Words That We’d Never Thought Would Go Together: “Bacon” and “First Amendment.”

(Courtesy Facebook)

(Courtesy Facebook)

The back story: The town of Winooski, Vermont has a program where businesses can sponsor sidewalks, roads, traffic circles, etc to make the town look nicer. A restaurant named “Sneakers Bistro” decided to sponsor a little turn median, placing mulch and flowers in the area. In addition, the restaurant put up a sign that said “YIELD FOR SNEAKERS BISTRO BACON.”

(The sign makes no sense to us, but it’s their sign.)

The sign was installed in June but in August, a Muslim resident of Winooski contacted the restaurant saying the reference to bacon was “offensive to those who do not consume pork.”

The sign was removed by the restaurant.

We are here to serve people breakfast, not politics,” the owners wrote on their Facebook page Saturday. “We removed the sign that was located on public property as a gesture of respect for our diverse community.”

The owners also cited safety concerns:

We are here to serve people BREAKFAST, not politics. We removed the sign that was located on public property as a gesture of respect for our diverse community. There were also concerns raised about safety. Removing it was not a difficult decision. We still love bacon. We still love eggs. Please have the political conversation elsewhere.”

Upon the decision to remove the sign, the proverbial flying pig hit the fan.

People started to call for a boycott of the restaurant saying the decision to remove the sign was “un-American,” “political correctness gone wild,” “caving to Muslims,” and a host of other things. After the restaurant closed their Facebook account, reviewers on Yelp took the restaurant to task.

Even the City Manager weighed in on the issue:

Winooski’s city manager spoke on behalf of the city. She said:

“The cool part of living in a diverse community is that it’s not always comfortable. It’s a fascinating place with lots of opportunities for conversation. The City has to pay attention to a lot of factors while acting within what we can regulate,” said Katherine “Deac” Decarreau.

(Is the City of Winooski really even thinking about trying to regulate a sign with the word “bacon” in it? Talk about an overreach and a violation of the First Amendment.)

Some people and articles have claimed this is a “complicated issue.”

We don’t see it as such.

As silly as we think the sign is, Sneakers Bistro has the right to put the sign up.

The Muslim woman has the right to say that she is offended. She has the right to not go to the restaurant because she is offended.

Sneakers has the right to take down the sign and say their reasons.

People have the right to disagree with Sneakers’ decision and the reasoning behind it. Those same people have the right to not go to the restaurant because they are “offended” by the sign removal.

That’s the thing about freedom and speech – someone is going to be offended at something almost all the time.

It’s not complicated at all.

Either you support the idea of the exchange of ideas and thoughts, or your support the suppression of those thoughts and ideas.

You either support freedom or tyranny.

Your choice.

One Response to “Words That We’d Never Thought Would Go Together: “Bacon” and “First Amendment.””

  1. Ryan Walters says:

    A lucid and correct piece from you, Mr. Afterwit.