In a self-justifying and inadequate apology, Revival Brewery owner Sean Larkin shows no sign that he’s questioned why his attitude led him to react as he did or brought an actual Nazi-sympathizer to his defense.
Local brewery Revival Brewing Company has shut down a planned event scheduled for tonight by the Rhode Island chapter of the America’s Future Foundation (AFF) based on a libelous Instagram post asserting that AFF has a hidden white supremacist agenda. Here’s the Instagram post, which is obviously from somebody who opposes AFF:
In repeated comments under the post announcing the cancellation of the event, the Revival Brewing Company Facebook account stated that “regardless of it being true or not, we needed to stop it.” The company’s account also posted a picture of a card insisting that it stands with “all races, all religions, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations” and “all genders,” while seeming to make no distinctions between an anonymous allegation and fact when it comes to “white supremacy.”
Fortunately for Revival Brewing, conservatives tend to think private companies should have a right to decide who can use their facilities and shouldn’t be forced to “bake the cake,” as progressives insist when Christian bakers opt not to celebrate same-sex wedding ceremonies. Whether people who value free speech should continue to patronize Revival Brewing Company is another matter. At best, the company’s owners aren’t as principled as they think they are. At worst, they’re happy to find excuses to exclude people who are different from them.
ADDENDUM (5:13 p.m., 2/28/18):
When asked why people are calling AFF racist, Revival owner Sean Larkin tells GoLocalProv: “I have [no] idea, I’m more worried about people damaging my business and the lively hood of my employees implicating that we support an organization that is loosely tied to this thought.” Note that the only “loose tie” between this group and racism is anonymous libel on social media.
As local papers often do with national stories, the Providence Journal strove to provide local color to a growing trend in the area of Washington, D.C., of driving Trump Administration figures out of restaurants:
“I know hundreds of restaurant owners in R.I., and I can’t think of one that would turn someone away,” said Bob Bacon, owner of the Gregg’s restaurant and bakery chain and a past chairman of the R.I. Hospitality Association, an industry trade group.
“We are all thrilled to death to be given your business,” he said.
Presumably, reporter Gail Ciampa isn’t aware of Revival Brewing Company’s cancellation of an America’s Future Foundation event at the last minute for political reasons earlier this year, even though I wrote about it in her paper.
It’s very easy for restaurants to proclaim that they’d never turn people away, and it’s easy to find a group of them that would be telling the truth with that proclamation, but that doesn’t capture the reality. AFF had a similar experience with a different establishment shortly after, but I didn’t have time to write about it, and nobody else in Rhode Island media seems to care.
“It could never happen here,” the saying goes… except when it does. Then nobody will notice so that they can continue to believe their pleasant fiction.
Not long ago, Christian writer Rod Dreher coined the Law of Merited Impossibility, which observes a common insinuation from the American Left whenever these sorts of stories emerge: “That will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it.” This is human nature, and conservatives should be prepared for things to get worse before they get better, but it’d be nice if professionals who believe themselves to be objective were able to acknowledge it.
On multiple issues, the Rhode Island news media seems either to inhabit a different universe or to be deliberately skewing Rhode Islanders’ perspective of reality.