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
Friday night, June 22, 2018, the current Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave The Red Hen restuarant in Lexington, Virginia. Ms. Sanders was dining with her family, a party of eight. The staff had apparently apprehensive seated Ms. Sanders and her family, and had started serving them. In the background, they had also called their owner to ask what to do. The owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, wanted to come to the restaurant to verify and handle. Once their, Ms. Wilkinson asked her staff if they would like Wilkinson to ask the Sanders' party to leave, and they affirmed. Ms. Wilkinson then asked Ms. Sanders to step out on the patio and then asked her to leave.
Ms. Wilkinson has stated she believed it was important that Ms. Sanders had not been denied service. That she had been allowed in the restaurant and served, and was then asked to leave. "I would have done the same thing again. We just felt there are moments in time when people need to live their convictions. This appeared to be one."
This is not the first time a Trump staffer has left a restaurant in response to the patrons or staff. Earlier in the week the Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled until she left a restaurant.
Now, I am no fan of the current administration, but this is ridiculous. We are losing civility in this nation. At some point, Sarah Sanders and Kirstjen Nielsen are doing the job they were asked to do. Whether or not they agree 100% with what they are being asked to do, they are serving in a White House that has been tumultuous in turnover to say the least. It cannot be an easy work environment. They serve at the pleasure of the President and are executing his vision for the term.
I understand and respect an owner's right to refuse service to anyone, but to me this reflects a troubling trend in America to create windtunnels. To surround ourselves only with things we agree with or that affirm our worldview. Anything incongruous, anything slightly disagreeable is sought to be removed.
We need to be able to serve and to exist side by side with those we disagree with. After all, there is a good chance that whatever you believe, there is a large portion of the country that disagrees with you.
We're so divided right now. We cannot keep fostering it.