“Whites Only” in Kissimee: Really?

Via Roger Wolsey
on Apr 6, 2010
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white people's diner in Florida?

Let me get this straight.

First, we hear about the people of Fulton, Missippi holding a fake prom for lesbians and special ed. students while the “normal” kids were allowed to attend the regular high school prom.

And now, we learn that the leaders of a town in Florida apparently condoned a “whites only” table at a local eatery!

What century is this? Sounds like some of our fellow Americans didn’t get the memo that we’ve entered the new millennium.

Elephriends, we have work to do!  Let’s each of us get out there and do what we can to transform our world by showering it with compassion, truth, love and justice, starting in the cities and towns that each of us happen to live in.  If it is to be, it is up to we!


For clarity’s sake, it should be said that I may have overstated things about that town’s leader’s condoning what happened.

But, assuming the allegations are true, it does seem clear that the police department downplayed the incident, and at least one police officer seems to have accepted the understanding that that table was indeed set aside for white people only.  The issue is how we humans can come to accept, and therefore be complicit in, the most horrible things.  It baffles me that this happens, but it clearly does.

I may even be guilty of complicity in condoning other kinds of injustice.  You might be too.  The question is: do we dare look into such a mirror?

Roger Wolsey
Roger is an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church and he currently serves as the director of the Wesley Foundation campus ministry at C.U. in Boulder, CO.


About Roger Wolsey

Roger Wolsey is a free-spirited GenX-er who thinks and feels a lot about God and Jesus. He’s a progressive Christian who identifies with people who consider themselves as being “spiritual but not religious.” He came of age during the “Minneapolis sound” era and enjoyed seeing The Replacements, The Jayhawks, Husker Du, The Wallets, Trip Shakespeare, Prince, and Soul Asylum in concert—leading to strong musical influences to his theology. He earned his Masters of Divinity degree at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. Roger is an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church and he currently serves as the director of the Wesley Foundation campus ministry at C.U. in Boulder, CO. He was married for ten years, divorced in 2005 and now co-parents a delightful 10-year old son. Roger loves live music, hosting house concerts, rock-climbing, yoga, centering prayer, trail-running with his dog Kingdom, dancing, camping, riding his motorcycle, blogging, and playing his trumpet in ska bands and music projects. He's recently written a book Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don't like christianity


3 Responses to ““Whites Only” in Kissimee: Really?”

  1. Chap. Justo Gonzalez says:

    Roger, what amazes me is that Kissimme is an area that has a significant number of Latinos. Likewise, this speaks of the ignorance of those who advocate this discrimination. We, Puerto Ricans, are US citizens. So when we are told to go back to where we come from many of us can say, "ok, deport me to Kissimme, my home town." Secondly, discrimination against one of us is an attack on all of us. As a community of the world, we cannot say that "some of us" are acceptable or more acceptable" than others. God's children are God's children. We are called to unite against hate, discrimination, ignorance or intolerance. At the table of encounter, the Chist invites us all. Oh, and Spanish, English and the languages and cultures of the world are welcomed.

  2. Mary C. says:

    I think this is dispicable, but not illegal. Presuming the diner is a private business, I think it has the right to choose it's customers. Though a public entity should be held to an inclusive standard, we allow many businesses to set membership rules. Last time I checked, there are country clubs that have to change their memebrship policies for Tiger Woods to play there. I personally chose to run an inclusive business but it is membership based. You have to be able to pay for training or qualify for a scholarship to train at my center. If I refuse to serve someone based on their inability to pay, am I being intolerant or noninclusive?

    I hope others will choose not to patronize that businesses because of it's policy and that helps the diner owner change the policy.

  3. Greg says:

    Perhaps we have begun to worry too much about policy, rules, law, regulations and too little about the compassionate heart.

    We try to legislate and enforce tolerance but we fail to nurture the tolerant heart.

    Too often we like to pick and choose the group that is to receive tolerance and we forget to create the heart that is tolerant of all people.

    And we fall into the trap of tolerance, which just says I will tolerate you, rather than nurturing love and compassion that goes beyond tolerance to an embrace of the other.

    We tend to chase the Dharma or Christianity or Sufism or Hinduism from our classrooms and then scratch our heads when students do not love each other. How silly are we?