It's another week, and that means there's another dumb scandal brewing on Twitter to distract you from the fact that the world is ending. To get you up to speed: White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was booted from Red Hen, a restaurant in Virginia, on Friday, June 22 because the owner was uncomfortable serving someone who defends intolerant policies for the Trump administration. Sanders and President Donald Trump both tweeted about the ordeal, naming the restaurant publicly, which ignited a heated debate about whether the restaurant was within its right to do so. Now, after several Twitter users confused a different Red Hen restaurant, one in D.C., for being the one that kicked Sanders out, that D.C. restaurant is having some fun with the story. The Red Hen D.C.'s tweets about Sarah Huckabee Sanders are a hilarious bit of trolling to break up your news cycle.
To start, let's set the record straight: There is more than one restaurant called Red Hen. In fact, there are many. This is a story about two Red Hens, a few hours apart from one another, in the greater D.C. metropolitan area.
The decision to kick out Sanders, The Washington Post reported, was ,ade by owner Stephanie Wilkinson, who said she believed Sanders worked in service of an “inhumane and unethical” administration. According to Wilkinson, several of her employees are members of the LGBTQ community and didn't feel comfortable serving Sanders due to the administration's stance on things like the transgender military ban and policy that led to the separating migrant children from their families. She asked her employees if they thought Sanders should be asked to leave, and they said yes, per The Post.
That decision prompted people of both political persuasions to wonder: Can a restaurant discriminate against government officials? In the process of discussing that concern, people began mistaking the D.C. Red Hen for the Virginia Red Hen that Sanders was asked to leave. Then, the D.C. Red Hen decided to have some fun with that error.
They started out with a generic announcement, aiming to distinguish the restaurants in question. From there, they got to replying humorously to individual Twitter users.
Whoever is running the Red Hen D.C. Twitter account deserves a raise. The account also tweeted a cheeky gif of Taylor Swift saying, "I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative," and a brief explanation of a D.C. law that would prevent that particular Red Hen from asking Sanders to leave — even if it wanted to.
The Red Hen D.C. tweeted, "Businesses in DC are prohibited from discriminating against people for political affiliation because we are a federal district. We have patrons from both sides of the aisle." (The D.C. Office of Human Rights enforces the Human Rights Act, which makes discrimination illegal based on 20 protected traits for people that live, visit, or work in the District of Columbia — including political affiliation.)
The restaurant is fighting the confusion with humor — a wonderful way to fight, if you ask me. And as I mentioned, whoever is running the account has incredible taste in pop culture gifs. If you head over to the Red Hen D.C. Twitter page you'll find a cacophony of memes referencing Broad City, The West Wing, The Nanny, and The Office.
The Red Hen D.C. also tweeted the definition of the word "unaffiliated" several times to try to clear up the misunderstanding. "The point of the word unaffiliated is that we're unaffiliated. @MerriamWebster some help please with the word of the day?" the account posted. (For the record, the word unaffiliated means "not officially attached to or connected with an organization or group.")
Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of Homeland Security, and Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to the president, are two other officials who have had run-ins at local restaurants because of their place in the Trump administration. Miller and Nielsen, however, were addressed by other customers and protesters, rather than the restaurants themselves.
Honestly, I feel like the Red Hen D.C.'s Twitter account is the humor we all deserve today. It's ridiculous in a way that only the internet ever seems to deliver on. I salute you, Red Hen D.C. account — and I acknowledge that you are in no way affiliated with the Red Hen that kicked Sanders out of their establishment.