To use millennial speak — I seriously can’t even with this.

Domenic Laurenzo, Executive Chef of beloved Houston Tex-Mex establishment, El Tiempo, took a photo with Attorney General Jeff Sessions Friday. Sessions was in town to discuss immigration things with city officials.

El Tiempo shared the picture of Laurenzo and Sessions on their social media channels. But because this is a garbage time to be alive, the restaurant was harassed mercilessly and eventually shut down all of their social media accounts. They were accused of endorsing child separation.

Laurenzo said:

“The posting of a photograph of the Attorney General at one of our restaurants does not represent us supporting his positions. The secret service contacted us that a government official was coming to dinner at our establishment and his identity was not known until he walked through the door.”

“The man came to dinner and he was served without us even thinking about the political situations. We were preoccupied with the secret service and catering to their wants and needs. The only thing on our minds was serving great food and giving great customer service. It was posted without review or approval by ownership and this has lead to everyone jumping to conclusions that somehow we are involved in this political matter. We don’t approve of anyone separating parents and children.”

But that wasn’t enough. So, a little local group protested. From Houston local news:

The group “Tejas Barrios” said the picture is like a slap in the face to Houston’s Latino community because of Sessions’ stance on immigration.

The group is now calling for a boycott and is holding a peaceful protest outside of the restaurant in Houston’s east end at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

“I think it’s something you should think twice about doing. Hosting somebody that is very much against the people that could potentially make or break your business,” said Jessica Lorena Rangel.

Imma stop right there and revisit the part in this story where El Tiempo had no clue who was coming and probably for security reasons. Not that it matters to the Outrage Brigade.

Laurenzo told KPRC on Saturday that it didn’t dawn on him until after he took the picture that some people might assume he approves of or agrees with Sessions’ policies or political views.

“The last thing I ever wanted to do was upset anybody. By no means was that ever the case. It’s just been a huge misunderstanding,” Laurenzo said.

Rangel said an apology isn’t good enough and claims this isn’t the first time El Tiempo has hosted a pro-Trump event. She said it hosted one back in 2016.

“This isn’t just a protest. It goes onto having a conversation of what exactly are his values and if he really is sorry what can we do to make sure this doesn’t continue to happen,” Rangel said.

“It goes onto having a conversation of what exactly are his values and if he really is sorry what we can do to make sure this doesn’t continue to happen.” That’s easily the most fascist thing (and I’ll qualify that by saying I don’t use words like “fascist” often because their overuse has diluted them into nothingness) I’ve read in weeks and I internet for a living.

El Tiempo is a private business. They can do whatever they damn well please and host whomever they want.

As I blogged this morning:

Because it needs repeating (apparently), there is more to life than politics. It’s also possible to stand next to someone who has accomplished much in life while also disagreeing with some of the things this person thinks without losing your damn mind. This feat is known as “maturity.”

We love El Tiempo and will be sure to visit, drink lots of margaritas, and show our support.


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