Friday, June 9, 2017

I’m sure the ‘crackpot’ in Pepe’s restaurant incident thinks he’s the 'hero’

There’s a reason why I have problems with anybody who feels compelled to complain about “political correctness” and what they want to describe as the censoring of anybody who dares speak their mind.
How many are bothered by story's slant?

Usually, it turns out that the individual is some sort of jerk who’s upset that the bulk of society (the real majority, not the so-called silent one) is lambasting them for saying something stupid. For treating their ridiculous thoughts as absurdly as they deserve.

AND FOR REFUSING to give them the “last word” on the issue; which is what they really want – the ability to talk trash and have no one call them out on their inanity. Or more appropriately, to be rude in public and get away with it!

That sentiment popped into my mind when I learned of the incident Monday at a Pepe’s restaurant in suburban Hickory Hills where a customer felt compelled to make derogatory remarks to teenage girls who also happened to be eating there.

The girls were Muslim and were wearing headscarves (the gesture of modesty that is part of their religious faith), and it seems the customer was offended by their presence at the same “Mexican” restaurant he chose to dine at.

When the girls tried confronting him about his comments, the customer’s response was to tell them to “leave the country.” When one of the girls called the customer “disgusting,” he responded by becoming physically aggressive, although the girls managed to leave before anyone got hurt.

THE DAILY SOUTHTOWN newspaper reported Thursday that the incident was reported to police by the restaurant’s management and by one of the girls, and that police are studying various videos to try to figure out who the customer was.

Although the newspaper also reported that restaurant management knew the customer as a semi-regular patron of the Hickory Hills restaurant, and plan to inform him he’s no longer welcome to eat there.

Looking at this incident, it is kind of reassuring. Someone who is bothered by the presence of the teenage girls has some sort of hang-ups of their own to deal with. I doubt he would have been as emboldened to speak out if there had been any male presence with them.

But I also suspect that, in his mind, the customer thinks he’s the victim. Just saying what he wants to believe is true and being publicly lambasted for it – since the story also got television coverage on Wednesday and is one of those incidents that will gain national notoriety.

HE PROBABLY WILL go through life thinking he’s the one being picked on just because he spoke out because, in this Age of Trump that we’re now in, his views are supposed to predominate.

Of course, that’s a simple-minded way of viewing the incident, and that’s usually the problem with people who want to get all worked up over political correctness becoming too predominant. They want to think their usually-warped views are entitled to legitimacy.

Even though by the most literal interpretation of Freedom of Expression, the girls in this incident were just as entitled to speak out and put the man in his place as he was to make stupid comments about their presence.

Free speech doesn’t mean people are forced to agree with you, or even give you the last word. We all have a Right to be Wrong, and everybody has a right to speak out against the crackpots of our society.

SO WHOEVER THIS customer was (personally, I could care less because I doubt he and I would have anything worthwhile to talk about), he may well be wondering how his behavior got onto the front page of a newspaper Thursday and he he’s not welcome anymore at a restaurant.

But do we really want to be coming to the defense of anybody who thinks they can lash out against others who just happened to be getting a meal at the same restaurant. There are many times when I eat someplace where I am bothered by the behavior of others. But so long as they don’t directly bother me, what can I say.

There is one part of this incident I find amusing – it seems that Pepe’s management has issued its own apology to the teenaged customers; even though it seems they were unaware of what happened until after it was over. It was because of customers who felt compelled to use their cellphones to record the incident, then post it on various websites, that we know of this.

Pepe’s is sorry that some of their customers can be jerks, and they’d really like it if we don’t hold that fact against them. Even though personally, I can’t recall the last time I ate in one of their restaurants – just because I know of other places that are better and I suspect are “too authentic” for people like this customer to appreciate.


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