We Don’t Serve Your Kind Here!

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You’re not barefoot or half-naked, so it should be cool, right?

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A restaurant near the Seattle-Tacoma airport made headlines recently for banning TSA agents from dining in its establishment. The restaurant says it will continue the policy until TSA agents treat passengers with respect and dignity during airport searches.

Another restaurant, this one in Winston-Salem, refused to serve a bad tipper. The customer was a frequent diner who stiffed the servers on several occasions. She wouldn’t leave a tip even when an automatic gratuity was added to her bill, so she’s out.

A churlish restaurant critic from the Los Angeles Times, a college student in a t shirt with a pro-Israel message, and O.J. Simpson have all been ejected from restaurants.
Were their civil rights violated? What about the rights of the restaurant owners?

Restaurants are privately-owned businesses but they provide what the law calls a ‘public accommodation.’ The federal Civil Rights Act prohibits them from discriminating on the basis of race, religion or national origin. Other laws protect people from discrimination on the basis of age, gender, or disability. Some states have also passed their own laws to provide broader protections, like California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act that makes it illegal to discriminate because of sexual preference or unconventional dress (except Disneyland where only the park employees are allowed to wear costumes).

O.J., TSA agents, the bad tipper—none of them belong to legally protected classes. Even the girl in the Zionist t shirt could be legally ejected since the issue is ideology, not religion (make it a Ku Klux Klan shirt instead, and the issue is pretty clear). Outside of the protected classes, restaurant owners can exercise their own rights. A murderer, a cheapskate, and an airport groper—they can all be banned because of their personal values. But the treatment can’t arbitrarily single out an individual—the restaurant owner who eighty-sixed O.J. could help his legal position by refusing to serve Robert Blake and Claus von Bülow.

It’s interesting to note that while its illegal to refuse service to certain classes of people, its perfectly legal to provide discounts on the basis of those same characteristics. Ladies nights, senior specials, and discounts for local residents or union members are all permitted.

 

 

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One Response to We Don’t Serve Your Kind Here!

  1. Sam L Roth says:

    Bartender: “Hey! We don’t serve their kind here!”
    Luke: “What?”
    Bartender: “Your droids. They’ll have to wait outside. We don’t want them here.”
    Luke: “Listen why don’t you wait out by the speeder. We don’t want any trouble.”
    C-3PO: “I heartily agree with you sir.”

    #DroidsHaveRightsToo

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Is it appropriate conversation for the dinner table? Then it should be fine.

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