So far this summer, members of Trump administration have been cursed at while picking up takeout, heckled by protesters while eating dinner, confronted in cafes by strangers demanding they resign, and, in the case of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, even asked to leave a restaurant in the middle of a meal. Inevitably, these confrontations lead to endless discussions about civility and whether public officials have the right to eat in peace.
This weekend, however, the reverse happened in Houston. A popular Tex-Mex restaurant served dinner to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, calling it an “honor” on Facebook. In response, left-leaning Houstonians called for a boycott, and the restaurant received so much criticism on social media that it deleted all of its accounts.
Sessions had traveled to Houston on Friday to discuss his plans to cut down on violent crime, according to the Houston Chronicle. During his speech, he called for a crackdown on illegal immigration and a ban on sanctuary cities.
“This should be obvious: if we want to reduce violent crime we should reduce illegal immigrant crime,” he said.
That same night, El Tiempo Cantina posted a picture of Sessions with co-owner Dominic Laurenzo on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
“We had the honor to server [sic] Mr. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States,” the caption said. “Thank you for allowing us to serve you.”
The post got an immediate response on social media, and quickly spawned the hashtag #BoycottElTiempo.
Antonio tweeted “Jeff Sessions continues to target immigrants and enable Trump’s discriminatory policies yet @ElTiempoCantina is ‘Honored to serve him'”.
tamara villanueva “When you’re job is to serve, keeping it professional at all times is perfectly fine @ElTiempoCantina. But boasting & saying it was an honor to serve someone who has a hand in the horror that is hurting ppl & our nation is just plain irresponsible & disheartening. #eltiempocantina”
Others jumped in to defend the restaurant, with some conservatives pledging to eat there in the future.
Steve Mudflap McGrew tweeted “El Tiempo will get the same giant economic boost Chick-fil-A got when loony libs went after them. Congrats El Tiempo. I’ll eat there next time I’m in Houston”
John Hazle tweeted “Congratulations to the El Tiempo Cantina owners and staff. You displayed great culture and Texas hospitality. It looks like you provided GREAT service while having a civil discussion on immigration with some differing views. If only others had the class you showed”
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Antonia Farzan