Let them eat cake. But not one with a Trump logo on it.
I’ll confess I didn’t see this one coming. A 17 year old from Louisiana who is excited about voting in her first election and happens to be supporting Donald Trump got an unexpected surprise while preparing for her birthday party. Going to the local baker, she was met with rejection when she asked for a cake with the candidate’s logo on it. (Fox 8 News)
A Facebook post shared by a Bossier Parish teen is getting a lot of attention.
It reads, “Just left Albertsons. The woman behind the cake counter just refused to make me a birthday cake because I wanted Trump 2016 on it. Did that really just happen.”…
“We just need an American flag cake with Trump 2016 on it, and right when I said Trump the lady just (makes face) kinda Trump? And she was like I can make you a flag cake but I’m not going to write Trump on it,” explained Gill.
Gill says they decided to take their order elsewhere, and notified store officials.
“It’s your job, we’re not really going for your opinion on what you think of the candidates we were just wanting Trump 2016 on the cake.”
This one isn’t going to wind up in court (hopefully) because the situation seems to have resolved itself. The store already issued an apology, blaming the refusal on a case of an employee who, “misunderstood the training provided regarding copyrighted phrases.” They also went on to say that if the customer returns they would be happy to provide the cake requested. There’s not much more they could do at this point, so the whole thing may be allowed to drop.
But it does raise a couple of interesting questions. What if they hadn’t backed down? We’ve seen plenty of court cases involving wedding cakes for gay marriage ceremonies and the courts seem to be holding that neither the rights of free speech or religious freedom apply and protect the baker. If the customer is asking for something which any customer should be able to purchase, the business owner has no right to refuse under the law in the era of the Social Justice Warrior. Isn’t that the rule? Then how could anyone refuse to prepare a Trump cake?
Also, it’s more than a little curious how they chose to invoke a misunderstanding of copyright laws here. Remember when CNN Headline News blurred out the Trump logo on an interview subject’s shirt? That’s the same excuse which popped up then. Our byzantine copyright laws can clearly get people into trouble in unexpected circumstances, but we’re talking about a political campaign here. On a couple of levels this is a ridiculous dodge. First of all, we’re not talking about somebody abusing the Coke logo or some Lord of the Rings images to boost their sales. It’s a political campaign which would no doubt love to see people supporting them in that way. The risk of prosecution is essentially zero. And beyond that, political symbols are treated very differently than corporate logos and other copyrighted material. Whether the girl was supporting or opposing Trump, the cake could readily be defined as either support for the candidate or satire in an attempt to lampoon and oppose him. Shutting down that sort of speech wouldn’t make it far in court.
My guess – particularly when you take the description of the employee’s reaction into account – is that the family ran into a liberal at the store who really hates Trump and refused to decorate the cake as the customer wished. Once the news broke out, the store needed to cover their tracks quickly to avoid a lawsuit, so they went with the lack of training excuse. None of this addresses the question of whether or not a private business should be able to refuse service when they wish (and they should), but under the current rules of engagement it seems like they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if they held the line and refused to deliver the cake.