Not the sort of thing you expect to hear when you’re white.
Of course, hearing it when you’re black, or brown, or gay, or whatever the heck you are, isn’t something we should tolerate, either. Discrimination and bigotry is ugly in any form.
But The Ex Missus and Husband-In-Law heard it a couple of weeks ago, from the desk clerk at the Budget Inn at 4840 Spencer Freeway in Pasadena, TX.
Now, what was his offense, do you ask? Did he smoke in the room? Cook Spam on a hot plate? Deal meth in the parking lot? Sneak a Bengal tiger with diarrhea into the room in his luggage?
Nope, none of that. He never even got the chance to be annoying. His offense was a palm-sized tattoo of a Confederate flag on his left deltoid. For that, the desk clerk locked the lobby door in his face, and told him there were no rooms available. When asked what she meant by locking the door, her reply was, “We don’t rent to your kind.”
Now, I’ll grant you that Husband In Law is big enough to intimidate some people, and some folks are offended by rebel tattoos. But you know, it’s entirely possible that a guy can show pride in his Southern heritage with a rebel flag tattoo and not be a bigoted, mouth-breathing, violent and ignorant homophobe. In fact, the former explanation is more likely.
Husband In Law is certainly none of those things. (Okay, we’ll give him a pass on the mouth-breathing. He’s an Aggies fan, after all.) He’s a decent guy, a commissioned deputy and a corrections officer. He ain’t a racist. He’s a diehard fisherman, which I’ll never understand, but the only reason I’d lock him out of my home is if he reeked of fish or chum.
I’m a guy with libertarian sensibilities. I think it should be illegal for government to discriminate based upon religion, creed, color, national origin, etc. I think private business owners should be able to discriminate against whoever they want. It’s not a crime to be an ignorant, narrow-minded asshole.
But I think those people who would discriminate should not be shielded from the negative consequences of their discriminatory business practices. In fact, they ought to be punished in the only way that matters to them: in the wallet.
I had an encounter a few years back with a motorcycle dealership that disrespected any customer that didn’t buy their machine directly from them. When called on it, the business owner doubled down on stupid, cursing me out on my blog, and bragging that he had two service rates: one for most customers, and a much higher one for “assholes like me.”
Aside from his poor spelling and grammar skills, the dealership owner was also too stupid to understand that his IP address could be traced.
My readers helped put his ass out of business.
I’m thinking the owner of the Budget Inn at 4840 Spencer Freeway in Pasadena, TX needs to feel the repercussions of the hotel clerk’s behavior. Or heck, it might have been a family member of the owner manning the desk that night. Doesn’t matter. They need to hear, “We don’t do business with your kind.”
So don’t give your business to this particular hotel should you ever pass through Pasadena. And while you’re at it, drop an email to Budget Inn’s corporate headquarters to tell them why.