'Philosophy of Tolerance': Restaurant Manager Canned After Attacking Man in MAGA Hat


How far down the tubes is civility? Well, even Canadians have stopped being nice. And no, not just Justin Trudeau, either.

According to Canada’s Global News, Darin Hodge — manager of the Teahouse Restaurant in Vancouver, a popular spot for tourists — is currently jobless after getting himself in a snit on Tuesday aboot a man in a MAGA cap (it can happen in the U.S., too, you might have heard).

“A gentleman came in wearing a hat that was a Make America Great Again hat, and our manager went up to the gentleman and asked him to take off his hat, that he wouldn’t serve him with that hat on,” Eva Gates, vice president of human resources for the Sequoia Group of Restaurants, which owns the Teahouse, told Global.

“And the gentleman said that he had a right to wear that hat. And (the manager) refused to serve him if he wouldn’t take off his hat, and so the customer had to leave.”

While the restaurant called Hodge “a good person with a big heart and a right to his personal beliefs,” its official statement added that what he did violated its “philosophy of tolerance.”

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“Sequoia does not support intolerance of any kind, and it is because of these principles that we cannot discriminate against someone based on their support for the current administration in the United States or any other bona fide political party,” the statement reads.

In an email to Global, Hodge had no regrets.

“I stand by my decision to ask the patron to remove his hat,” he wrote.

“The MAGA hat has come to symbolize racism, bigotry, islamaphobia (sic), misogyny, white supremacy, 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,” Hodge wrote.

Do you think this manager should have been fired?

Yes, he stereotyped what the hat — and the wearer — stood for, which is clearly the sign of someone with a “strong moral backbone” as well as “a good person with a big heart.”

Perhaps on other issues, Mr. Hodge is. For all I know he’s an individual tolerant of a panoply of other beliefs, even if they aren’t his. Perhaps he holds deep, frank discussions with those whose views he doesn’t understand in order to grasp where they’re coming from better. I question this in extremis, but much like cold fusion or a Buffalo Bills Super Bowl victory, it is theoretically possible.

When it comes to what Mr. Hodge did, however, there wasn’t anything particularly moral about it. There was no dress code in the restaurant, nor were any other customers apparently put out the by the Trump fan’s headwear. The problem was with Hodge, because he believed MAGA hats have “come to symbolize racism, bigotry, islamaphwordhecan’tspell, misogyny, white supremacy, (and) homophobia.”

He also seems to believe he has the right to act on that conclusion (that can happen in the U.S. too, you might have heard).

He’s perfectly within his rights as a human being to believe this reductionist, insular stereotype, mind you, but this has nothing to do with him being someone “with a strong moral backbone” and everything to do with him being an intolerant fanatic. The hat stands for none of the things Mr. Hodge thinks — unless, of course, you convince yourself that it does, which isn’t terribly hard for liberals to do.

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The incident is the second such high-profile refusal-of-service incident in recent days, the more high-profile of the two being White House press secretary Sarah Sanders getting booted from the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, in because the owners didn’t like her political beliefs.

In that one, the participants were far more famous. This time, however, the implications are even more frightening: Even the Canadians, long our preternaturally civilized brethren to the north, are finally losing their marbles.

So much for that liberal “tolerance.”

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture