Media

Gay Person + Cake = News, Even If It's a Hoax

A likely fake incident becomes yet another culture war contretemps.

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Cake
Source: Austin Kaplan, Jordan Brown's attorney

When the initial reporting hit the internet that a pastor in Austin, Texas, was suing over a baker at Whole Foods writing the word "FAG" on top of a cake he ordered, I immediately thought "hoax," and then attempted to move on. The whole thing just set off so many alarm bells. Why would that happen, at a Whole Foods no less? Why would a baker risk getting fired just to insult a customer like that? Why was the pastor holding a press conference?

Sadly, in the past decade or so there have been quite a few attempts to stage anti-gay incidents. Some have been more elaborate and much more disturbing than this cake case. Take, for example, the case of Nebraska woman Charlie Rogers, who in 2012 staged what appeared to be an anti-gay home invasion attack, where she claimed three men broke into her house, assaulted her, and carved anti-gay slurs into her body. The wounds turned out to be self-inflicted, and eventually she was charged by police with filing a false report and pleaded no contest in 2013.

That was another case where the elements that made the story the most newsworthy were also ones that should have inspired skepticism: Gay bashings are generally not so meticulously planned out—how did the attackers know who she was, where she lived, and that she was gay?

So it was a bit of a surprise to see the cake story blow up in the news the way it has. Whole Foods is calling Pastor Jordon Brown's bluff, releasing surveillance footage from the store to show that Jordan, despite claiming otherwise, has tampered with the box and insisting their bakers did not write the offensive word on his cake in icing. They're also countersuing him and his lawyer.

While the Rogers case from 2012 did get national coverage, this much less serious cake complaint has become a temporary national spectacle. It seems counterintuitive, but look at how much our media and social culture in just four years has started revolving around a cycle of outrage and conduct call-outs. Just yesterday Matt Welch took note that a major daily newspaper passed along claims with very little evidence that a baseball fans in St. Louis yelled racial epithets at a black player—so little evidence that's it's likely not true.

This manifestation of culture war fighting ends up ruining people's lives. If Whole Foods didn't have surveillance footage, what might have happened to that baker accused of writing a slur on Brown's cake? And that's just small potatoes compared to what's happening on college campuses. As Robby Soave has been reporting for Reason, we've entered an environment where accusations of sexual misconduct carry the same weight of actual evidence, and it is harming people's educational opportunities and their futures.

When a significant chunk of people embrace the idea that they are victims within a culture, this is not just an abstraction. Eventually cries of vague systemic mistreatment must ultimately lead to actual examples of identifiable people causing harm to others. There can't be a victim without an oppressor, at least not in the long term. That's what makes these fraud cases worth worrying about for libertarians, even those who feel as though they have no stake in the current left-right culture war oppression Olympics. Brown and Rogers made claims that could be potentially tracked down to identifiable people. Imagine if suspects had been arrested in that home invasion case. She could have ended up sending people to prison if police forensics hadn't discovered her fraud. College students are being denied their full defenses against accusations of criminal behavior by college administrators and getting kicked out.

Furthermore, it overrules any serious discussion over the extent that actual harms or victimization is taking place. There is so much focus on hyperbole in order to get attention that it's simply not possible to treat any data as credible. Accusations are treated as sacred truths. Fraudulent occurrences are used to indict entire movements. It's hard to actually evaluate the actual nature of risk, the extent that government intervention is necessary (or whether it's needed at all), and other rational responses to these cultural concerns because it gets in the way of the "us vs. them" scenario. Pointing out that there's no widespread conspiracy to deny gay couples wedding services that would make government intervention necessary is countered by memes about lunchroom counters from the civil rights era. Pointing out that rape suspects have the same right as every other crime suspect to be considered innocent until proven guilty is treated as an attack on the victim's integrity. Pointing out that there's very little verifiable evidence that men want to find reasons to get away with sneaking into women's restrooms for malicious purposes doesn't stop any fear-driven advertisements insisting the opposite.

