Loading...
If Trump did not collude with the Russians does that mean that global warming is not true either?...

Martin: Let us break bread together

DGMartin

D.G. Martin

Loading…

Sunday, July 8, 2018

What is the worst thing that has happened to us in the last few weeks?

Our state legislature’s final week of secrecy and surprises?

North Korea’s reported resumption of processing of nuclear fuel, a violation of President Trump’s understanding that North Korea’s nuclear threat has been eliminated?

Trump’s break with our NATO and G7 allies and his blossoming friendship and upcoming summit with Vladimir Putin, perhaps establishing with Putin in a new “G2” alliance to stand together against the U.S.’s former allies?

No, not any of these. Such things I have come to expect. They are a part of the day-to-day grind of sad and discouraging developments that no longer surprise me. They have become a part of a normal day.

What was worse for me happened late last month at the Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Va., where Stephanie Wilkinson, the restaurant’s owner, asked one of the customers to leave because she disapproved of the customer’s political views and actions.

The customer was White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

Wilkinson could have been legally sanctioned for refusing to serve Sanders if her action had been based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, etc. But she had every legal right to exclude Sanders, whose politics and actions as a public official she despised.

As Wilkinson, an admired and active Lexington civic leader, explained to The Washington Post she thinks Sanders works for an “inhumane and unethical” administration. She continued, “This feels like a moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”

I probably agree with Wilkinson’s politics. So, why did I bite my lip in disappointment when I learned what she did?

As readers of this column know, I love restaurants like the Red Hen, ones that are small, locally owned and operated, places where people come for food and fellowship.

I have visited hundreds of such restaurants all over North Carolina and written about them in this column, in magazines and in my book, “North Carolina Roadside Eateries.”

Many of my favorite local restaurants are owned by people whose political views are 180 degrees different from mine.

But nobody has ever threatened to kick me out or treated me disrespectfully.

An important reason-to-be for these local gathering places is that they provide a place where all of us are welcome, whatever our political persuasion, whatever our role in politics or public life.

Take Wilbur’s, the iconic barbecue restaurant in Goldsboro. Wilbur Shirley is a proud Democrat, but he welcomes all people who love good barbecue, whatever their party affiliation or beliefs. Visitors will be happier, of course, if they adhere to the doctrine of eastern North Carolina barbecue, Wilbur’s specialty. But even those who love Lexington style are welcome.

At Wilbur’s, customers may argue with each other, and even with Wilbur, about politics, but no people will be asked to leave because of what they believe.

On my visit to Snyder’s Farms Restaurant in rural Randolph County, I felt a little uncomfortable at first, surrounded by Richard Petty memorabilia and knowing that I was probably the only Democrat in their crowded dining area.

But owners Betty and Wayne Snyder and one of their customers, N.C. Sen. Jerry Tillman, put me at ease and showed me their restaurant was about community, not about political division.

I hope the owners of our local eateries will keep them open and welcoming to all, making them refuges from the division and lack of civility that is raging though our country.

And, I would like to think Stephanie Wilkinson, if she had it to do over again, would give Sarah Sanders a warm welcome and let her finish her meal in peace.

D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs at 11 a.m. Sundays and 5 p.m. Thursdays on UNC-TV. Visit www.unctv.org/ncbookwatch

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Look

March 24, 2019

For war veteran Franklin Smith, being a member of The American Legion for the last 29 years has allowed him to share his love and pride of America with others while also serving people in his own community.  

Smith is no stranger to living the military lifestyle. He and his six brothers…

032419americanlegion-1.JPG

March 24, 2019

If it's news to you that social climbers see buying their children's way into fancy, name-brand colleges as the functional equivalent of wearing Rolex watches or driving Maseratis, then I don't know where to start.

That is, those expensive private (and some public) universities are fashion…

Gene Lyons

March 24, 2019

I'm writing this in the air, flying home in a Boeing Max 8. They just announced the plane would be taken out of service as soon as we land. I'm not really worried that the plane has some hidden technical defect. I'm worried that the pilot's parents might have been rich enough to bribe his way in to…

JimMullen

March 24, 2019

 

With characteristic calmness, 88-year old owner Wilber Shirley is assuring customers of his renowned Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro that the recently-shuttered restaurant will be back in business before long.

His iconic, wood-burning eatery, known for its whole hog barbecue, closed for…

Bob Garner

March 24, 2019

There comes a time of year when one lets one’s thoughts drift out of classrooms to the sunny shores of spring break. And no place is more synonymous with epic spring breaks than Florida, be it the crunch of calcite shells underfoot, or the sandy curls of George Washington on the beach.…

JoyHall

March 23, 2019

Sycamore Hill Missionary Baptist Church will celebrate the launch of a new ministry next month.

Come As You Are, known as CAYA, is designed to address the needs and concerns of young adults, ages 20-35. Led by LaVerna G. Parker, the group meets from 6:30-8 p.m. Mondays in the church fellowship hall…

March 22, 2019

Some movies deliver an accurate portrait of the teen psyche. Each decade has a film (or two) that deals with the turbulence of growing up.

Teen audiences can relate. We older folks can sit there and reminisce, a trip down memory lane, recalling the emotions we felt during our own coming-of-age.…

ShirrelRhoades_57.jpg-1.jpg

March 22, 2019

Cap­sules of movies play­ing lo­cally. New re­leases are in­di­cated with an as­ter­isk.

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL — A de­ac­ti­vated fe­male cy­borg is re­vived, but can­not re­mem­ber any­thing of her past life and goes on a…

Captain Marvel-14

March 21, 2019

GREENSBORO — State judicial officials say a North Carolina judge has been suspended with pay, although no official reason has been given.

Sharon Gladwell of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts said in an email that Chief Justice Cheri Beasley ordered a temporary suspension of…

March 20, 2019

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am hosting a birthday party for myself. I kind of decided at the last minute. The party is coming together pretty well — probably because I have a lot of experience hosting events.

I just remembered a couple of people that I definitely should have invited but didn't. I just…

Harriette Cole
145 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 15
        Next Page»   Last Page»