Andy Ternay and his partner walked into the First Watch café in Richardson, Texas, and ordered food. However, the restaurant manager approached them and asked them to leave due to Ternay’s offensive t-shirt. The front of Ternay’s shirt read “FU*K TRUMP AND FUCK YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM,” while the back read “FU*K THE RACIST ALT-RIGHT.”
The manager claimed that other customers were distressed by Ternay’s shirt, and the situation escalated after they had been served drinks and made their orders. A cook eventually asked them to leave. Ternay took to Facebook to narrate the incident and received compliments from people of color on his shirt. He wore the shirt to let others know where he stood politically and to help lift people of color, Muslims, and immigrants.
After leaving the restaurant, Ternay encountered a police officer who confirmed that she was there because of the shirt. Ternay cited Cohen v. California, 1971, in which the Supreme Court upheld the right to wear a t-shirt saying “FU*K THE DRAFT.”
The restaurant’s corporate offices released a statement saying that they asked Ternay to leave because of complaints from customers and families with young children who were uncomfortable with the obscenities on his shirt. They denied that the incident had anything to do with political statements or the color of people’s skin.
Despite the incident, Ternay did not condemn the restaurant and did not plan to boycott it. His Facebook post went viral, with over 42k shares. He received heartbreaking messages from African Americans who had lost faith in their white neighbors, but Ternay’s shirt was a reassurance to them that they were not alone.