And so, under these circumstances, a claim that somebody wrote the word "fag" on a cake is going to become national news. It hits everything about the current zeitgeist: the call-out component of the pastor actually holding a press conference about the incident; the current fight over what comes next for the gay, lesbian and transgender citizenry now that marriage recognition is settled; the outrage over the use of a forbidden word; the fact that many people simply believed what Brown claimed despite it seeming pretty unlikely; and even the fact that a cake was involved. That this incident doesn't actually help resolve any cultural conflict in any way, shape, or form is not relevant. It might even be the point.

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  1. No one wins

    1. The case made me hungry for cake, which I suspect Whole Foods and the gay pastor colluded to make happen.

      1. C’mon Scott! Without the commas, it indicates the prize that was won!

        /Referencing alt-text

      2. You know who else wanted cake?

        1. John McCrea?

        2. Saddam?

        3. The French?

        4. That band from Sacramento?

        5. All of them?

        6. They all want cake?

            1. These masturbation euphemisms etc etc.

          1. French Peasants?

        7. Joe? American Socialist? Shriek?

          1. Good Lord….thanks for that, X!

        8. The retarded?

        9. The retarded?

        10. Me! I want cake! And ice cream!

      3. At least it resulted in quality alt-text!

        1. FA’G?

          1. Do you even comma, brah?

            1. An anagram of “love wins, fag” is “ow, evil fangs”. Think about it.

            2. Apparently no,t

        2. Shackford consistently wins at alt-texting.

  2. This frosting doesn’t taste pro gay enough for me.

    1. How do you go pro gay? Do you have to spend years working your way up through the minors, or do they recruit from high schools?

        1. I knew some guys who were on an intervarsity gay team in college, but i never went to any games.

          1. Sounds like a club sport.

        2. That sounds gay enough. *Closes window and and sips a piping hot appletini*

      1. No, you have to be at least one year out of high school before you’re eligible for the draft.

      2. Is working your way up through the minors a euphemism? I can’t tell anymore.

        1. What difference, at this point, does it make?

        2. You’ll be fine, Indy. Just start wearing a bright pink hanky in your right pocket and everything will come together for you.

          1. Go with the red hanky in the right back pocket.

      3. It takes a while to narrow down the field…

      4. Use a go pro?

  3. I don’t understand why this story matters–even if it is true.

    If some guy wrote “fag” on a minister’s birthday cake, so what?

    What conclusions are we supposed to draw from that?

    That the world isn’t a safe space for Christians either? Didn’t we already know that?

    1. Because it’s a HATE CRIME!!1!

    2. Waaaaaaaah! Waaaaaaah!

      I went to Whole Foods and some guy wrote “fag” on my birthday cake!

      Waaaaaaaah!

      So fucking what?

      Jesus went to Jerusalem for Passover, and they crucified him.

      1. It’s almost as if you recently emerged from a coma, Ken. There are innumerable things now that are supposed to gravely concern us these days that would have been either laughed at or shrugged off as little as a decade ago.

        1. A decade ago? 45 days ago we all knew which bathrooms to use without mass hysteria. Nowadays, fuck no, It’s the greatest moral crusade of our history. Until next month.

        2. If we’re gonna go after the cry baby Millennials on campus for trying to turn the world into a safe space for LGBTQI LMNOP, then we gotta go after the bible thumpers, too, when they do the same thing.

          Maybe it’s my upbringing. My grandfather was a minister. He grew up in China during the time of the last emperor and the warlords–before the Chinese invaded. His father was a missionary to China. Traveled all over the place.

          This “minister” sounds like such a cry baby sissy, it makes me sick..

          “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake”.

          —-Matthew 5:11 KJV, Sermon on the Mount

          *mike drop*

          The whole damn religion is supposed to be about good people being treated like shit–starting with Jesus himself. Ministers whining about being mistreated for being Christians is like going swimming and whining about getting wet. Paul was boiled in oil by the government for preaching Christianity. This guy should stop making Christians look like a bunch of cry babies.

          1. “. . . before the Chinese [Japanese] invaded”.

            Fixed!

            You knew that.

          2. Dunno what kind of pastor he is… his pics say “tatted-up douchebag” to me.

            1. “Church of Open Doors”

              Pastor Jordan Brown is the founder and lead pastor of Church Of Open Doors, located in Austin, TX

              The church is “a non-denominational, Christian-based church that stands as a safe place welcoming all. His ministry focuses on creating an atmosphere where the members of his congregation can have the freedom to be themselves and experience God in their own way,” according to the press release from his attorney.

