A Houston Tex-Mex restaurant was feeling quite proud one night for hosting the Attorney General of the United States at its establishment. El Tiempo Cantina posted that it was an “honor” to serve Jeff Sessions and shared a picture of the owner standing next to him. But that was too much civility for some followers of the restaurant who sent “death threats” to the restaurant’s social media accounts and publicly called for boycotts of the business. Because of the intense threats, the restaurant deleted the post and its entire social media account.
The owner, Roland Laurenzo, even made a public apology on local media. Laurenzo said he did not mean for the post to “imply the company endorses Sessions’ politics.” He made sure to add that he “is not in favor of separating immigrant families, and does not agree with Sessions on gay rights.” The owner said he had only “discussed fajitas with Sessions” and served him “like any other guest.” “We didn’t think we were doing something wrong,” Laurenzo told CBS Houston affiliate KHOU. “We didn't have any idea this was going to happen.”
As noted by CBS News, hostile confrontations towards Trump administration officials in public places have “started to gain popularity this summer.” Extremist protesters feel emboldened to bully even female staffers when they are out with family, friends, or work colleagues at dining establishments, as we have seen with White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Democrats were geared up to engage in this kind of hostility after Democratic Congressman Maxine Waters called on her followers to “push back” on “anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station…” CBS also reminded readers that former EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt and conservative Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi have also been heckled in public.