Hasta Muerte, a California-based coffee shop made headlines this weekend after their business refused to provide service to police officers, reports The Daily Wire. Despite Hasta Muerte’s self-proclaimed “warm and inclusive atmosphere,” the coffee shop alleged that the presence of police officers “compromises [their] feeling of physical & emotional safety.” This understandably prompted considerable outrage.
Hasta Muerte’s anti-cop stance is not limited to their exclusion of police officers, however. The coffee shop also took to Instagram, posting an image of an ‘X’ed out police badge with a snide caption reading “Talk with your neighbors, not the police.”
Hasta Muerte resides in Oakland, a city which is known for its citizens having a less than pleasant relationship with law enforcement. What the leaders of the coffee shop fail to realize is that refusing service to police officers is not going to help their standing, nor will it mend the relationship with law enforcement. For a business that promotes itself as “warm and inclusive,” Hasta Muerte is far from it.
Oakland police officers seem to have handled the situation with class though. Following Hasta Muerte’s promise not to serve police officers, the Oakland police academy released this statement:
“I think their position is very clear that they don’t want the police in there, and I can respect that. If they do call the police for any need, we’re going to respond professionally and give them the same level of service as anyone else regardless of their position.”
The response from Oakland police officers serves as a stark contrast to Hasta Muerte’s way of dealing with the contentious relationship. And it says something about the kind of backward logic that ideologues on the extreme left are employing in the name of social justice.
True, law enforcement is not legally allowed to respond in childish kind to Hasta Muerte’s refusal of service, nor are they allowed to refuse service to individuals belonging to groups that have expressed hostility towards their safety – groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa, who have called for the death of police officers (“pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon”) and physically attacked members of law enforcement. That’s par for the course of being a police officer after all, but perhaps there’s a broader point in there – that we have nothing to gain as a civil society by resorting to refusing each other service for something as petty as their group membership. After all, there are clear cases where this exact form of argument has backfired on the left.
The whole situation is reminiscent of the case of the Christian business owner who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple, a situation which many people categorically condemned as discrimination, intolerance, and unfairness.
Yet, Hasta Muerte seems to have doubled down on their tortured logic.
Even after Oakland police officers affirmed their decision to continue serving all members of the community equally, Hasta Muerte went on Facebook and complained about the understandable backlash they received and furthermore seized the opportunity to double down on their attacks against members of the law enforcement community:
“Since [the incident], cop supporters are trying to publicly shame us online with low reviews because this particular police visitor was Latino. We need the support of the actual community to keep this place safe, not police. Especially in an area faced by drug sales and abuse, homelessness, and toxic masculinity as we see here on this block.”
Not only is this short-sighted thinking producing nothing of value for either Hata Muerte or their patrons, it is further ratcheting up the tensions between civilians and Oakland police when what is needed is an actual dialogue. Well done people.