A Man Walks Into A Bar …

I saw this story last night and I admit that I had a moment of cackling glee.  Well, perhaps more than a moment, even.

Judge rules bar was allowed to kick out Trump supporter

But then, fortunately or unfortunately, my wiser self, if I can be said to have one, kicked in and I realized that there is really nothing to love here.

The Story:

A man walks into a bar in Manhattan wearing his Donald Trump “MAGA” hat.  The man, an accountant by the name of Greg Piatek, began complaining about the service.  Now, I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if the service was slow, if the bar was packed and the staff overwhelmed, or what.  But after he complained, he was told to leave … which he did.  And then he went and found a lawyer and sued the bar.

The Hearing:

His lawyer claimed that he was thrown out of the bar because of his religious beliefs, saying that he had visited the 9/11 Memorial and wore the hat as part of his tribute:

“He was paying spiritual tribute to the victims of 9/11. The ‘Make America Great Again’ hat was part of his spiritual belief. Rather than remove his hat, instead he held true to his spiritual belief and was forced from the bar.”

And thus, said the lawyer, the man was discriminated against on the basis of his religion.  Filosofa cries “FOUL” on this one, for since when does wearing Donald Trump branded clothing qualify as a religious rite or ritual?

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice David Cohen ruled that the law doesn’t protect people from political discrimination, meaning the West Village bar did not overstep its bounds in kicking out the customer. The judge asked Piatek’s lawyer, Paul Liggieri, how the bar staff could have even been aware of Piatek’s ‘religious beliefs’, and the following conversation ensued:

Liggieri:  They were aware he was wearing the hat.

Judge Cohen:  How many members are in this spiritual program that your client is engaged in?

Liggieri:  Your honor, we don’t allege the amount of individuals.

Judge Cohen:  So, it’s a creed of one?

Liggieri:  Yes, your honor.

The Verdict:

And then the judge threw the case out of court, saying …

“Plaintiff does not state any faith-based principle to which the hat relates. Here the claim that plaintiff was not served and eventually escorted out of the bar because of his perceived support for President Trump is not outrageous conduct.”

Now … I fully agree with the judge and would have been appalled by any other ruling.  But, this case brings to light a deeper problem, I think.  This was an isolated incident, and likely there was more behind the story than is told in the media, such as rude behaviour on the part of Piatek.  But if we extrapolate, if we ask ourselves how this might lead to future incidents of this sort, it isn’t a long leap to envisioning a nation where there are ‘democrat restaurants’ and ‘republican restaurants’, where the partisan divide is taken far beyond the Twitter bickering of today.  Is this a world we want?  Do we want to have to wear a certain colour, hat, or badge to prove we are of a certain political belief in order to be allowed to enter a public establishment?  And, while the hat Piatek was wearing is, to me, akin to the red cape waved in front of a bull by a matador, I also do not wish to live in a world where people are thrown out of bars and restaurants simply for wearing the hat.  After all … I wear my Obama shirt in public, which I’m sure is just as annoying to some as the red MAGA hat is to me.

So, my glee was short-lived and now I am left with a conundrum.  The judge, in my opinion, could not have ruled otherwise, however does this open a door for more such lunacy?  Only time will tell.

43 thoughts on “A Man Walks Into A Bar …

  1. Although I disagree with you politically (I actually approve of Trump’s decisions so far and strongly disliked Obama’s), I appreciate how you approached this. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where you can (or would!) legally get thrown out of a PUBLIC place for wearing a certain shirt. However, bars are privately owned, so the owner SHOULD have the right to ask someone to leave or change his attire. I would HOPE he would ask that if someone was wearing a shirt with profanity or adult content if kids were around or something. Just my thoughts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with your thoughts. It is a slippery slope. As you mentioned, we do not want to see people in public venues with offensive clothing, but then the argument can be made that what is offensive to one person may be perfectly acceptable to another. Ideally, we all have common sense and respect for others and so all is well, but you and I have both seen how that works! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Jill,

    It is my opinion only that this man walked into this bar looking for trouble and a law suit along with some publicity. A man who was just wearing the MAGA hat would not have been kicked out of a bar which is in business to make monies.

    I can’t help bu wonder if he has received some monies from right wing groups for his actions?

