Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Customer Isn't Always Right

Earlier today, from what I can tell, the restaurant The Bistro at the Bijou in Knoxville refused service to one Sen. Stacey Campfield. They posted a FB message that said, "I hope that Stacy Campfield now knows what if feels like to be unfairly discrimanted against." From all that I can ascertain, that was a response to not serving him for his well documented views of ignorance and bigotry towards the GLBT community.

In response, one Matthew Hurtt wrote: So, discriminating against someone because you don't agree with their political beliefs is perfectly fine. Two wrongs do, in fact, make a right, Fantastic logic!

That's a fine example of false equivalency. Stacey Campfield, who I've met, talked to, and actually kind of like as a human being, is a person of power in this state who has used said power to promote discrimination, misinformation, and outright hatred towards his constituents and other Tennesseans.  Knoxvillains who wish to eat out have a whole host of different options from which to choose from.  But Tennesseans who want equal representation and rights have only one legislature to look to.  While there are many representatives, theirs, Stacey Campfield has made it a mission in his life to make life harder for those who don't fit his own personal view of 'normal'.

There is nothing inconsistent or incoherent about discriminating against those with power who actively discriminate against those without power.  There is no difference between refusing to serve David Duke than there is Stacey Campfield.  While Campfield's views may currently have more resonance among the American populace, it doesn't change the fact that he wishes discrimination against people based on who they are.

I hope Campfield was refused service for his advocacy of abhorrent beliefs, and I would hope that Nashville establishments would do the same to Stacey and the many other advocates of discrimination within the legislature.  As long as the enemies of tolerance and compassion are given aid and comfort by the society at large, they will continue their evil deeds.

I look forward to soon patronizing The Bistro at the Bijou, and I hope you would do the same.

Update: 

The Metro Pulse in Knoxville got a quote from bistro owner Martha Boggs:
"I didn't want his hate in my restaurant," Boggs said in a interview this morning. "I told him he wasn't welcome here. ... I feel like he's gone from being stupid to being dangerous, and I wanted to stand up to him."
See Also: Michael Silence has a good rundown of reactions. 

Update II:

Stacey Campfield has blogged about his experience and says that he left the restaurant because "she started to yell and call me names again so I figured it was better to just leave."  He also adds this nugget:

Some people have told me my civil rights were violated under the 1964 civil rights act in that a person can not be denied service based on their religious beliefs. (I am catholic and the catholic church does not support the act of homosexuality)
Ummm...no. According to the EEOC, "Social, political, or economic philosophies, as well as mere personal preferences, are not “religious” beliefs protected by Title VII." While Title II covers restaurants, its safe to say that the same definition of "religion" would apply there as well. Arguably the belief that "homosexuality is a sin" is a religious belief, but saying that AIDS resulted from people having sex with monkeys, or passing laws that prohibit the discussion of the concept of same-sex relationships, does not fall under that classification.

Update III: Martha Boggs responds on camera to the incident on Sunday, saying she thinks Campfield is a "bully" and that "he needed to be stood up to".

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is really silly!! No matter what, soceity has to stay neutral in these situations. Otherwise we can regress back to the time when restaurants only serve those they allow. I agree with the ignorance of this guy, but politics are politics keep it there and don't re-elect this guy! That is the way to deal with having someone who represents the majority vote!

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? It's society's job NOT to be neutral. That's how progress is made for the downtrodden and discriminated against.

Tom Shire said...

I think it was a good lesson for him. Maybe it will cause him to reflect upon his views and their impact on others.

Anonymous said...

If a Catholic priest can refuse to give the sacrament of Holy Communion to a politician who supports reproductive rights (never mind if their positions on capital punishment or poverty completely contradict that of the Church), what's the difference?

JakeP said...

"Political Beliefs" my ass. We need to stop letting direct attacks on individuals and minority groups get white-washed as some kind of "political belief" that doesn't affect anyone. His is no more a "political belief" than racism or sexism.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely absurd and my heart goes out to this Senator. This incident should prove the point that any business, after obtaining a business license, must serve the public - the entire public. The Senator should use his office to ensure that this doesn't happen to moral, upstanding heterosexuals by banning discrimination based on sexual orientation - hetero orientation. I'll get out the popcorn...

