By Cobin Szymanski | VIRGINIA
In the midst of the Virginia protests exemplifying the ever increasing divide between Americans, a hot dog stand has received substantial attention. This stand is not any ubiquitous hot dog stand, it is known for its Libertarian beliefs and even has a section on its website labeled propagandizer.
While the divide between Americans political views is becoming profound, an alt-right rally was held in Virginia to protest the removal of a Confederate general’s statue. People congregated at Emancipation Park from all corners of the country to profess their radical dogmas and began to implore counter-protesters to arrive. When the counter-protesters arrived things turned deadly. Heather Heyer 32, was killed when she was struck by the car of an alt-right protester, 19 were also injured. The attack was condemned by the president and received international attention.
While thousands of protesters attended the rally one person, in particular, has received mainstream attention. Cole White was identified at the Virginia university rally by a twitter account named, “Yes you’re racist.” He was pictured holding a tiki torch and his employer was identified in the caption below his picture. Top Dog, Cole White’s employer received numerous inquiries regarding their employing racists at their hot dog stand. They responded in a statement stating,”Effective Saturday 12th August, Cole White no longer works at Top Dog. The actions of those in Charlottesville are not supported by Top Dog. We believe in individual freedom and voluntary association for everyone.”
The Nazism and white supremacy prevalent at the Charlottesville protests is a principle of free speech and free speech and all civil liberties have long been core principles of libertarianism. That said, it has been speculated that Cole White resigned on his own without any pressure from Top Dog. In Top Dogs statement, they stated that the belief in voluntary association and individual freedom is supported by them. This implies that they would have abhorred Cole’s views but respected his right to have them.
While America continues to be divided by political ideologies or doctrines and surrounded in fervent protest, we may begin to question the essence of free speech. However, in the future, we may be able to only speculate the place of white supremacy in America but we will know one thing for certain, in the end, it only takes a hot dog stand to epitomize the liberties we hold dear.
“2016 Platform.” Libertarian Party. Web. 17 Aug. 2017.
Guynn, Jessica. “Top Dog Worker in Berkeley Loses Job after He’s Outed as Charlottesville Protester.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network. Web. 17 Aug. 2017.
Judkis, Maura. “Charlottesville White Nationalist Demonstrator Loses Job at Libertarian Hot Dog Shop.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 14 Aug. 2017. Web. 17 Aug. 2017.