              CON ARTIST, would be my guess.

              1. Welp, that confirms exactly what I thought about the guy. Anyone can pretty much call themselves a ‘pastor’ and in the ‘African American’ community it’s not so unusual for their pastor to have no formal training or affiliation. (I.E. they have a job because they opened a church instead of a business. I know which one is forced to pay taxes though!)

          3. Your alphabet soup above excluded the Twinspirits and Genderfucks. Bigot.

          4. He’s not a bible thumper.

            Brown, the pastor at the Church of Open Doors on E. Riverside Drive, said on April 14 he went to pick up a cake at the store for one of his congregation members.

            He requested “Love Wins” on a blank, pre-frosted cake in the display case, Brown said

            Turns out SJWs do come in cleric class, after all.

      2. Don’t you know that getting your feelwings hurted today is worse than crucifixion! Rat fucking bagger!

    3. I’m just happy to see this picture without the “Fag” blurred out like it was on MSN.

  4. My kid’s elementary school’s bake sale had better looking cakes than that. Just sayin’.

    The slurs written on them were funnier, too.

    1. They still let you have those? Surprised FLOTUS hasn’t shut that down.

      1. She was busy getting her forehead waxed that week.

  5. In recent years, have ANY of these supposed “hate crimes” that get on the news turned out to be real? At this point, I just assumed they’re all hoaxes.

    This one was just particularly poorly executed – first of all, Whole Foods? Is there a grocery store less likely to harbor a gay-hating baker? And did he actually expect anyone to believe that he didn’t notice the large FAG written right in the middle of the cake through the plastic until he got home?

    1. In Austin, too! He picked the least likely place in the country for this to happen.

    2. Some progs target WF because it has virtually no union shops.

    3. The reality is that there is so little actual overt racism/sexism/whateverism in present-day America, that they have to fake it to maintain their victim cred. I just assume any incident is likely either a hoax or greatly overblown unless there is defnitive proof otherwise.

      1. Absolutely, most Americans are pretty tolerant, at least until self righteous elected officials, academics, the Twitter mob, SJWs, etc., start lecturing them about how they retrograde they are for not embracing whatever victim-fad is trendy this week.

        Actual incidents like this are usually manufactured by some noble warrior trying to prove a point that just doesn’t actually fit with reality.

    4. False but accurate?

  6. A likely fake incident

    Seeing as its on video, I don’t think there’s any “likely” about it.

    And, again, just the way this came up was sprouting red flags all over. Whole Foods? Yeah, right. Running a video of unpackaging the cake? Who does that? The obvious, even in the screen shot above, mismatch between “Fag” and “Love Wins”.

    It was “likely fake” when it first hit the web. Its “fake” now that we have video proving it.

    1. Whole Foods does seem to have taken the “den of iniquity” title away from Starbucks recently.

      I’m guessing it’s because Starbucks isn’t just for yuppies anymore, there are still relatively fewer Whole Foods around, and the ones there are tend to be in the nicer parts of town.

      Somehow if a lumberjack hipster working at Whole Foods has become the new Beast of Revelation 13.

      “Woe to you on earth and sea, for the devil [lumberjack hipster] knows that his time is short”.

      1. Which makes it hilarious that my ultra-Republican mother used to work at one, and still won’t buy seafood at any other store. It’s like discovering that Richard Simmons buys a lot of shit at Bass Pro Shop.

        1. like discovering that Richard Simmons buys a lot of shit at Bass Pro Shop

          OK, that made me laugh.

      2. The punchline, of course, is that the actual baker who did that cake is gay and an active member of the gay community.

        Oopsie.

          1. It’s called “taking it back”. See: the N word.

            1. Niggardly?

              1. Nattering Nabobs of Negativity?

                /Agnew

                1. Ah, Spiro Agnew. The only vice-president I can think of who’s name is an anagram of “Grow a penis.”

          2. It depends on how you use it, too.

            In some ways, it’s taken the place of “freak” as in, “I’m a freak for ice cream” or “He’s a fag for the Redskins”. In the old, pre-interwebs hacker days, “phreaks” were phone freaks that way.

