Worthy Cause, Wrong Approach | Bacon’s Rebellion

The Pellerito household: “We undergo every day simply making an attempt our greatest. What are the brand new guidelines? What is true?”

by James A. Bacon

Give Amanda Chase credit score for one factor: She is aware of learn how to get into the information. Whether or not the ensuing headlines assist the Chesterfield state senator win the Republican Social gathering nomination for governor is sort of one other matter. The most recent brouhaha over her refusal to put on a masks in a Harrisonburg restaurant isn’t seemingly to assist.

After making a marketing campaign cease in New Market over the weekend with rock musician Ted Nugent, Chase visited Vito’s Italian Kitchen in Harrisonburg for a meal. She didn’t put on a masks. On two separate events, in line with her Facebook account, workers denied her service, despite the fact that she defined that she had an underlying well being situation that didn’t permit her to put on one. Upon offering a letter from her physician, she was supplied service however “not with out being harassed and belittled in entrance of different retailer patrons.”

Katharine Nye Pellerito, who owns the restaurant along with her husband, posted her personal model of the encounter on Facebook. Chase obtained confrontational and threatened to sue, she wrote. “The uncertainty of Covid … because it threatens our means to take care of our eating places has been exhausting, to say the least. Final night time was powerful. We undergo every day making an attempt our greatest What are the brand new guidelines? What is true? What does the regulation count on? Who’s going to yell at us for making an attempt to do the appropriate factor as we speak?”

Chase argued that she was standing her floor “as a result of there are millions of disabled Virginians who’re being victimized and harassed due to this Governor’s complicated and ever altering government orders. … We should struggle again in opposition to the overreach of Governor Northam! Virginians attain out to me each day asking what they’ll do to exit in public to do common actions like store for groceries, get a hair reduce kids lacking out on sports activities or work to help their households when carrying a masks isn’t a viable possibility for them.”

The candidate additionally expressed sympathy for small enterprise throughout the state who’ve been threatened with shedding their enterprise licenses and aggressive fines in the event that they fail to implement the masks mandate. “Small companies proceed to do their greatest to piece collectively insurance policies and practices to maintain their companies open, however the incongruous data they’re receiving from the Governor is inflicting an enormous downside.”

Bacon’s backside line. Right here’s my studying of the incident: Chase is highlighting a authentic problem, however she selected the flawed method to do it.

In contrast to the proprietor of the Crimson Hen restaurant in Lexington who famously refused to serve Sara Huckabee Sanders, then-press secretary to Donald Trump, the Pelleritos displayed no apparent political animus. They definitely aren’t activists. There is no such thing as a file within the Virginia Public Entry Challenge donor database of them having made a marketing campaign contributions to any Virginia politician. Chase didn’t accuse them of political bias, and Pellerito expressed none in her Fb submit. As Pellerito mentioned, she and her husband are simply doing their greatest to maintain their restaurant open and obey the regulation.

Had Chase performed her playing cards in another way, she might have used the Pelleritos as an illustration of the very downside she is combating — how Northam’s insurance policies have dragooned restaurant house owners and their workers into imposing an ambiguous emergency order.

How are workers imagined to know that individuals refusing to put on masks have a medical justification? If folks say they’ve a medical situation, should workers take their phrase for it, or can they demand proof? Should patrons carry a health care provider’s letter with them, as Chase does? How is anybody to know if the letter is authentic? Letters will be simply solid. No two circumstances are ever the identical, so limitless questions come up.

Had Chase chosen to be sympathetic moderately than confrontational, she may need generated a really completely different story. She might have portrayed the Pelleritos, a small-business household with 4 kids together with new-born twins, as victims of Northam’s insurance policies, struggling useless problems as they attempt to comply with the foundations and keep in enterprise. As a substitute, Chase made her personal habits the story. What a possibility misplaced.

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