Standing up for what you believe is hard – and seemingly beyond the Democrats and the US press. But the restaurant owner who threw out Trump’s press secretary offered a shard of hope
We must “resist the temptation to become numb”, the former FBI director James Comey said in an interview in this paper. He was talking about Trump’s “norm-destroying behaviours”. So how is that resistance going? Trump thrives on destroying civilised “norms”, which is why so many watch aghast and feel powerless. He violates every rule and, well, nothing much happens; it all continues. Hearing the cries of children torn away from their parents, seeing them in cages at the border – was this a turning point? On the campaign trail, he made his feelings about minority ethnic immigrants clear, to huge cheers. They were snakes and rapists. We know the language. We have heard it used about migrants here, too. Pussy-grabbing was another accepted but “norm-destroying” behaviour. Persistent lying is tolerated.
Small acts of resistance, therefore, become shards of hope. When the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, and her crew walked into the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, the chef called the owner, Stephanie Wilkinson. She immediately came over, gathered the staff, asked what they thought and then asked Sanders to leave. Sanders’ job, after all, is defending the indefensible. Wilkinson is “not a huge fan of confrontation”. She wants her business to do well, but said: “This feels like a moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”