            I.e., it can mean enthusiast, as if you’re such a big fan of something, you’ve come out of the closet to identify with it, and now you can let your freak flag fly.

            We’ve seen it used here in this forum that way. “Christ-fag”, for instance.

            “Ron Paul fags” used to be a big one but “Paultard” rolls better off the keyboard and it can apply to either one of them.

            I’m tempted to want to rehabilitate these terms in the face of assaults on our freedom of speech. I’m as against the government discriminating against people for race, color, creed, religion, or sexual orientation as the next libertarian, but if they’re going to use my choice to use sensitive language as an excuse to go after other people’s freedom of speech, then I may become morally compelled to start using insensitive language in casual conversation. It may be the only way we can push back.

            1. “He’s a fag for the Redskins”

              I’ve never heard this usage. Huh. “Christ-fag”, sure – but I pictured a different etymology.

              1. I read “Christ-fag” like “Jesus Freak”.

                “Jesus Freak” has changed meanings so fully, it’s gone back to its original meaning in a way.

                There was a messianic hippie movement, and people called them Jesus Freaks. Imagine “Jesus Christ Superstar” but in real life. The Beatles “Come Together” was about a Jesus Freak like that. It’s this kind of vibe:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cXrEPNvRO8

                Charlie Manson was tapping into that. It was a counter culture thing. There’s still a big Jesus Freak contingent in the Rainbow Family. It’s a holdover.

                For a while it became pejorative, but nowadays, evangelical kids will call themselves “Jesus Freaks”. As in they’re freaks for Jesus like I’m a freak for motorcycles.

                “Christ Fag” means what Jesus Freak used to when Jesus Freak was a pejorative. I mean, Christians aren’t going to refer to themselves as “Christ Fags”. Call me a queer for the Redskins, though, and I won’t get too offended. Supposed to smile when you say it, though.

                1. Cuckoo for cocoa puffs?

    1. The cake is always a lie.

      1. But in the end, there was cake.

        If there hadn’t been any cake, then it wouldn’t have been science.

        1. Sounds like it is settled now Ken…

    2. +1 Thinking with Portals

  7. Was it a buttercream frosting?

    1. That euphemism is entirely appropriate.

    2. There is a butsechs joke in here, somewhere, but I’m not brave enough to look for it.

      1. Something about looking for Santorum’s position on this? I don’t know, i didn’t get much sleep last night.

  8. Silly Rabbi Minister, cakes are for fags!

  9. Okay, can we talk about incomplete reporting for a minute? This story has too many holes for me to make a judgment. Was it a yellow cake or chocolate? How moist was it? It better not have been white cake because that’s just gross. God made eggs with yolks for a reason.

    1. I’m thinking white cake with chocolate frosting in the middle.

    2. How moist was it?

      Um……

    3. Stop using the “m” word, Fisty. It’s like being raped all over again.

    4. YELLOW CAKE? YELLOW CAKE? Who are you, Hans Blix all of a sudden?

      1. da bomb!

  10. Well it is a hoax. When this orignally started circulation on the web, there were some people who are professional bakers and cake makers saying that it’s fake because the ‘fag’ on the cake does not match the other icing and quite obviously was not done by the same person with the same icing. Even most of the SJWs were not buying it.

    1. Man, this this “fag” tastes exactly like chalk!

    2. Well there’s also the issue of keeping your hoaxes believable.

      I have been to that Whole Foods in Austin. If you told me that the the KKK marched down Castro St in SF, while doing cartwheels and setting off fireworks without anybody noticing, I’d have an easier time believing that story.

    3. Even most of the SJWs were not buying it.

      The impression I get is that they need to keep their powder dry for Hoaxes which have better media-traction, and less-clearly-debunking-footage.

    4. They weren’t buying it because they weren’t awake yet by the time the debunk came out. You need a surprisingly free schedule and a lot of sleep to be a true SJW. That’s also why they need so much of your stuff, if you were wondering. There’s just so much injustice, you see, that they don’t have time for anything except that. Plus, jobs are icky and stuff.

