A Connecticut coffee house has found itself at the latest front of the continuing national controversy over whether or not the Confederate flag and associated symbols should be allowed to be displayed. This controversy blew up most infamously following thousands of white supremacists’ decision to gather in Charlottesville, Virginia, to “protest” the city’s plans to remove a statue honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Last week, the Molten Java coffee house in Bethel, Connecticut — which has apparently been a fixture of the community for quite some time — hosted an open mic night. A man named Stan Weston, who is from the area but is with the U.S. Air Force and currently stationed in Oklahoma, came to the open mic night to play his banjo and ended up getting his hat, which depicted a Confederate flag, cut up with a knife right in front of him as he was playing.
The incident, somewhat unsurprisingly, has conservatives across the country in an uproar, even though it’s literally just a hat. Yes, it kind of sucks for the guy that he brought out the objectionable item he described as a family heirloom and had it meet an untimely end, but in the face of hundreds of people being injured and dozens upon dozens killed by a shooter in Nevada, are there not more pressing issues?
Apparently the answer to that question is “no” in GOP world.
Danielle Jackson, a blogger with the far right Project Republic Today site, commented, “People actually act like this in public. And that is scary.”
What she doesn’t note is that the origin of the sentiments behind the behavior isn’t exactly mysterious. The Confederate flag represents hatred and racism, and generally, Americans living in the year 2017 aren’t fond of either of those concepts.
The Blunt Force Truth right-wing blog described the incident by being as dramatic as possible, being sure to describe the hat as having been “slashed.”
News of the incident was carried far and wide by right wing media; TheBlaze, owned by Glenn Beck, is among those outlets that picked up the story, reporting that “[o]ne Molten Java coffee shop employee apparently couldn’t take the sight of a Confederate flag baseball cap inside the Bethel, Connecticut, coffee shop any longer — so she did something about it.”
Read angry conservatives’ Twitter comments on the situation below — including some calling for the offending employee to be shot.
Watch video of the incident for yourself below, as posted to Facebook by a friend of the performer. An “old acquaintance” of the performer apparently walked up to him while he was at the microphone, removing his hat, although Weston didn’t think that much of it at the time.
The employee, who remains unnamed and was reportedly off duty, then walked up to the front of the coffee shop and held Weston’s hat out in front of her, cutting it up with a knife, as mentioned. Coffee shop owner Wendy Cahill distanced herself from her employee’s actions, denouncing them as wrong, although noting that she agrees with the sentiment behind them.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video