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • That he planned it would not surprise me a bit. Nor would it surprise me to find that some radical right-wingers had a hand in it, monetarily or not. Why that lawyer even took the case is beyond me … surely he had to realize there wasn’t a chance of winning it. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Based on what I read here, there is no way that the Trump supporter was tossed out of the bar because of his hat. It was more likely that he became a complaining nuisance – and got tossed. I think you’re reading politics into a situation where it doesn’t exist. However, I do realize how polarized America is today based on politics and that is a dangerous situation.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. And lo..
    For there was much rejoicing in the land amongst lawyers, as they did say each unto the other,
    ‘Praise the Lord for He hath ensured us tribes of idiots unto the third, yea even fourth and fifth generation thereupon’
    And they did gather at many places of worship and did praise The Lord.
    And their accountants were filled with gladsome joy too, for they wouldst also be busy and thus wealthy.
    And the idiots did knowth not why their pockets were becoming scant of gold and silver…..

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I see the contradiction; but let me assure you that, as a former resident of Florida, there are already many “Republican bars”where I elt ill at ease just sitting in them without advertising my own political beliefs. So….🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think we’re only beginning to see the problems this upheaval in our country is going to cause. Some of them we probably can’t even imagine. Question is, how deep in the mire are we going to get before we get a clue…

    Liked by 2 people

    • glub … glub … glub … 💩 💩 💩

      Does that answer your question?

      You are right … the last thing we need is further divisiveness, though there are those who appear to be working toward that very goal. Sigh. Hang on tight, my friend, for I think we are in for a wild ride.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Not to be mean, Jill, but this guy was just looking for his 15 minutes of fame, and he hit the jackpot. The best thing is to ignore him and his ilk. The more time they get, the more others will be looking for ways to get theirs…

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Jeez … I never wear logos. Nor use bumper stickers, either. My views are my own. Why should I splash them around in public? If Nike wants to pay me? Or anyone else for that matter, call me? I

    was always under the impression businesses had the right to exclude any customer, for whatever reason? I guess I’m old-fashioned? Logos are crass and I find them offensive, splashed all over. Then I’m weird… ? Cheers Jamie

    Liked by 1 person

    • I proudly sported an Obama bumper sticker on my car, when I had a car. Sigh. Why do I wear my Obama shirt, or my “Don’t blame me, I voted for Hillary” shirt? I think because I do not wish to EVER be mistaken for a Trump supporter.

      No, businesses must be very careful, for it would be in violation of civil rights law, for example, to refuse service to an African-American or Muslim. There is a case in the courts now about a baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. They sued, and I think they will likely win. If you wish to discriminate, then you shouldn’t go into a business. And frankly, I agree with that. Discrimination has a long and ugly history in this country, not only against blacks, but Jews, women, gays, Latinos … basically anybody who is not WASP. And I’m sick to the death of it. Why can we not all just get along?????


      Liked by 1 person

  9. It was a frivolous case at best and I hope costs were awarded against him for wasting the court’s time. It seems he never brought proof that the hat was the reason he was thrown out so the likelihood is that he was rude and.or annoying.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re quite right … it was frivolous, but my fear is that it will have a domino effect. The last thing we need in this country is to further widen that great divide that I often mention. Much more divide in this country, and there will be blood in the streets. But now, I hear, the attorney is considering an appeal. Why? His client is not going to win, even if it goes all the way up the ladder to the Supreme Court. So, I can only assume that he is considering an appeal for the publicity, for the attention the case would likely get in the media. I hope it dies a natural death with no appeal, but … these days? Nothing surprises me.
      xxx Cwtch xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hopefully, the man was asked to leave because of his making a fuss and not his hat. We cannot tolerate not serving people because they wear a hat or t-shirt that advocates someone you don’t care for. I realize it is not a protected group, but people need to be civil and serve folks. We cannot have red and blue bars. And, where will we independents go?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am fairly certain there is more to this story. For example, after I scheduled this post, I discovered that he was with some friends. Did they get rowdy? Wolf whistle the barkeep? Start spouting off about Trump and how ‘great’ he is, and start a bit of a scuffle? I don’t know, but I’m betting we don’t have the entire story. Like you, I have no desire to see any … ANY … further divisiveness in this nation. I was actually a bit ashamed at my initial reaction when I read this story … Trump, I think, has brought out the worst in many of us, but I must guard my conscience, as we all must.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Being from the South, there was a time where Black Americans had to get a to-go order from the back window of a restaurant. And, I recall Jesse Owens had to ride up in the freight elevator to a hotel dinner event that was honoring him. This not serving people for discriminatory reasons is a bad part of our history and we must avoid it. It is an advanced form of name calling, as no one wants to be on the victim end, so we should avoid victimizing.

        Liked by 2 people

        • You are right, as always, my friend. I fear that sometimes my initial reaction is to get down in the mud and play with the rest of the piggies. Thankfully, I usually catch myself and give me a good ‘talking to’, but it bothers me anyway.