  11. I wish we could return to the old days when the going hoax was a syringe in your soda.

    1. Or pubes on a Coke can.

      *reminisces wistfully*

    2. or a mouse in a bottle of Elsinore beer

      1. Yeah. OK, well, uh, we found, uh, this mouse in a bottle of YOUR BEER, eh. Like, we was at a party and, uh, a friend of ours – a COP – had some, and HE PUKED. And he said, uh, come here and get free beer or, uh, he’ll press charges.

        1. “It’s Mausbr?u, complain when there isn’t a mouse in it”.

        2. Canadian for culture.

      2. My brother drank it and HE’S A COP!

        1. So, definitely a hoax, then.

  12. If you don’t have eggs you can make a cake with mayonnaise…just sayin’

    1. My father made a cake with powdered toothpaste once– used as a leavening agent.

        1. Prison camp is the mother of invention.

          1. POW or like, “Cool Hand Luke” prison camp?

          2. +1 toilet wine

  13. I continue to vote shaq for “Best Reason Writer”, for being able to write about subjects like this without going “Full Robby” (layering so many caveats and qualifications that it reduces everything to rhetorical jello) or echoing the Nick-Shtick (trying to claim everything as evidence of a Libertarian Moment, injecting lots of irrelevant pop-culture references in desperate attempt to appeal to millenial yoots).

    Shacks is teh goldilocks. The porridge is just right.

    1. “Although there are undoubtedly multitudes of hateful, bigoted bakers who I detest……”

    2. “injecting lots of irrelevant pop-culture references in desperate attempt to appeal to millenial yoots”

      Or using random leet speak like when Nick will say ‘cereally’ without a hint of irony

    3. Fair point, G. I would say the porridge is a little on the cool side, but there’s not the same genuflecting to the proggy shibboleths.

    4. I vote Shack as best (New) Reason Writer.

    5. His alt-text game is the best, too. He can even pull off meta-alt-text.

  14. So this ‘pastor’ wrote fag on a cake he bought from Wholefoods and then proceeded to lie about it and stir up some shit on the intertoobz. For what reason? Is there some righteous and saintly reason why he would do that? What was the lesson to be learned by his flock? WTF church was this guy a pastor of, the church of fucking liesology?

    1. When moral outrage is modern currency, you do all you can to gin up some shekels.

    2. WTF church was this guy a pastor of, the church of fucking liesology?

      No, I don’t think he was a scientologist.

      1. He DID resort to a lawsuit pretty much immediately though… so maybe…

    3. I wondered at that too. I’d have really expected something more akin to that most ‘N’ of words but maybe this guy is also gay? Of those two things, I know which one is most readily noticed from a distance: his sexuality. 0.o

    4. He was teaching a lesson about one of the Ten Commandments… You know, the one that goes, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

      He made his point by violating that very same commandment to demonstrate just how destructive that can be to social relations and trust within societies.

      I hate to think how he preaches to his congregation about the adultery commandment… or if he ever decides to tackle “Thou shalt not kill” during one his sermons.

  15. Sadly, in the past decade or so there have been quite a few attempts to stage anti-gay incidents

    Speaking of which… I think it was flagged here @ H&R way back, but what ever happened to that guy who wrote the piece claiming the entire Matthew Shepard gay-bashing narrative was fabricated?

    (i think it was published at The Blade or some similar pub, and caused quite a stir… but don’t recall if there was any wider fallout or follow up, or whether he was debunked or confirmed…)

    Its been a long time since i read it, but the gist seemed to be that a) one (or both?) of the murderers were actually people he’d been in relationships with, and b) the dispute was over drugs/money and was not a consequence of the perps being angry about being propositioned… etc.

    anyway, i’m not surprised that the broader media ignored it after the initial coverage. It had roughly the same popular appeal as Sy Hersh’s claim that OBL was being held covertly by the Pakistanis and was basically ‘shot in his prison’

    1. Stephen Jimenez. He wrote an entire book about it, The Book of Matt. You got the basics right – he says Shepherd was a meth dealer, the murder was over the killer thinking that Shepherd had ripped him off and thus he was going to steal drugs from him, and that the two of them had hooked up a few times.

      According to Wikipedia (yeah, yeah) the cop in charge of the investigation said it was bogus, while the prosecutor, responding cop, and an old boyfriend of Shepherd’s said it was true.

    2. Stephen Jimenez got a interview at NPR (which looks pretty sympathetic) but leftists are saying he manipulated quotes from interviews to change it from propaganda purposes.

