Does this look like a halal joint to you?
Hillbilly Heaven is a barbeque-only restaurant that serves pulled pork. But at least one ignoramus actually asked whether they serve halal food, while others kept asking about all manner of other foods that aren’t on the menu. So two years ago, Cameron Bailey began posting funny signs listing foods that the restaurant does not serve, and only now have those signs caused a brouhaha.
Uploaded by SDAMatt2a on Jan 28, 2012
Inclusivity mavens have a habit of saying very odd, overreaching things in denouncing words and actions of which they disapprove. Evelyn Myrie, who is executive director of the Centre for Civic Inclusion in Hamilton, Ont., provides us with a classic of the genre in today’s Spectator: “He has the right to sell his goods but doesn’t have the right to trash other foods that are culturally driven.”
The “he” in that sentence is one Cameron Bailey, proprietor of Hillbilly Heaven, a local barbecue joint. The issue here is some attempts at institutional humour Mr. Bailey has displayed around his store. On a list of “things we DON’T HAVE and never will,” we find ethnic items such as “halal,” “shawarma,” “kabob” and “Mexican,” along with ethnic-to-other-people items such as “fries,” “wings,” “1/4 chicken” and “burgers.”
Another sign reads, “To better serve you, our staff speaks: ENGLISH.” Another asks: “What would make you think this was a Korean BBQ? Do you see any f’n ducks in the window?”
All of this is perfectly in keeping with the hillbilly persona you’ll find answering supposedly frequently asked questions on the Hillbilly Heaven website. And Mr. Bailey says most are in response to specific questions about his menu, which he believes were ridiculous. But Ms. Myrie demands he remove the signs and apologize.
Let’s have a look at her objections.
1. Does Mr. Bailey “trash” foods that he does not sell? Objectively, he does not. Here’s what trashing food might look like: Shawarma sucks, smells like feet. Ditto Mexican food, which makes you fart and is disgusting and for all I know might be full of donkey meat. Hanging dead ducks in a restaurant window is sick. The Australians’ love of Vegemite is evidence of widespread mental defect.
As it happens, I only believe the last of those things. But it hardly matters. I do indeed have the “right” to trash “culturally driven” foods. I will face no sanction for the preceding paragraph, and neither would Mr. Bailey — if he was, in fact, trashing anyone’s food. Which he isn’t.
2. What the hell is a “culturally driven food,” anyway? Or put it another way: What’s a non-culturally driven food? Catching a fish and putting it straight in your mouth?
3. “Why would he go and attack the people who eat those kinds of foods? He’s ignoring a great deal of the population.” That’s Ms. Myrie again, prefacing her novel interpretation of Mr. Bailey’s rights with a novel interpretation of what’s her damn business. But we can answer her question quite definitively: He’s doing what he’s doing because he wants to, and nobody, not even the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, has any bloody right to stop him from doing it.
That, and free advertising.
Chris Selley: • firstname.lastname@example.org
January 26, 2012 : Cameron Bailey
I am sure that most of you might have heard about the accusations and controversy brought by Evelyn Myrie of Hamilton’s Centre For Civic Inclusion. If you are not aware, I have posted a copy of the Spectator article to our site.
Over the past two days, we have had camera crews from CHCH, Global TV and CITYTV in the store. In addition I have been on seven radio interviews answering for what Ms. Myrie has deemed offensive signage and menu.
While I respect Ms. Myrie’s position with her group, the mandate of her group is as follows:
* Community-based civic resource centre, committed to working as a catalyst for anti-racist change across Hamilton.
* HCCI initiates and supports transformative processes that promote equality and create racism-free and inclusive environments in all areas of civic life
* HCCI develops and shares training and education resources
* HCCI is a source of support and information to newcomer immigrant and refugee communities, diverse ethno-racial and ethno-cultural groups and First Nations communities
* HCCI helps build community leadership and enable productive dialogues and partnerships between marginalized and ‘centralized’ communities, organizations and institutions
* Hate Crimes Prevention Program aims to fill the deficit of support for victims of hate crimes in Hamilton who are vulnerable and unable to access counselling services
Given her mandate, I believe that Ms. Myrie has overstepped her bounds and, through that, made our business appear to be racist in nature. No such racism exists and there has never be a claim made prior to Tuesday’s edition of the paper.
After phone calls and two emails, finally a suggestion potential of legal action caused Ms. Myrie to return my call. I asked her to apologize and she suggested that I deal with her through my lawyer.
Prior to taking that step, I thought it best to bring this to the attention of our customers – perhaps a call or two from concerned citizens may give Ms. Myrie a clearer picture of our community and what weight her accusations carry.
She can be reached at:
Hamilton’s Centre For Civic Inclusion
Evelyn Myrie, Executive Director;
Phone: 905-297-4694 ext 106
As always I appreciate your support – especially those who wrote and visited during this period.
905 538 4525
Where to find Hillbilly Heaven?
Hamilton, Ontario is not far from Niagara Falls.
647 Upper James Street
Hamilton Ontario L9C2Y9
905 538 4525
Mr. Bailey’s signage inspired us to create this “No Halal” sign.
Feel free to use it!
You’ll recall the story of Hamilton’s Hillbilly Heaven restaurant whose owner, Cameron Bailey, came under attack from the city’s Race Pimp n’ Chief, Evelyn Myrie, she’s Canada’s Al Sharpton but with better shoes.
Well now the Race Pimps at Hamilton’s Board of Education have denied Bailey’s son the opportunity to complete his co-op program at his father’s restaurant on the grounds his Dad’s signage promotes “hatred, discrimination and racism.” This was after he’d already completed the 1st half of his co-op…at his Dad’s restaurant.
Fire up the Blast Furnaces….