C&B Attempt to Unwind the NYC Vaccine Passport Brawl

BUCK: I’m here in New York City, and the reality of the covid policies here is that they’re completely insane. They’re haphazard. There are a lot of people walking around with masks on. And, as I said to Clay, I could walk around and say (sobbing), “Where is your N95 mask? Why don’t you take the virus seriously!”

But the fact that they’re wearing masks outside at all I think is now, for most people, evidence of a nervous or anxiety disorder of some kind. They’ve been so brainwashed by CNN and other sthat they can’t help it. But from the very beginning, Clay and I have been discussing how when you institute a vaccine passport here in New York, you’re going to be disproportionately affecting members of the African-American community, the Latino community in New York City. And that hasn’t stopped it. In fact, if anything, the narrative continues to be that the only people that have a problem with this are, you know, red-staters out by Clay in Tennessee in the Midwest and Texas and Florida.

CLAY: White Trump voters. White Trump voters is the problem.

BUCK: Trump voters. That’s right. The narrative you see from media across the board. So, what happened here in New York? We got a lot of things coming together, and I want to just lay out some of the facts of the case and then turn to Clay for some legal analysis of the situation.

CLAY: I was just watching… Have you seen the video?

BUCK: Yes, yes. Of course.

CLAY: So I was just watching up by watching the video.

BUCK: So there’s video. So we kind of know what happened here.

CLAY: Yeah.

BUCK: So you have a restaurant, well known restaurant the Upper West Side of New York called Carmine’s.

CLAY: Have you been there?

BUCK: A long time ago, yeah. It’s been a while. It’s been years. But I know the place.

CLAY: For people who are not from New York City, this is a famous New York City restaurant.

BUCK: It’s a well-known place.

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: Yeah. It’s a place that people go when they come to New York sometimes. So there’s a restaurant. There are three black women who enter the restaurant. There’s an Asian, I believe Asian-American hostess —

CLAY: Yeah, that’s right.

BUCK: — who seats them after they show their vaccine passports. Then three black men come to join the three black women who have been seated without issue or incident. They showed their vaccine passports; they’re sitting down. Before we get into any of this, I hate that they have to show their vaccine passports.

I disagree that anybody should have to do this, and I share a baseline of frustration with anybody. Clay, we’ll jump on this for one second because we’re about to take this in a very different direction with the BLM protest and everything. But I’m with these individuals insofar as I want to throw things and get angry every time I have to go through one of these vax passport ordeals in New York.

CLAY: We should say, too, the initial way that I saw this story covered, which goes to how narrative dictates media covered today, was, “Three women from Texas got into a fight.” I don’t know if you saw this initial way that it was being reported. It was, “Three women from Texas got into a fight with a hostess at Carmine’s in New York City over a demand that they show their vaccine cards.”

BUCK: Right.

CLAY: That was the way it was covered.

BUCK: That was the initial framing of the story.

CLAY: The framing of the story in most people’s minds was, “Oh, these are three white women? Trump supporters from Texas,” right? That’s the way that I saw it conveyed, like liberal people were sharing this story before more details came out. So now we know three black women from Texas.

BUCK: It got taken in a very different direction very quickly, whereas initially, I think what Clay’s getting to is if it had been three white female Trump supporters, let’s just say, again —

CLAY: Just three white women from Texas.

BUCK: Three white women from Texas.

CLAY: It would have been “Trump supporters refusing!” Yes.

BUCK: Yes. Then the story is, you know, anti-vax lunatics causing a fight, whatever. But because it was actually three black women involved and three black men who came to meet them, the media narrative shifted very quickly — and in fact, here is what happened. We haven’t gotten to the facts. The three men who showed up; two of them did not have vaccine proof.

So they were asked to leave, which happens in restaurants now all across the city day in and day out. They were serious about this. You cannot go into places unless you’re vaccinated. They will enforce it in most places, in Manhattan at least. So two of them aren’t able to stay. The woman, the hostess, says, “You must leave,” to the two men who don’t have vaccine passports.

Well, obviously then the whole group is going to leave ’cause they can’t all eat together, which I also totally understand. But then the three women caused the confrontation that’s on the video, and physically assaulted and actually attacked — assault and battery — the hostess in this restaurant: Pushing her, hitting her, punching her, that kind of stuff.

They were arrested, and then they got a lawyer and afterwards the lawyer said, “Oh, a racial slur was used,” and so it was, quote, “mutual combat” that occurred in this restaurant over the vax passport issue. A lot of things here, but first I would just say: I’m sorry. I think that’s a little too convenient after the fact. I think that is a lie.

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: I think it’s very unfortunate that people now sometimes will throw that out there as a means of trying to evade accountability or responsibility in an incident like this. Because now, as you know, the media narrative is a racist incident, Clay — and, oh, by the way, Black Lives Matter is protesting the restaurant!