      1. thanks, i’m going to give that a refresh.

      2. MARTIN: As a gay man, did you have any concerns that your reporting, that digging into this issue, would somehow diminish the power that the Shepard story had; and what it has meant for gay rights in this country?

        JIMENEZ: Actually – certainly, along the way I’ve had those thoughts a number of times. But the stronger impulse, Rachel, was to tell the truth as I discovered it. It felt more important to me to really look at these truths, and to provoke a conversation around them.

        1. Fuck the truth. Since when does that matter at all?

    1. OMG I Went to Buy a New Car And You Wont Believe What Happened!?

  16. This is so motherfucking ridiculous. If a real cake maker was out there doing this homophobic garbage, how many customers would he or she have? The free market would support this? I don’t think so and no one I know would. It’s another attempt at putting another check mark in the “anyone who disagrees with the massive theft I advocate” is a homophobic fascist.

    1. Hmm…

      *daydreams about opening a cake shop that makes insult cakes*

      1. Stop that or I’ll invoke the Interdreamstate commerce clause.

      2. “Sparky the Insult Baker”

        Could be on to somehting….

      3. There’s a whole restaurant chain with that very idea in mind. The servers insult you. Never had much interest in that, but I could absolutely see myself buying a few FYTW cakes!

  17. A black, gay minister sues a somewhat free market friendly corporation because of a racial slur on his cake.

    Of course it’s a hoax.

    *adjusts tinfoil hat*

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it’s more than just a hoax. It checks so many of the right boxes that I wouldn’t be surprised to find out this whole thing was orchestrated to try and convince any number of groups to join the progressive side, groups that are typically considered to be the ones targeting any one of the litany of special interests highlighted by the person who perpetrated the hoax.

    1. “A black, gay minister sues a somewhat free market friendly corporation because of a racial slur on his cake.”

      It was a Whole Foods in Austin, Texas, so the evidence it was a hoax would be the fact that there is no possibility a homophobe would be working at an Austin Whole Foods.

      1. From one of the linked articles above:

        Whole Foods reiterated their support for the bakery team member, who “is part of the LGBTQ community.”

        It would have to have been the actual guy who decorated the cake who was an anti-gay bigot. And he’s actually gay himself.

        1. Maybe this was a ham-handed attempt at making a pass?

          Like dipping a girls pig-tail in your ink-well because you like her?

      2. “It was a Whole Foods in Austin, Texas, so the evidence it was a hoax would be the fact that there is no possibility a homophobe would be working at an Austin Whole Foods.”

        Not just that, but according to Whole Foods, the baker is queer.

        1. I think you guys are missing the point: everyone that works at Whole Foods in Austin is part of the LGBTQRSTUV movement. If they part-time at Kirby Lane they’re double secret gay.

          If there’s a homophobe in that city, they must be the single most oblivious person on the planet or a glutton for punishment.

    2. Correction, not a racial slur, a homophobic one.

    3. You said that with more eloquence that I did. But I’m a drunk, so don’t get all chuffed.

      1. I’ll take a compliment where I can.

        Thanks!

  18. Even if it was real, why would a grownup try to make it into a national case? If a cake I purchased failed to meet my expectations in any way, I would take it back and demand the issue be fixed. In an especially egregious case I might rip the manager a new asshole. But a lawsuit? Christ on a crutch, whatever for? That would be an outright admission that I can’t take care of myself.

    1. If this were true his feelings would have been hurt though

    2. Well yes, but you don’t get any SJW street cred by acting like a reasonable adult. You need to go around suing all your opressers. And if you aren’t being oppressed enough, then you need to go out there and make some shit up to prove how oppressed you are.

    3. Why do grownups sue when someone declines to make a cake for their wedding, or do the flowers? What mature, well-adjusted adult decides that, rather than rolling their eyes and gladly giving their money to someone who wants their business, they’re going to sue instead?