  11. Hello Jill. I do not see this as so much a political party issue as I see it one of the “religious freedom laws” thing that the republican fundamentalist religious right is trying so hard to push. They are trying to say their idea of their religious views overrides any other legal or societal concerns. The man’s views were his religion and so all of society including the bar must honor that and him. Regardless of any cost, his right to be right comes first. These type people want to be a law unto themselves and be given the right to do as they please when they please to who they please to do it to. Hugs

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hey Scottie! Yes, you are largely right, but I am still fairly certain there is something more to this story, like perhaps the guy was obnoxiously tooting his and Trump’s horn and stirring people up. I was thinking about this earlier, and heck, if wearing a MAGA hat can be a sign of your religion and therefore you are invincible to ‘discrimination’, then there are literally no boundaries. Now, there should NOT be boundaries as to who will be served in a public venue — I think of the baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, or the landlord that refused to rent a home to a gay couple, and my blood boils. But, there should be no barrier to tossing a patron if he is being obnoxious or rude, no matter his religion, ethnicity, gender identity or skin colour. But people “play the religion card” and think that because they are “Christian”, they can behave in any manner, and if they are thrown out or disciplined, it is religious discrimination. Such a touch subject, with so many nuances, but common sense simply needs to be applied. Hugs, my dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Jill I agree with you. I think we were talking past each other. I do believe the guy was being a jerk. Sort of what the people who wear that hat feel it means, they can act as they want and it is making America great…again. No my only point was to add onto yours and I did not express it clearly. I was saying these type of people are so convinced only they are right that they take it as a religion. Their big beef on religious freedom is they don’t like laws that restrict how they can persecute others and demand their views get preferential treatment. They are basically doing the same in your face actions politically with the hat and their demeanor. I tell the story of the three rude guys who were at a small chain restaurant Ron and I were eating at. They were over the top loud, bigoted, 100 % fox news watching tRump supporters. They were not just talking with each other. They were deliberately talking loud and provocatively showing they had the right, they knew they were correct despite any evidence, and they were complete assholes. Everyone was unhappy. They drank their coffee, proclaimed an end to the horrible Kenyan muslim American hating Obama and how great it was white people could now be free again to say merry christmas and then left. That is the attitude I was trying to address. Have a great one. Love your posts.

        Question if you have time. I have a young lady coming to my blog that thinks white privilege is not a thing, not real, and only made up. I have tried my best to show her the evidence and I am simply at a loss how to reach her. This has been going on for weeks off and on and I am basically tired. Any ideas? Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

        • Exactly! Religious freedom has come to mean religious persecution if you do not fit into the white, Christian mold. No, I didn’t think you were disagreeing with me at all … no worries! Thank you for your kind words … it is those that keep me doing what I do, for some days it is just more than my psyche can take and I feel like I’m in a world I no longer belong in, y’know?

          OH HO … so your reader thinks white privilege is a myth, does she? Then she is wearing rose-coloured glasses! Send me a link, if you will, to a couple of your posts that she has commented on so i can see what her argument is, then I will have a better idea of how to form a rebuttal. I’ll take a look later today, for it is 3:00 a.m. now and I need sleep sometime, but I will be happy to help out with this one, for it is one of my greatest pet peeves!

          Hugs, dear Scottie!!!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks Jill but it won’t matter not. She went on a tirade of insults against me and said she will never be back to my blog. I said OK. I had gone to her blog and left information in the comments on the Two black men in starbucks she had left out. She felt the men were in the wrong and were doing something illegal. She deleted my comments. So it seems clear to me where she is coming from. Sleep well. Hugs

            Liked by 1 person

            • Well, if she never shows back up again, consider yourself lucky! I’ve had to block two haters recently who were rude and vulgar. I welcome differences of opinion, as long as they are stated with respect, but I don’t tolerate disrespect, especially toward my readers. Let me know if she does show back up … i would welcome the challenge to try to remove her rose-coloured glasses 😀 In addition to the two men in Starbucks, a group of black ladies were asked to leave a golf course for ‘playing too slow’. And, a black man was asked to leave a restaurant because the manager thought he was “harassing a white woman and her child”. Turns out they were his wife and child. All anyone has to do, really, is look at the per capita data of the number of black men who are pulled over by police for such simple things as a burned out tail light, or a splatter of mud on their license plate, vs the number of white men. It is so blatant that a child could figure it out. Hugs, Scottie!!!

              Liked by 1 person

  12. I agree that was probably more to the story. What a waste of energy to think something like that would fly! I think we have seen it from the likes of people who refuse to bake wedding cakes for same sex couple or birth control not covered by employers etc.

    Liked by 2 people

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