Darin Hodge, a manager at the Teahouse restaurant, located in a tourist area of Vancouver, Canada, was fired from his job because he refused to serve a patron wearing a MAGA hat. CBC News:
According to the restaurant’s general manager, the man was seated on the patio that evening when Hodge, the floor manager at the time, confronted him.
“[He] took over the table and requested that he take the hat off,” said Andy Crimp.
“[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.”
The company that runs the restaurant says Hodge was fired for not following their “philosophy of tolerance.” Hodge had worked at the restaurant for 18 months.
Hodge has no regrets, releasing the following statement:
The MAGA hat has come to symbolize racism, bigotry, Islamophobia, 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.
Obviously, this event echoes the much-publicized refusal to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. Perhaps we are witnessing a new age of acts of mini-protest, where people take individual action to stand up against all that Trump and his administration have come to represent.
This act of mini-protest also raises a question about how far we should tolerate intolerance. Hodge was fired because he refused to tolerate racism, bigotry, Islamaphobia, misogyny, white supremacy, and homophobia, as he points out is represented by the MAGA hat. If we all chose to tolerate these types of behavior, as is required by the Teahouse company policy, imagine how the different the world would be today. There has to be a limit to our tolerance. There have to be some things for which we stand up and say: No, that is wrong.
That is what Darin Hodge did. He should not have been fired for his protest. He should be celebrated for having the courage to stand up against intolerance.