The owner of a Knoxville restaurant kicked Stacey Campfield out of her establishment last night for being a destructive bigot. Sean Braisted gets to the core of the matter.
Knoxvillains who wish to eat out have a whole host of different options from which to choose from. But Tennesseans who want equal representation and rights have only one legislature to look to. While there are many representatives, theirs, Stacey Campfield has made it a mission in his life to make life harder for those who don’t fit his own personal view of ‘normal’.
It’s hard, when society is set up to make it s easy to just ignore that you are benefiting from bigots–and thus reaffirming to them that their ideas are “normal” and “mainstream”–and to just let a politician like Campfield eat in your restaurant. In a way, it reminds me of the stand Nirvana took–”if any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us-leave us the fuck alone! Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.”
And people were kind of pissed that some group would be hostile to their liking them, just because they “had different views.” After all, where was this famous liberal tolerance? But tolerance that means letting Campfield glide through life while the people he hurts just shut up and take it isn’t really tolerance. Like Braisted is getting at–tolerance is what two people of equal social stature do when they have opposing views that can’t be reconciled. If you have to keep your head down to keep the bully from picking on you, that’s not tolerating the bully. That’s staying off his radar.
But so often, “tolerate” and “stay off his radar” are treated like the same thing.
Edited to add: Braisted continues to say brilliant things about this.