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous #4. The man in question was NOT banned based on his sexual orientation. He was banned because he promotes treating LGBT individuals as second-class citizens who have somehow made a 'choice' to live a 'lifestyle', and, worse, he is in a position of power to force his beliefs onto others. To clarify:
1. Boxers vs briefs: a choice
2. Chocolate vs vanilla: a preference
3. Vegetarianism: a lifestyle
All valid terms, none of which have anything to do with my sexual orientation.

Anonymous said...

Anon #5, I'm pretty sure Anon #4 was being sarcastic.

Then again, Poe's law.

Lightning Baltimore said...

The senator was elected to serve the entire public, yet he has decided to attack a certain segment of said public. Why does the politician get a free pass to refuse to serve "the entire public?"

Derek said...

I support and agree with Anon#5 comments. There is too much intolerance and hatred fueled by politicians like this gentleman. Too many in our society that will look to his statements and actions as justification for further violence and bullying and that should not be acceptable.

Jasmyn said...

Most restaurants reserve the right to refuse service to anyone they feel like for really any reason. They lose money when they refuse a patron, so it's hardly in their best interest to do so. Typically, if someone is being refused, there's reason for it. An independent business (or even some chains) have no social obligation to serve someone that they don't want in their place of business. I commend them for taking a stand even if it means losing a patron. The Bistro did the right thing. If I ever end up in the area, I'll make it a point to be sure and have dinner there.

Andrea Peel said...

um....then what's the purpose of that sign behind almost every counter...we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone...

Anonymous said...

Stacy Campfield has been struggling with his own homosexual identity since adolescence. Unfortunately, he is foisting his deep-seeded insecurities, backed up by ignorant religious types who make him feel guilty every day, onto the public. Prayer doesn't make you straight (or gay), white (or black); or right-handed (or left). Now, he just needs to go away...

AshesAwesome said...

Attempting to justify discrimination as anything other than reprehensible behavior undercuts the message. If you justify your own discrimination against someone else you can't very well turn around and say that it's because they were discriminating first, you have to acknowledge that it's not okay in either circumstance. Otherwise it just becomes "Eye for an eye" and "he started it." If you want to use it to teach a lesson you have to say "I wrongly discriminated against you to illustrate that discrimination is wrong." NOT "I was justified in discriminating against you, because you also discriminate against people."

sue jeffers said...

the businesses that choose to discriminate against "homosexuals" are engaging in discrimination based on prejudice, lumping an entire class of people - divorced from any actions or words , simply because of their existence. this was a case of an individual being denied service of specific things this individual person has done and said.
there is a difference.

Anonymous said...

Campfield is allowed to stand on a podium daily and push his beliefs for all of us to hear. Martha Boggs decided to make hers known as well. I'm deeply grateful to this business owner for speaking out against intolerance when the opportunity arose.

Jonathan said...

Add another (and their family) of those not going to this establishment.

Dan M. said...

Well done madam, I commend your actions. As a restauranteur you have the right to refuse service, especially to those who spread falsehoods and outright lies. If his downright homophobic viewpoints go unchecked it provides impetus for others to spew hateful language in a public arena.

Anonymous said...

ha..ha...an anti-game crusader is named "Stacey"!!!

Anonymous said...

To those throwing a tantrum over this: notice that we outnumber you. We would be positively DELIGHTED if you made good on your promise never to go to this restaurant. The rest of us will be there having fun, and frankly we don't want to be in the company of bigots and hate-mongers. Please stay at home and glare at each other from across the kitchen table as you gobble down whatever bland slop passes for dinner in your house. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

And what ever possessed Campfield to go to the Bistro in the first place? I'm sure that it wasn't to enjoy a meal ... was he there to pick the fight?

Felix said...