      1. It’s like you aren’t even listening to what I said about the feelings

        1. I started to reply, had to answer the phone, and came back later to finish it, so I didn’t see your comment.

        2. Nobody has to listen to you Irish, because racist.

          /sarc

      2. Especially the food-prep people. Why would you want to compel someone who finds you repulsive to cater anything?

    4. Because he is starving for attention?

  19. IF it is news when a cake maker refuses a gay customer, why isn’t it also news when someone tries to fake such an incident? Just because it is embarrassing to the sacred gays, doesn’t mean it isn’t newsworthy. Does Scott think Whole Foods shouldn’t defend itself from this slander by making sure it is in the news and its customers know it isn’t true? Once the story got out, the media has a moral obligation to Whole Foods to make sure the fact that it was fake is publicized.

    If you don’t want the faked examples being a big deal, don’t it such a big deal when a real example happens.

  20. There is more than a legal issue about gays and public accommodation here. This is a slander and reputation issue. Whole Foods could lose business and money if this became some urban legend that a significant number of people believed. So, whether you like it or not, Whole Foods has every reason and right to make it a big deal and get it in the news. If they don’t, they run the risk of people only hearing the allegation and never knowing that it was false.

  21. Without the inclusion of “FAG”, the positioning of “LOVE WINS” on the cake makes very little sense.
    Presumably, the text and location would have been specified by the purchaser when he ordered the cake.
    Why not straight (ahem) across the middle?

    … unless the purchaser wanted to leave room for his own “special message”?

  22. In the press conference, Pastor Brown gets all emotional and choked up, and a bunch of people reach out to comfort him. Even if the hate cake was real, grow the fuck up.

    People sure are in need of attention these days.

  23. Sorry, but I just don’t believe the video that Whole Foods released. There’s no way the pastor went through the checkout like that; he would have used the back door.

  24. Pastor Brown is a Friggin Awesome Guy! ’nuff said.

    Seriously, that would be my defense as a baker.
    “No, sir. That’s not a slur — it’s an acronym, you dumb homophobe. So — Go Away, You!!”

  25. the best part, in the statement from whole foods:

    “We stand behind our bakery team member, who is part of the LGBTQ community,”

    what are the odds… that while trying to fake a prejudiced baker… you actually land on one that happens to also be gay.

    1. A gay baker at an Austin Whole Foods? Probably about 75%. There’s a reason most people called BS on this right off the bat.

      1. ah…. didn’t know that about Austin. makes it even dumber.

  26. if it weren’t for fake hate crimes, there’d be no hate crimes at all

  27. One thing that’s quite clear is that “pastor” Brown doesn’t get his theology from the Bible, given that he made the deliberate decision to falsely accuse Whole Foods of slurring him just for the sake of his Cause I hope they maintain their suit and ruin him totally. A few such results might do something to get rid of the fake victimization game.

  28. Narratives matter, truth doesn’t.

  29. But it’s problematic. Or systemic. Or ummm?? Bernie 2016!

  30. politics is such a lagging indicator you gotta figure every program is gonna go on for like a decade (at least) after it starts upsetting people.

  31. Everyone’s missing the point. This COULD have been true. Therefore, this gay man is brave and raising awareness to such an important issue. We need to pass more laws to make sure such an incident couldn’t ever happen. Make homophobia illegal! [/sjw]

  32. Reminds me of the college kid who tried to pull of a racism hoax. He claimed that he felt the urgent need to call attention to all the racism on campus. However, there were no specimens to work with, so he had to manufacture some.

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  34. I cannot imagine how very difficult life is for those people who have invested their whole lifestyle and persona on the idea that they are being constantly discriminated against, then they go out into what turns out to be a polite and egalitarian society. There are only three possible responses for such a person in a world where nobody wants to lynch or assault them, and where people try to be sensitive in their language and interactions. First, they could celebrate the changes to society and move on with their life. Second, they could become hyper focused on ever more trivial offenses, and maintain the same level of outrage. Or third, they can create the drama they crave for themselves, by faking incidents like this one. For people who make a living off of racism, sexism, or other types of discrimination, the first solution is not possible because it makes them superfluous. The second solution eventually ends up with them becoming a parody of the movements the wish to emulate, and a source of ridicule. So we get lots of fake hate graffiti, false Klan sightings, and cakegate.
    Not that there isn’t plenty of real injustice in the world. But in some places, like Austin, there is just not enough hate to support the high victim population. Maybe they could hire some people to live and act as throwback bigots. Kind of a living history thing.

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