Shortly thereafter I see a retweet of "Chef Geoff" Tracy on Twitter:
Virginia ABC law prohibits us from using the words "Happy Hour" in any advertising. Are we still in America?Yes, it's a stupid law. Yes, bar and restaurant owners should work to get rid of the law and I would fully support that effort. But given that a 17 year old black kid was hunted down and shot by a man with dubious authority, at best, who was explicitly told by police dispatch not to pursue and engage him, with no legal repercussions to this point, I think it's a tad overwrought to start questioning the sanctity of America over ad restrictions.
This isn't to say that Trayvon's killing is necessarily Chef Geoff's fight, but I think this underscores a lot of the disconnect between what liberty means to the business-centric folk and what liberty means to those of us who see and/or experience the abuse of power in ways more threatening to personal safety, security, and dignity. Chef Geoff isn't at all wrong to claim injustice--the Virginia alcohol laws are harmful to business and that directly affects his livelihood, and he has every right to be upset--but in the grand scheme of things, a catchy phrase for an ad just doesn't compare to some guy with a gun and a power trip getting away with hunting down and killing a black kid because 'he looked suspicious.'
I have nothing at all against Chef Geoff and have heard only great things about him and his notable establishments. He's not guilty of anything other than slight overstatement and I do not wish to impugn him in any way. I just thought his comment reflects a language gap between people who rightly fear threats to economic liberty, but may not give as much thought to threats to personal liberty that so many others face on a daily basis. It's not that he's wrong, it's just that he--and so many others who care about liberty--could use a dose of perspective.
bellum medicamenti delenda est