Why do conservative family values politicians always like going to high quality forward thinking restaurants? Because the food is usually well made and the atmosphere a positive to their dining experience. What they don't realize is that their ignorance and bigotry toward people because of their own closeted self hatred makes the dining experience bad for everyone else and harms that positive atmosphere they want to dine in.


Point of order: You can refuse service to anyone if they're an asshole customer.

Anonymous said...

It is her restaurant and has the right to refuse service to anyone ... and please he wasn't discriminated against because he is heterosexual he was booted because he's a bigoted fool.

Usagi said...

Senator Campfield's rights were not violated - restaurants generally reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

That said, this "business owner" is just plain stupid. That's OK, because with an attitude like that, this restaurant won't be in business long.

Pat C said...

The south is full of closed-minded bigots. It's a fundamental principle of social conservativism. And it's what's holding the southern states from being the best that we can be. Signed, southern white heterosexual formerly social conservative.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure she won't miss your chump change...now poof be gone!!!!!!

PatrickInNC said...

Sorry, but I agree with Matthew Hurtt more than I agree with Sean Braisted. The saying about two wrongs comes to mind.

A better response would have been to serve him same as any other customer, then let him know on his way out that you've just shown him more grace than he shows to LGBTs.

Anonymous said...

Is the Bistro a 24/7 restaurant? I ask because there are a lot of angry, mean-spirited people out there who might want to toss a brick through their windows. Maybe extra security for a couple of weeks?
Well done, btw. The Senator undoubtedly lives in his own little echo chamber. I'm sure he doesn't hear people telling him that he's wrong very often. I'm so tired of bigots who pass their intolerance off as protected religious beliefs. Can't remember Jesus ever saying anything about gays, and the Church has no standing here anymore.

Anonymous said...

This is a classic case of giving someone a dose of his own medicine.

I hope other establishments refuse services to Mr. Campfield while he does more than a little soul-searching.

Campfield's "political beliefs" are dangerous -- not just very offensive.

If I were in Knoxville, my next meal would be at Ms. Boggs' restaurant. Thank you, Ms. Boggs - you are a hero!!!

Bill

Anonymous said...

They are not 24/7. bistroatthebijou@bellsouth.net if you want to send a letter of congratulations to the restaurant staff :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting. So if a restaurant chooses to refuse service to President Obama because of his political beliefs, that's okay?

Considering how the left is so fired up at the governor of Arizona for pointing her finger at the president, no, I doubt that would be okay. The same people praising the restaurant now would be criticizing the restaurant for refusing to serve the president.

Bigotry is bigotry. Period. It never ceases to amaze me how the same folks who preach tolerance of all are so quick to verbally assault someone and encourage society to shun that person because of their political views. There's a word for that: hypocrisy.

For the record, I do not agree with Campfield's comments. In general, I think he's an idiot who can't learn to keep his mouth shut; a guy who does more harm than good for his party. But the loser in this is not Stacey Campfield. It's the restaurant. Why a business owner catering to people of all political persuasions would choose to make a political statement with their business is beyond me, but I guarantee you that the restaurant will lose more customers than they will gain due to this. Say that it's okay, because the restaurant doesn't want bigots/homophobes/closed-minded fools/etc. in their establishment all you want, but I don't know many businesses — especially in these economic times — that don't care about their bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Campfield is a douche.

Anonymous said...

If Obama were making hateful bigoted remarks, then yes he should not be served either. It is not about political beliefs, it is about being an a$$

radii said...

most business that serve the public have notices that say "we reserve the right to refuse service" and unless this refusal violates federal law, then refuse all you want! ... stupid girls with their toy poodles - REFUSE ... rude people on smart-phone: REFUSE ... smelly, dirty or crazy homeless people: REFUSE ... inappropriately-dressed customers: REFUSE ... overly loud and obnoxious customers: REFUSE ... bigoted politicians who promote divisiveness and hate: REFUSE ... banksters and fraudsters who led to the economic collapse: REFUSE

Anonymous said...

