In a Facebook post on his personal page, Revival Brewing Company owner Sean Larkin has issued an apology to the Rhode Island chapter of the America’s Future Foundation (AFF) for posting unfair statements about the organization in the course of canceling its planned event, there, at the last minute, yesterday:
Yesterday was a whirlwind of information and emotions.
It started with folks accusing my company of supporting “White Supremacy”. This is an accusation that I’m sure most of you would agree is disturbing.
Blindly and without a major investigation into the group’s background, I made a vague statement this is still up and posted in its unedited form.
For that, I owe the AFF an apology.
I have spoken to people inside and outside of their organization, who understand why I acted the way I did initially.
While I may not be a supporter of their organization, and I don’t believe in crushing progressives as advertised in their event for the gathering, they do deserve an apology.
Please take this a formal apology of statements made on my personal page, I have no formal proof nor do I suspect anyone in the AFF Rhode Island Chapter to be racist or have any ties to “White Supremacy”. My initial reactions on the matter were fueled by misinformation and I and we as a company made statements before all the facts were clear.
While an apology is better than no apology, Larkin’s plea that even people at AFF “understand why” he reacted as he did shows it to be inadequate to address his actual response. If we’re being specific, he doesn’t even apologize for canceling the event at the last minute, or state that he shouldn’t have done so.
In a post on his page from yesterday, he thanked the “good folks on the internet” who “discovered” AFF’s supposed links to white supremacy. That is, he thanked them for their libel. That isn’t understandable. It’s outrageous.
Larkin’s statement was not “vague,” and it should not have required a “major investigation” for a grown man and business owner to hesitate before going into social justice warrior mode. In the comments to the post on Revival Brewery’s Facebook page, the page owner repeatedly stated “regardless of [the allegation] being true or not, we needed to stop [the event].” (That post appears to have been removed, and the apology is not on the official business page.) In a comment on his own page, Larkin admitted that he had “no idea” whether AFF RI is a local group and wrote:
I have been sick with the thought of being remotely connected to a post with a group like this, and playing damage control.
He had no idea whether the allegations were true, but it made him physically ill to be “remotely connected” with a group that could even be libeled in this way. Note that being “remotely connected” was simply serving people in his establishment.
And yet, his actions have now much-more-closely connected him with bigotry. Commenting on the Revival Brewery post that has since been removed, somebody named Shawn Cochrane wrote, in apparent support of the company:
Edelman, and a Katz on the attack? Hot damn. The tribe is cookin’ your keister, meister.
You know you’re in trouble when the tribe drops the abacuses, uh, abacusi, uh.. Shekel counters.
Get it? Edelman and Katz are Jewish surnames, and the Jews are traditionally known as a “tribe” and are often slandered as greedy money counters, particularly among Nazis and white supremacists. “Keister” and “meister” are both German words, and the use of “cookin'” evokes an oven, which evokes the Holocaust and the gas chambers of the Nazis’ genocide.
So, yeah, it’s better that Larkin apologized than not, although he didn’t apologize to his customers on the business’s Facebook page, and he hasn’t really apologized for the cancellation or offered any amends. More importantly, he has offered no sign that he will question what it is about his politics and attitude that led him to make this “understandable” mistake. He’s so concerned about appearing virtuous (in the sense of “virtue signaling”) that he reacted without thought to a slanderous statement and persecuted innocent people, refusing to serve them, and won the defense of at least one actual Nazi-sympathizer.
That’s comparable to mid-century Germans’ refusing to serve Jews based on anti-Semitic propaganda like this. The comparison is strengthened by the fact that he repeatedly stated that AFF’s supposed white supremacy was carefully hidden. “Regardless of it being true or not,” it’s “understandable” that good Germans wouldn’t have wanted to be “remotely connected” to such wicked people, hiding their true agenda.
Maybe it’s time for well-meaning progressives to tone down the righteousness and observe how they’re being manipulated into being exactly what they think they oppose.