CLAY: All of this is perfect, right? So let me just kind of take you through the narrative directions that we have gone, ’cause I do think this is a perfect story for our day. The way that I initially saw this story portrayed was, “Three women from Texas refuse to show their vaccine cards at Carmine’s and attacked the hostess,” and the way that it was being shared…

I saw a bunch of blue checks sharing it with the idea being, “Oh, this is what Trump’s America is like! People don’t want to get vaccinated. They show up in New York. They attack someone who’s asking them for vaccines,” right? Vaccine passports. Then the story comes out, “Oh, these are three black women from Texas.”

And then the additional story of, “Actually, those three women had their vaccine cards.” The men who showed up, two of the three men did not. And then the story becomes, after these women get arrested, oh, there was a racial slur. Now, I don’t know this Asian woman. I watched the video to make sure that I could see the fracas.

It was a fairly substantial fracas surrounding the hostess stand there outside Carmine’s. I’m not an expert, Buck, but it seems highly unlikely to me that if you were working at a popular New York restaurant and you are relatively young, that your first response would be to yell a racial slur at someone over vaccine cards.

BUCK: They are lying.

CLAY: Yeah. That seems unlikely to me. I always hate to say 100%way or the other.

BUCK: They’re 99% lying.

CLAY: It’s highly unlikely to me that this Asian woman did this.

BUCK: Confronted by three women who are physically larger than she is.

CLAY: Physically imposing. There’s no way that a hostess wants to get into a fight with three people simultaneously, right?

BUCK: No matter. Yeah. The woman is diminutive, the hostess here.

CLAY: Right.

BUCK: She’s 24 years old. She wants to keep her job. One thing I can assure you: Every single human being in New York City knows if you use a racial slur against a customer in the establishment, you are definitely fired, and your life might be ruined. So that’s why I find it so odious —

CLAY: So unlikely.

BUCK: I work unlikely, but also odious to make that kind of a false allegation, because now let’s add into this that there’s a protest that has already happened — a BLM protest — outside this restaurant. They’re causing a ruckus. They’re calling the restaurant racist.

CLAY: Is this going on today?

BUCK: It’s already happened. This has already occurred.

CLAY: It’s a multiday protest, I guess is what I’m seeing.

BUCK: They already had one protest. Maybe they had more than one day. I haven’t seen the day’s coverage from this afternoon yet, but they are calling the restaurant racist. So I’m just wondering. People of color, for example, who may work, say, in the kitchen and are trying to pay their bills, feed their families, working hard.

So now the revenue for the restaurant goes down; people don’t show up. These kinds of things are… Again, assuming it’s a lie — and I am assuming that the allegation of racism here is a lie. I’m sorry. I don’t buy it. There are consequences to that. This is not consequence free.

CLAY: I also think this is significant. Even if she used a racial slur, it doesn’t give three people the right to beat her ass. Right?

BUCK: Correct.

CLAY: We have created this world where we make a big, logical leap from words to actions. Look, I wish no one ever used racial slurs. I wish no one ever used hateful language. I wish no one ever said anything bad to someone else, right? But just because you are insulted or just because someone says something offensive to you, doesn’t give you the right to attack them without any further provocation, right? There is a difference between words and actions. This kind of goes to what I was talking about, Buck.

BUCK: Words and violence, really. This is violence is what we’re talking about here.

CLAY: But we’re talking about an action. There’s a difference between a physical action and words. This kind of goes to our allowing of Twitter and social media to take over. Like, the Biden administration’s harshly worded letter to the Taliban, right?

That’s a Twitter-directed response, right, where you pay much attention to words as you do to acts of physical violence. So even if this 24-year-old, you said, Asian hostess actually said something that was offensive, it doesn’t give the right for three women to attack her at her hostess stand on the sidewalk.

BUCK: They committed a crime.

CLAY: Yeah.

BUCK: Now, in addition to… But, see, this is why I sympathize with the frustration that those three women had.

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: I absolutely sympathize with the frustration.

CLAY: I got it.

BUCK: It should not be directed — and this is why the lack of accountability for the covid madness is so just enraging for all of us. It is not the hostess’s fault that her management fears massive fines from the city government of New York, so it’s not her fault.

CLAY: It’s not her choice in any way.

BUCK: And you cannot attack her because you are frustrated. That said, this is how society is being turned —

CLAY: We are breaking apart.

BUCK: — against each other on stuff that simply should never happen because they never should have had this rule in the first place. But it is also troubling that yet again, now, this woman… Who knows? This could have long-term implications for her reputation. Even false accusations of racism can often linger, Clay, when they get online.

CLAY: Oh, there’s no doubt.

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