dress code? No sagging pants, no hats? Jacket and tie required? That’s going to eliminate a large “demographic” based on the bias of what a certain group considers formal. Yet if someone walked in wearing what would have been considered formal two hundred years ago, they’d also get more than a few odd looks. 

The point is that, the business wants to create a certain vibe. Clubs want sexy people in the latest fashion while the golf course is a whole other story. 

Here’s the problem. 

I can say that, as a business owner, I don’t want nazis in my place because their presence is a disturbance. The thing is that a bar owner in East Texas could just as easily say the same thing about a black man or a drag queen walking in, or even me with my long hair and liberal agenda. 

I guess what it comes down to is this. 

You don’t make the choice on race or sexual identity. You make the choice to be an asshole. If your kids are causing an issue, I’m going to ask you to leave. If you’re starting shit with people, I’m going to ask you to leave. But if you want me to bake a cake for your gay wedding, I’m going to send you somewhere else because while I support equality, I really suck at baking cakes.  

But I make a damn tasty bread pudding


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