To those who say it's wrong for the owner to have refused service to Campfield based on his beliefs, public statements and actions: would it then also be wrong to refuse service to the members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who hold up signs saying "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" at soldiers' funerals?

Anonymous said...

I applaud your stance Senator. It is the leftwing in this country that is trying to FORCE their perverted morality on others. Homosexuality is descriptive of a BEHAVIOR and is not a innate characteristic of birth. There is no medical scientist or doctor in the world who can predict the future sexual beahvior of a child. Homosexuality is a corruption of natural human sexuality. Morally the leftwing approves of this type of corrupt behavior and they seek to FORCE this perverted morality upon everyone. The leftwing seek to use the Courts and the law to punish any business or any person who disagrees with their perverted moral views.

The homosexual movement has become the most fascist movement in my lifetime whereas they seek to FORCE everyone to either march lockstep with their perverted beliefs or they will try to destroy you. The left have shown their morality to be completely corrupted and perverse since the sixties counter culture sexual revolution. They continually try to sexually pervert our children and to take away our right to representation on issues of public decency. Since the leftwing do not belief that 'we the people' have a right to call homosexuality a corrupt behavior and vote against allowing it to run free and spread in our society then maybe next they will decide to attack our right to representation on the age of consent?

Anonymous said...

It's inflamed and targeted comments like this that make my blood boil.

I do thank you for such a cogently constructed meandering argument that ends somewhere other than where it starts.

Simply put:

The 'leftwing' isn't trying to FORCE 'their' morality on you. You are free to believe that homosexuality is a sin, and practice your beliefs by not engaging in homosexual activity. You are even free to teach and preach that belief, the same as we are free to ignore you.
What the 'leftwing' IS trying to force is the recognition that homosexuality exists and that they deserve the same rights as everyone else.

Do you realize how much your comment sounds like the same arguments of those who supported slavery of blacks and jews (and others). We now universally believe that discrimination against an aspect if our lives such as gender, religious belief, ethnicity, sex is wrong.

I believe it goes:
" We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ..." (emphasis mine)

I wrote more, then got rid of it, it really wasnt worth dissecting all of your flawed arguments. When the only meaningful point was made above. I suggest you sit by and, listen to what these 'leftwing'-ers have to say.

I completely support the owner's right to refuse archive to a known bigoted and argumentative person.

*Gets off soapbox*

Friendly Canuck - and first to quote YOUR declaration of independence.

P.S. I also support his beliefs, and I'm quite sure that him and I could probably find some common beliefs. But I stol think he's horribly horribly misguided on this track. That's OK, thats allowed, just don't go jailing me up or something because I hold a contrary view...

Anonymous said...

The leftwing IS trying to FORCE their perverted morality on others. They have brought busiiness after to business to Court in order to punish them simply because the owners of the business did not want to tolerate the promotion of homosexual behavior in their business. It is FORCE when the leftwing sues to punish a business or pursues having someone fired for not having the same perverted morality that they do.

There is no right to engage in any type of public behavior beyond what is protected in our Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t protect sexual behavior in anyway at all. Homosexuality is a BEHAVIOR pattern and is not an innate trait of birth. It is completely ignorant to equate a person's sexual beahvior to a person's race. In fact it is a racist attitude to equate a person's sexual beahvior to their sexuality. This type of argument is exactly what the KKK progressive movement did back in the early 1900s and now again they are doing it. The leftwing want people to belief that cerrtain race are no better or different then a corrupt type of sexuality.

Lets not forget folks that it was the progressive movement and the democrat party that championed the KKK. The progressive movement even back then tried to equate perverted sexual behavior with a person's race and now they are doing it again. Why do the progressives want to make sexual beahvior a civil right? Is it possibly so they could then pit one civil righ against another? Will a person's sexual behavior trump a person's race when it comes to civil rights? My guess is that the KKK progressive movement is at it again.

Anonymous said...

"ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL"

Notice that it doesn't say 'All BEHAVIOR Is Equal' .

That is because all behavior is not equal. Homosexuality is a corruption of natural human sexuality.

Rod Williams said...

What was campfield doing going into a gay bar?

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