Wulfgar tipped me off to an interesting brouhaha down in Missoula.

It seems that a Saudi student was refused service at the local Pickle Barrel because the manager of the restaurant claimed that he and the student had been in an earlier altercation (not on the premises) and that the student had threatened him. The student denies it.

The Associated Students of the University of Montana jumped into the fray, and removed the Pickle Barrel from the campus debit card program. "“We need to send a message to all businesses in the city of Missoula that these kinds of things are not tolerated,” said ASUM Senator Kevin Nalty. “These (Saudi) students are guests in our country. ... They have come through 11 time zones to be here and for any of them to be disrespected by any company like this is an embarrassment to me as an American.”

What is interesting to me (aside from my belief that this is much ado about nothing) is the fact that this issue seems to have broken along political lines. The 'left' seems automatically inclined to support the student while the 'right' seems to fall in line behind the restaurant.

It appears that no one but the manager and the student really know what happened here. Why, then, is ASUM and the University's legal counsel acting from the assumption that the Saudi student is telling the truth? Is it that when one actor is white and the other one isn't, any cry of discrimination is to be automatically credited? Or is it that any such claim should be automatically discredited?

If the kid threatened the manager, I agree with the manager. Otherwise I don't. Since there is no way to find the facts, though, I say go to Subway.

Finally, as an aside, UM's legal counsel, David Aronofsky, had this to say: "“I will be tracking the case,” Aronofsky said. “I have a legal difference of opinion with the Missoula Police Department. When any University of Montana student or employee is wrongfully kicked out of any public place, the university takes strong exception to that.” Is he really suggesting that the Police Department should have become involved in a contested discrimination case? As the Tubes might have suggested, step outside your world, Mr. Aronofsky.


WolfPack said...

"If the kid threatened the manager, I agree with the manager. Otherwise I don't. Since there is no way to find the facts, though, I say go to Subway."

Is that what you meant to say? Or did you mean go to Pickle Barrel? I think the real point of this story isn’t about being embarrassed to be an American but about being embarrassed to be a grizzly!!

GeeGuy said...

No, I meant for the student to go to Subway if they won't serve him at Pickle Barrel.

WolfPack said...

Good point but I was only trying to get in a grizzly shot anyway.