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Winooski, Vermont and the Dismantling of America's Values

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As a talk show host, I have no choice but to keep up with what's happening in America and the world. I am therefore submerged in depressing and often angering fare.

It is hard to read about and discuss the progressives who dominate American media and academia who morally equate Israel and Hamas; who describe America — the most tolerant multi-ethnic country in the world — as racist; and who characterize American universities as a "rape culture."

But there was a barely reported story that came out of a small city in Vermont last week that, for reasons to be explained, really got to me. The story isn't comparable to the beheading of innocent people or as dramatic as the rioting in Ferguson, Missouri. But if it typifies what is happening in America, it is difficult not to be pessimistic about America's future.

The facts of the story are not in dispute.

As reported in the Burlington Free Press, a restaurant in the town of Winooski, Vermont, population 7,000, "removed a sign reading 'Yield for Sneakers Bacon' from a garden at the Winooski Rotary."

Why did the Sneakers Bistro and Cafe remove the sign?

Because "a woman who described herself as 'a vegan and a member of a Muslim household' called the sign offensive in a post" on a local Internet forum.

"Given the large number of Muslim families in Winooski, as well as many others who do not eat pork for a variety of reasons," the woman wrote, "it seems unnecessary for this insensitive business sign to be at the city's main crosswalk."

The Free Press reported that "Sneakers owner Marc Dysinger replied that the sign was meant to be fun and to show that the restaurant cares about Winooski. ... He apologized for the controversy."

After "a swarm of Internet comments followed the decision," Dysinger wrote on Facebook:

"We are here to serve people BREAKFAST, not politics. We removed the sign that was located on public property as a gesture of respect for our diverse community. ... Removing it was not a difficult decision. We still love bacon. We still love eggs. Please have the political conversation elsewhere."

Everything about this story is depressing.

First, the complaint.

The woman who wrote this totalitarian drivel is the worst combination of fake victimhood, political correctness (which itself is a PC euphemism for "that which offends the left"), and Muslims who seek to impose sharia law on non-Muslims. It is also highly likely this woman graduated college, probably with a major in the liberal arts. Our universities teach non-white, non-Christian, and female students to find offense everywhere. American students get degrees in Finding Offense.

As a Jew who refrains from eating bacon or any pork product, it would never occur to me or to Jews far more observant than I to tell a non-Jewish restaurant to take down a sign advertising bacon.

Nor would it occur to any Jew to find such an ad "offensive."

The woman possesses yet another vile trait — one of the ugliest in the human pantheon: ingratitude. There is a Somali refugee community in Winooski. These people were saved from the murderous horrors of Somalia; yet this woman, whether or not she is a member of that specific community, has the gall to tell the city that saved this Muslim community's life that it dare not advertise a food she doesn't eat. Such ingratitude doesn't come naturally. It has to be learned.

Second, the restaurant owner's reaction.

This woman should have been ignored or told in the same social media in which her complaint appeared to seek psychotherapy and/or be reminded that she's free to move to a society that bans bacon, and that this society is free and wishes to remain so.

Instead the restaurant owner immediately gave in to this woman.

This man typifies the moral weakening of America taking place over the last generation. Throughout our history we prided ourselves in being the "Home of the Brave." The restaurant owner's reaction exemplifies the opposite of bravery. He actually "apologized for the controversy." In a morally ordered universe, one apologizes for a wrong done. Yet he did nothing wrong. She did.

Why did he apologize even though he was the wronged party? Because he has imbibed the left's poisonous doctrine of "diversity," one of the left's fig leaves behind which it dismantles American values and unifying identity.

Third, the city manager.

A feature of Political Correctness is lying on its behalf. This was exemplified by Winooski's city manager, Katherine Decarreau, who wrote, 'As I read her post, her request came as a vegan, not as a Muslim.'"

This comment is breathtaking in its mendacity. The complaining woman described herself as "a member of a Muslim household" and wrote that the sign is offensive to Muslims. Yet the city manager publicly denies that the complaint emanated from the woman's being a Muslim.

No one has called her out on this lie, let alone called for her resignation. Because in the Brave New World in which we live, truth doesn't have an objective existence. Everything, even truth, is relative.

When leftism (aka political correctness) corrupts as small and Middle American a town as Winooski, Vermont, it is time to be very concerned.

And to fight back.

This means, among other things, getting Muslim organizations to disassociate themselves from the original message. I could not find one that has, including the Winooski Islamic Community Center.

And it means explaining to the restaurant owner why his apology was morally wrong, undermined American values, and was not "a gesture of respect for our diverse community." It was gesture of disrespect to the vast majority of the citizens of Winooski who enjoy bacon and to the vast majority of Americans outside of Winnoski, whether or not we eat bacon.

Dennis Prager's latest book, "Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph," was published April 24, 2013 by HarperCollins. He is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of PragerUniversity.com.

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Comments

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I happily surprised to find I agree w/some of author's remarks, except "sharia law" remark. For as we know has bad connotation rightly so, for as author know sharia law/halakhah/Christianity all have been perverted by extremist zealots and zionists today and throughout history. So let's not infer she's a radical Islam extremist for saying she was offended for the story stands on its own merit.
She was way out of line because until her 'rights' as a Muslim/American citizen in America are violated, she's just another unhappy flea on the dog.
The owner runs a business of course he doesn't want to get into political tussles, bad for business and owner put in very distressful position but he do nothing wrong. But then neither did Muslim woman. She did what many Americans do, complained and took action. Author very wrong for saying woman vile and has ingratitude or make comparison to Jews as 'different'. Hah! we all know many Jews & other immigrants full of ingratitude and sense of entitlement, the very thing you unjustly accuse woman of for have no proof. So that's authors known collective bigotry but if he be honest would tell you Muslim woman complaining and taking action is typical of all free women in America. First & foremost author just pissed because she Muslim and not acting in way he approve, (but then, who does?). Second and point on which I agree, he pissed at the outcome of her action. Where I disagree he seek to blame her, when she did nothing wrong. She didn't and is not dismantling anyone's "values". Maybe what author say is he sees "values" changing from his generation to this, but she did not disrespect anyone she respectfully made her complaint as is her right. Again, he pissed at outcome so attack her. Speaking up is expressing one's opinion, which author seem to do a lot of yet show much disrespect when others do so. Why is that?
Is ok and right of all Americans to complain and take action is also right and ok for decision makers not be fearful to say no when it not violating anyone's rights. Their response was ridiculous and only they know why they did what they did and hopefully realize nothing wrong w/saying no to anyone if justified. Is wrong when author use smear campaign against America's Muslim population because he unhappy with outcome and decisions made by city. Suggest if he want other Muslims to protest he man up and approach them directly instead of write futile column of bigotry and try to generate Muslim hate w/such a fear mongering mob mentality approach to a non-event which hopefully city officials will examine their reasons and motives and make better decisions in future.
Comment: #1
Posted by: steveM
Tue Sep 2, 2014 1:04 PM
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