A grammarian might point out that the appropriate verb would be “may not” instead of “cannot,” but such nuances might be lost on the owners of Honolulu’s Café 8 ½. Their handmade sign barring Trump voters is a clear throw back to a bygone era of exclusionary signage that barred people of color, the Irish, Italians–even long-haired freaky people were told they need not apply.
But banning anyone who voted for Trump? That’s a lot of potential customers.
Fox News reported on the improvisational signage, which reads: “If you voted for Trump you cannot eat here! No Nazis.”
The sign, which ended up on the cafe’s Facebook page, too, is getting many likes.
“…The next time you’re in Honolulu, eat lunch here, not only are they on the right side of things, the food is delicious and reasonable,” one supporter posted.
Local resident Susan Roberts told Fox the sign was in “extreme poor taste.” She is voicing the feelings of many on the island. “It’s childish and very unprofessional. […] The restaurant owner doesn’t have to worry. I will not be stepping foot in that establishment.”
“Remember when Filipinos couldn’t go in certain places, or Japanese wouldn’t be allowed [in] many homes?” Asked Willes Lee, president of National Federation of Republican Assemblies.
The café was founded by Robert Warner, who Fox notes was a stylist for Vidal Sassoon in San Francisco before he and his wife, Jali moved to the island.
Jali tried to make light of the sign and said it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. Even if you have voted for Trump, she says, “we don’t put anything different [in] your food.”
“Robert just wants to express how much he doesn’t like Trump,” Jali said. “If people take it personally or it hurts them, we cannot help. That’s why we say they have [a] choice if they want to come or not come. We don’t force them.”
“We don’t want to create trouble,” Jali said. “There is enough trouble in the world.”
Exclusionary signage may be just an expression of ideas. And establishments often reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, without explanation. But Hawaii is dependent on its tourism, and is a favorite for voters on both sides of the isle.