Over the weekend, social media boiled over after a few Donald Trump supporters barhopped along West Magnolia Avenue, starting fights, getting kicked out of bars, and generally being assholes. Togging red “Make America Great Again” baseball caps, according to multiple accounts, the three college-aged guys and one older dude aggressively taunted restaurant and bar staffers and patrons alike, slinging around such highbrow barbs as “Hippie liberal faggots!”
One bartender who asked not to be named said the group seemeed to be trying to bait customers into violent reactions. When the Trumpeters got a response from a staff member or other customer, they decried their “mistreatment” as evidence of the left’s double standard: that liberals pretend to be open-minded but will shout down anyone who disagrees with them. Of course, since the Hitler youth were the only ones shouting, their case was hard to make.
This type of douchery has become standard practice for supporters of the Republican party’s presidential frontrunner. At rallies all over the country, Trump protesters have been punched, spat on, verbally abused, and have had all manner of objects hurled at them. Trump even offered to pay the legal fees for one of his minions who punched someone with a brain, uh, I mean “a protestor.”
It would be easy to chalk up the Trump devotees’ behavior as just a few drunk college kids looking to start shit. But the problem goes much deeper. Like trained monkeys, the kiddos were doing only what they see grownups doing on TV every night. Trump and his followers (most of them) have created a level of vitriol and bigotry that this country hasn’t seen since the 1950s.
But what was perhaps most offensive is that the group broke the first rule of socializing at a bar: don’t talk politics.
Trouble Brewing in Riverside
Last week, members of United Riverside Neighborhood Association, which represents residents along Riverside Drive south of 121, held a meeting with Fort Worth police and city officials. The topic of discussion: the alleged problem of boisterous customers spilling out of Martin House Brewing’s taproom tours every Tuesday night and Saturday afternoon.
No one from Martin House was invited to the session, according to Martin House co-founder David Wedemeier.
United Riverside president Manuel Mohammed declined to comment on the brewhaha, saying only that his group is waiting until certain “measures” have been put into place and implemented.
Capt. Robert Alldredge Jr. of the Fort Worth police department, who attended the meeting, said in an e-mail that the complaints consisted of “parking, attendance numbers, and quality-of-life issues.”
Martin House opened in March 2013 in a stretch of hangars and office spaces on South Sylvania Avenue just east of downtown. Many of Martin House’s brews, such as the Bockslider, Salty Lady, and Cellerman’s IPA, are among the most popular craft beers in town. The brewery is surrounded by a large field to the west and small businesses and office spaces to the north and east, but it’s the proximity of homes to the south that makes the neighborhoods popular parking spots.
One possible solution sought by the neighborhood group is posting no parking signs along one side of South Rayner Street and Galvez Avenue.
And in what can be seen only as a punitive measure, United Riverside is taking away parking: the nearby lot of Andrew “Doc” Session Neighborhood Center.
Wedemeier said his staff has never heard complaints directly from United Riverside, only through the police via United Riverside.
“We’ve been putting up signs trying to coordinate parking so visitors do not park in front of houses,” he said.
He said his TABC-certified servers strictly enforce the three-pint limit.
We have been to more than a few Martin House tours. They can get a bit rowdy, sure, but there aren’t any beer bongs or signs that read “Drink Irresponsibly.”
“Our servers make sure people aren’t drunk when we serve them,” Wedemeier said. “But people need to be responsible for their own behavior. I can’t make someone not act like a jerk if they’re intent on being a jerk.”
We can (responsibly) drink to that.