A brave, free-speech MAGA warrior is under attack, America.
Joseph says the staff pointed and laughed at him, booed him, "smacked their knuckles" near him, and refused to fill his water glass, which led his group to call the cops. Miami-Dade Police dutifully showed up to the chain restaurant, where Joseph's group reported that the waitstaff was "gathering around [his] table and cracking their knuckles," according to a police report.
But the cops found that "no threats were made" and "no physical altercation occurred" before closing the case without charges. Still, Joseph tells New Times that he felt physically threatened by a couple of people leering at him and that he felt particularly targeted because he was a black man wearing a pro-Trump hat.
"There was one guy behind me, staring me down, clenching his hand in a fist," Joseph says. "They were disrespectful, jokingly saying they were going to put stuff in our food. We left without eating."
You might be thinking, This absolutely does not sound like a news story! But you're dead wrong: The conservative media has sprung into action to protect one of America's most important civil rights — being able to wear MAGA hats in public without any hint of blowback.
The Daily Wire, a clickbait enterprise run by racist Grimm's fairy-tale elf Ben Shapiro, detailed Joseph's utter nonstory in breathless prose designed to freak out 78-year-old MAGA patriots. The Daily Wire claims to have seen videos of the incident — but has declined to release the footage (cowards) — and reports that some workers threatened to punch Joseph in the face, while others might have called him the N-word. The Wire also claims that "the group of employees looked like a lynch mob" and that "the event was so traumatic and threatening that an elderly woman who was present had to take medication to calm herself."
The alleged N-word incident didn't come up in the police report, and Joseph didn't mention it when speaking with New Times. The police also didn't mention any elderly witnesses needing medication.
Joseph says he feels he didn't deserve to be ridiculed publicly for his political fashion statement.
"I'm a big Trump supporter, but if I saw anybody else in, like, a Hillary or Obama hat, I wouldn’t treat them that way," Joseph says. "I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m a black man. If I was a white American, I feel like they would have left it alone. But me being a black Trump supporter offended them."
But because we live in Hell, the Cheesecake Factory tweeted out an apology before 1 p.m., after Ann Coulter, who just yesterday suggested shooting immigrants who attempt to cross the U.S. border, tweeted she was upset by one dude not being able to order a Glamburger® in Miami over the weekend. The restaurant chain says it has suspended the workers involved pending an internal investigation:
No guest should ever feel unwelcome in one of our restaurants and we are taking this matter very seriously. Upon learning of this incident, we immediately apologized to the guests in person. The individuals involved have been suspended pending the results of our investigation.— Cheesecake Factory (@Cheesecake) May 15, 2018
Now, as in any good conservative-news outrage cycle, right-wingers have begun showing up at Cheesecake Factory locations to scream about the incident. The reaction echoes the 2016 case of a Miami man New Times showed yelling the word "Trump!" at a Starbucks barista because his order took too long, which led conservatives to give their name as "Trump" when ordering coffee.
Take, for instance, YouTuber Red Pill Philosophy, who had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon than show up today at the Dadeland Cheesecake Factory wearing a "Trump 2020" shirt. He filmed himself buying take-out in his Trump shirt before asking a hapless worker about this past Sunday's incident.
"I'd go test if I asked if I could order a cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory wearing a 'Trump: Finally Someone With Balls' T-Shirt, and it worked!" the man says in the video, holding up the dessert he now has to eat in the hot Miami sun in the middle of the afternoon. Uh, triggered much?
The angry YouTuber then says that, because he was apparently treated so nicely at the restaurant, he doesn't believe Joseph was harassed the way everyone claims.
"The story seems too good to be true, is what I'm trying to say here," the Trump fan says before launching into a weird rant defending neo-Nazis. (Because everything in the GOP media world is some kind of grift, it turns out that the YouTuber sells that Trump shirt on his own website, so this whole thing is a stupid merch ad, anyway.)
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Joseph says he will post a video of the incident — but not until
This means we have mere hours before the president belches out an angry tweet to a restaurant chain and people in rural Arkansas begin firing their AR-15s at take-out cheesecakes and posting the videos to YouTube.
Update 5/16: Joseph made it onto Fox and Friends today: