On Saturday morning, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that she had been thrown out of a restaurant Friday night because “I work for @POTUS.”
Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 23, 2018
The incident prompted social media uproar on both sides of the aisle, with some people taking to Yelp to write reviews of the farm-to-table restaurant. “Kicking out the White House Press Secretary—–DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!” one Yelp reviewer wrote.
Her father, former Arkansas governor Mark Huckabee, chimed in, too.
Bigotry. On the menu at Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington VA. Or you can ask for the “Hate Plate”. And appetizers are “small plates for small minds” https://t.co/rHEVdcQwwh
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) June 23, 2018
(Three hours earlier, Sanders’ father generated his own controversy by tweeting out a photo of what appears to be Latino gang members with the text, “Nancy Pelosi introduces her campaign committee for the take back of the house.”)
Plenty of observers pointed out that the White House didn’t seem to object to the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the Colorado bakery that refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple.
So you’re okay with a baker refusing to serve people because they’re gay, but not okay with a restaurateur refusing to serve someone who lies for a racist, cruel, wannabe dictator? 🤔
— Alyssa Hertzig (@alyssahertzig) June 23, 2018
Sarah Sanders on SCOTUS' ruling that a cake baker could turn away a couple wanting a cake for their same-sex wedding: "We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision." https://t.co/kGetNd0XrD
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) June 23, 2018
As a function of her employment, @SarahHuckabee is a spokesperson for the bigotry inherent in her supervisor’s vile and inhumane policies—and in her father’s tweets. As someone in communications, she understands what her tweet could do to that restaurant. https://t.co/drTx8YRBHx
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) June 23, 2018
On Saturday, the restaurant’s co-owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, told the Washington Post, “I explained the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation.”
This article has been updated.