The political analyst, Gianno Caldwell, took to Twitter on Saturday to describe and express his shock over the incident, which occured at a restaurant in Florida.
“I can’t believe what just happened. I met up with friends for breakfast at Paradis Books and Bread in North Miami & while we were having discussions about politics we were told by the owner that we were not welcomed there because we aren’t politically aligned. Outrageous,” he tweeted.
Caldwell went on to share a follow-up tweet on what his conversation with his peers was about and how he felt like he was being “discriminated against” for his political beliefs.
“What’s even crazier to me is I spent a big portion of time talking about getting justice for my brother & victims of violent crime in America then to be discriminated against by this white lady in 2023 because I’m conservative is unfathomable,” he added.
The next morning, Caldwell shared a follow-up tweet, which featured his segment on Fox & Friends, where he spoke about the experience. In the caption, he emphasised that being asked to leave the restaurant because his “politics didn’t ‘align’ with the owners” was “not okay”.
During the news segment, he explained that his “problematic” conversation with his peers was about working at Fox News and his values as a conservative, which are featured in his book, Taken for Granted: How Conservatism Can Win Back the Americans That Liberalism Failed.
He noted that he was talking to his friends about his brother and the work he’s doing “with Congress on Capitol Hill for victims of violent crime” before the owner then told him to “get out of her establishment”.
Caldwell also sent a statement to NBC6, which read: “My experience at Paradis Books and Bread in North Miami is a clear case of discrimination that should not be tolerated in Florida or anywhere in America. Whether liberal or conservative, no one should ever be asked to leave a place of business for engaging in political conversation in a respectful dialogue,” he continued. “Paradis is promoting a sort of political segregation that hearkens back to the days of the Jim Crow South and runs counter to the restaurant’s harm reduction policy.”
Following the incident, Paradis Books and Bread took to Instagram to announce that it will be closing its doors for an early winter break, as reported by Daily Mail. The publication also shared a screenshot about the incident from the restaurant’s Instagram account, which is now private.
In its social media post, the restaurant described how “a group of people” came in and “talked quite loudly for over an hour”.
“A lot of what they were discussing was very troubling, specifically when talking about women in degrading ways as well as using eugenic arguments around their thoughts on Roe v Wade,” the caption read. “Their behaviour and their words made other folks in the space as well as the one of us working very uncomfortable. Once it was clear that they were finished with their meal, we told them that our views don’t align, and that the language they were using was unwelcome in our space.”
The restaurant noted that one member of the group responded to the owner with: “That is your business model and I respected that.”
The business also acknowledged that its space is “co-owned by black folks and women” and that they “firmly stand by [their] zero tolerance policy”.
As explained in the graphic posted by the restaurant, “racism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, and other forms of harm and/or oppression will not be tolerated within [the] space”.
On social media, many people have expressed their support for Caldwell and criticised the Miami restaurant owner for how she treated him.
“Discrimination is alive and well. The good news is, bold and convicted conservatism with class is alive and well also. Keep going, @GiannoCaldwell. You are directly over the target,” one wrote. “And freedom loving Americans across the country are right beside you!”
“I am shocked and disappointed in the way you were treated @GiannoCaldwell in a restaurant by the person in charge,” another wrote. “I hope you are able to help change the views of this lady just by pointing out how wrong she was- but if not- you need to take legal action.”
A third said: “Wow- I’m sorry you had to be exposed to this disgraceful behaviour. Shameful.”
Others agreed with Paradis Books and Bread’s decision and referred to the business’s Instagram post. They claimed that the restaurant had the right to ask Caldwell to leave due to his behaviour.
“If politics mean you behave in ways that are entitled, disrespectful or hateful, they have every reason to refuse you service,” one wrote.
“Hm. But it is not about politics. Your hate, your lies, and personally demeaning others are not a political view, and note, the owner did mention non-alignment, but called out your inappropriate, rude language,” another added. “And you finished the meal -- more to do with being obnoxious than anything.”
“Your group was being loud, rude, and degrading women,” a third person claimed. “You would have been thrown out of any other decent establishment before you finished your meal, regardless of who you are. Using your influence to ruin these people’s livelihoods shows the type of person you really are.”
The Independent has contacted Caldwell and Paradis Books and Bread.