GoFundMe Tells Candace Owens To Go Fu** Herself After She Tries To Raise Money For Racist Bar Owner
Last week, Michael Dykes, the owner of a Birmingham, Alabama, bar/restaurant called Parkside, got in "trouble" on social media for being an incredible racist and jackass. Now no one wants to go to his restaurant and give their hard earned money to an incredible racist and jackass. This is fair and completely legal, as no one is legally required to work all week and then give their money to someone they think is an incredible racist and jackass.
What did Dykes do, exactly? Well, he sent out an extremely racist text message to his co-owner and and two of his employees in which he called George Floyd a thug, said that any of his employees who went to the protest should resign, and that he wants to institute a "protest tax," charging customers extra for the next few months on account of how the protesting has hurt his business. One of the employees he sent the message to posted it on Facebook, begging for someone to give her a new job because of how awful he is, and it swiftly went viral.
"We should go up one or two dollars on everything until June 10th," Dykes wrote. "Call it a protest tax because all the idiots that went to the protest are responsible for us not being able to open normal hours. Any employees that went or are still going to should resign. Mr. Floyd was a thug, didn't deserve to die but honoring a thug is irresponsible."
Dykes later gave an interview to AL.com in which he explained he was in a bad mood and that the things he said don't reflect his true feelings. He also said he had been "inspired" by a Candace Owens interview with Glenn Beck -- retweeted by Donald Trump -- in which she explained that George Floyd had not led a perfect life and that therefore, "The fact that he has been held up as a martyr sickens me."
"I'm not a racist. I have many black friends. I have friends from Gambia and other places," Dykes told AL.com, somehow under the impression that knowing someone from Gambia is a free pass to saying whatever racist shit he wants with zero consequences.
"Finally we get to reopen and then this happens," Dykes said. "They started these protests and I was hoping that people wouldn't go. Why would you have a protest during a pandemic? I was angry that my employees were still going to the protests after the restrictions they already caused. ... They shouldn't have protests. It's not fair. I really think the City of Birmingham and Mayor Woodfin are negligent."
Dykes said his cell phone has been "blowing up" with calls and texts because of the controversy, some of them derogatory.
"This is so hurtful," Dykes said. "I feel like everybody just wants me out of Parkside."
Truly, the heart breaks.
Dykes said if he could speak directly to the bar's customers -- indeed, to all of Birmingham -- here's what he'd say:
"I'm sorry I let everybody down. I really am. I never intended any harm. Everybody is welcome at Parkside, no matter what your skin color and politics are. I did not ever want to cause any disrespect for Mr. Floyd. I would like to apologize to the Floyd family and anybody else I offended."
It seems like something was missing there, though. My bingo card is not quite full. Let's see, we've got "I've got black friends," and "Sorry if I offended you" What could it be? Oh, I know — wait for iiiiiiiiiiitttt:
Later on Friday, via a text message, Dykes said, "I would like to add that all lives matter, and police brutality is unacceptable."
BAM. It's still missing an "I don't have a racist bone in my body," though. Maybe he'll throw that in later. Hate those racist bones!
Upon hearing about this, and about the fact that all of those hardcore Alabama liberals we hear so much about are now refusing to patronize his restaurant, Candace Owens, who Dykes said inspired him to send that fucked up message to his co-owner and employees, started a GoFundMe to help him out. She raised $205,000 from racists all across the country outraged that people might not want to continue frequenting the business of someone who says those kinds of things.
"I AM SICK OF THE MOB RUINING PEOPLE'S LIVES. PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS. The left specializes in mobs of hate and destruction. Let's create a reciprocal movement of patriot love and support the Parkside cafe."
Just as a reminder, we are talking about someone who wanted any employees who disagreed with him to resign (rather than fire them, because then they'd file for unemployment), and was clearly not particularly worried about ruining them financially because he did not like their opinion. So just to be clear, Candace Owens thinks it's totally cool for him to do that, but not cool for people to then not want to give him their money.
While she did raise a lot of money, she has since been kicked off of GoFundMe for violating their terms of service by repeatedly spreading hate and intolerance. The restaurant will still be allowed to keep the money she raised, but she won't be able to raise any more money on GoFundMe for that or anything else.
"GoFundMe has suspended the account associated with Candace Owens and the GoFundMe campaign has been removed because of a repeated pattern of inflammatory statements that spread hate, discrimination, intolerance and falsehoods against the black community at a time of profound national crisis. These actions violate our terms of service."
Naturally, Owens complained on Twitter that she was suspended by GoFundMe just for trying to raise funds to help a conservative business owner, which does not so much seem to actually be the case here.
While I am glad they will give the funds raised this far to the cafe to the owner, I am angry that such a blatant f… https://t.co/m39l0VmrhW— Candace Owens (@Candace Owens)1591533973.0
Everyone in this situation was exercising their freedom. The owner was exercising his freedom to say terrible things to his employees. An employee exercised her freedom to make those terrible things public. The public exercised its freedom to not give him their money. Candace Owens decided to raise money for him, and GoFundMe exercised its freedom to no longer associate with her for doing so. She is perfectly free to continue to raise money for him some other way.
If the employee, who was not subject to a confidentiality agreement, was not allowed to talk about the awful message Dykes sent to her, that would not be freedom. Were the public forced to give Michael Dykes their money and continue patronizing his business, that would not be freedom. And, were GoFundMe required to continue doing business with Candace Owens, that would not be legal, because being an asshole is not a protected class.
So if Candace Owens loves freedom as much as she claims to love freedom, she should actually be thrilled by all of this.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse