In an effort to capture the spirit of free speech and free-market capitalism, Preslee’s Southern Good Eatery in Houston is expressing its opinion about COVID restrictions in a highly-visible way on its roadside marquee sign: “No mask needed unless u look like Nancy Pelosi!”
Reaction to a December 30 tweet that, for some reason, called out the sign as “misogynistic” has been swift and polarized.
The restaurant’s sign has been used in the past to feature memes, jokes, and “funny quotes,” according to the owner, who is requesting anonymity for now.
“We won’t be slowed down from the cancel culture renegades. It’s about pro freedom and our right to run our small business,” he told Fox Digital.
Why yes, I’d like a side of misogyny and Covid protocol defiance with my chicken-fried steak: pic.twitter.com/aaBUNMdYqW
— Alison Cook (@alisoncook) December 31, 2021
By December 31, the sign had reportedly been modified to include the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” at the bottom.
The owner is unapologetic, saying that the restaurant has received lots of calls in recent days, which has been overwhelming to a business of that size.
“The backlash we received at first was a little overwhelming while dealing with a busy restaurant. Lots of voicemails and private messages,” he said.
Some of them expressed sentiments suggesting that the callers “hope their business loses all their employees,” as the owner noted many critics had never even been to the eatery “but feel the need to jump on the bandwagon.” Fox News noted that the owner indicated the business’s Instagram page was banned on Wednesday, though it appears to be back up as of this writing.
Despite the complaints, others have been extremely supportive, according to the owner who said “in the last few days, we’ve received overwhelming support from local and also other cities.”
Responding to those who have “slandered” the eatery, the owner declared: “We have never been busier!”
Preslee’s, part of the Pipers Hospitality Group, opened in 2019 and worked through the pandemic without laying a single employee off. The owner said that the messages on the sign relate to the frustration felt from Biden administration policies and the mandates that have been instituted during the pandemic.
“I think it’s pretty safe to say our current government has failed us and other small business owners. More than 150,000 small businesses have shut down from mandates, but this is not about politics. It’s about basic rights that some have seem to have forgotten,” he said. “We’ll have more material posted soon, so stay tuned!”
Many Twitter users appreciated the sign:
Love my Preslee’s the food is great and the politics is great how about we cancel the morons who have a problem with Freedom of Speech. Let’s go Brandon and Nancy
— Christopher M Benoit (@Christo54080641) January 6, 2022
Making a dig at Nancy Pelosi isn’t misogyny.
— EikostMark (@EikostMark) December 31, 2021
Thanks for the advertising. I’ll eat there any day. Good to know Freedom of Speech is alive and well!
— bean thar (@patt_texan) January 6, 2022
My only wish is that I could visit and support this restaurant. If I’m ever in Houston I’ll definitely stop by.
— C Gavin (@cgl337) January 6, 2022
The unexplained rush to deem the sign “misogynistic” is typical of the identity politics movement in play these days. Unfortunately, expressing disagreement with an individual can often result in an accusation of hating anyone with the same immutable characteristics: race, creed, gender, etc.
so you do not know the definition of misogyny. “feeling, showing, or characterized by hatred of or prejudice against women” Just because they find a single female to be worthy to cover up does not fit that definition.
— MMorman (@iamrightjustask) January 6, 2022
Many citizens are frustrated with the idea that certain people in power should not be criticized; this has led to creative expressions of opinion, such as the Preslee’s sign. Other restaurants have also exercised this right recently.
For instance, a disgruntled patron highlighted this use of the First Amendment:
I was a regular at a restaurant in The Vintage until they posted this on a board above their front door. Politics and a diverse group of customers don’t mix. pic.twitter.com/EkvLtUPGJ4
— Rick Miles – Houston (@RickMiles66) January 5, 2022
Or this one from September, just after the Afghanistan debacle:
— JulesUSA (@JulesUSA6) September 2, 2021
For better or worse, business owners have the right to run their businesses as they deem fit. Trying to please everyone is futile; better to define your principles and cater to those who respect them. The detractors are correct when they preach that actions have consequences; it’s likely, however, that the “consequences” of standing up for American ideals will be far better than the alternative.
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