Throughout the contentious presidential campaign and even after the election of Donald Trump, local business owners have been among the many constituents who have made their political positions known.
Many have hung posters supporting their candidate, while some chose a different tact. The Main Street Alliance created posters that read: "Hate has no business here," in solidarity with Muslims, immigrants and refugee populations. One restaurant owner in Hawaii even warned customers at the door with a notice that read, "if you voted for Trump, you can't eat here."
The chef and owner at a Roslindale restaurant called Redd’s in Rozzie is the latest to add his voice.
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In a lengthy blog post on his restaurant’s website, Charlie Redd declared, "This is the year of the resistance,” to the impending Trump presidency.
“Political standoffs have broken our community and driven us to the trenches of battle over our core values and ideals. So be it,” he wrote. “I am ready to wear my tin hat and dive in for the battle, but not until I have exhausted my resources as a guerrilla.”
In a phone interview, Redd said he has ruminated about what he would say for a long time.
In fact, his restaurant’s website includes a “Rants ‘n’ Ruminations” section that Redd uses like a personal blog, alongside tabs detailing the menu and a story about the eatery’s history.
As the blog post went up late Tuesday night, Redd hasn’t had the chance to hear customer reactions in person yet, but he’s not concerned about if or how this will affect his business.
“I don’t think it will affect us one way or another, we’re a restaurant, we cook food. Politics is for politicians,” he said. “But I will stand up for what I believe in. … and hopefully it'll motivate others to stand up for what they believe in.”
Other posts, he said, are less political. They include descriptions of "the different jobs of a chef, the farms we work with, just giving the restaurant a little more personality,” he said. “[Politics] is something that we usually don't interject into my blog, but I felt like it was the right time to do it.”
In the 800-word Trump post, Redd acknowledged that Massachusetts is a bit more “protected from the madness that will be unleashed on our other states,” he wrote. But, he added, “does that give us a reason not to speak up and act? I will fight for the other states and in this state. I will fight for the ones that can’t.”
Redd also posted the message to his restaurant’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, where the responses began rolling in. Many of the Facebook comments were positive, with people thanking Redd for being a part of the Roslindale community and sharing that “We’re with ya all the way.”
Of course, there are the dissenters, too. One of those spurred a conversation with 60 comments going back and forth about political opinions.
“The point was not to make a reaction, but these things tend to make a reaction now, don't they?” Redd said in the phone interview. “It’s just a blog piece that has touched a nerve on a sensitive subject for everybody. It’s sensitive for me as well.”