A Vermont bacon ad is the subject of a ballooned debate about exactly what is offensive these days. The seemingly harmless sign, a sidewalk ad that was promoting bacon, was removed after a vegan Muslim woman complained that it was insensitive and offensive. A rather absurd position to become affronted over; nevertheless the café – being gracious – removed the sign.
But Sneakers Bistro and Café – located on Main Street in Winnoski, Chittenden County and chosen as one of “The 59 Best Breakfast Places in America” by Esquire Magazine – just can’t win. They’ve fried themselves with the bacon ad backlash.
The unidentified Muslim female evidently had an issue with the sign that read: “Yield for Sneakers Bacon.” Her thin-skinned response was to write the owner a shaming letter on Front Porch 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, it seems unnecessary for this insensitive business sign to be at the city's main crosswalk…. The sign clutters an already dangerous crosswalk.
Trying to be good neighbors, the café responded with:
Our goal is to bring joy to Winooski as a community gathering place – never a source of stress or drama,” Sneakers owner Marc Dysinger wrote on the Front Porch Forum. “We always appreciate any advice or input to help us achieve that goal. Thank you neighbors!
But that small gesture to remove the sign has sparked widespread social media outcry – by some who are pro-bacon, some who are pro-rights, and others who are just anti-making a big deal out of stupid things.
Writes the USA Today: “A Winooski restaurant's decision to take down a bacon advertisement has become the center of an online backlash. ‘It's blown up beyond all imagination,’ City Manager Katherine Decarreau said in an interview Monday.”
A post by Sneakers Café on their Facebook page, since taken down, responded to the barrage of politicking commenters:
“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. There were also concerns raised about safety. Removing it was not a difficult decision. We still love bacon. We still love eggs. Please have the political conversation elsewhere.”
A sampling of the comments on the café’s Twitter and Facebook pages:
Please try to tell as many people as you can around there about this ISIS loving anti-American business. Let's run them out of business and then run the owners out if the USA. They can go open a place in Palestine.
Thanks for supporting and giving into the Muslims! I'll never eat at your restaurant!
Even their Yelp review page is taking a hit. One-star commenters have written:
PUT THAT SIGN BACK UP Tell the Muslims around there, if they don't like what’s going on here in the United States.... then go home were you came from.
Bowing to political pressure from members of this community to take down a silly sign with the word "bacon" demonstrates just how intolerant this community is. The folks there screaming for others to not offend have become exactly like those they piously criticize.
Thoughts? Hamming it up too much or porking this pig-headed issue right where it belongs? Sound off below.
And talking about inane arguments...