Jeff Ruby 1, O.J. Simpson zip!

May 10, 2007

One of the more interesting news items locally is that Louisville restaurant owner Jeff Ruby refused to serve O.J. Simpson and entourage prior to the Kentucky Derby last Saturday. Ruby owns several upscale restaurants in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. A customer came up to Ruby and said he was “giddy” about seeing Simpson in the restaurant, Ruby said via the AP. “I didn’t want that experience in my restaurant,” Ruby said. He went to Simpson’s table and told him that he was not going to serve him. Simpson apparently left quietly, but now Simpson’s attorney — surprise! — is pulling out the race card! He says he’s “going to pursue the matter,” and possibly try to get Ruby’s liquor license revoked.

It ain’t gonna happen. Jeff Ruby is too well respected – and yes, connected – but mostly, because it was morally right AND because what he did was within his rights as a business owner.

Ruby has gotten over a hundred emails of support, and a majority of the restaurant stood up and applauded Ruby after Simpson left. Ruby has a bunch of celebrity photos on the walls of his restaurants and once had a picture of him and Simpson, but took the photo down after the killings. In the Associated Press article, Ruby said, “I didn’t want to serve him because of my convictions of what he’s done to those families… The way he continues to torture the lives of those families … with his behavior, attitude and conduct.”

That would have been enough for me to tell Simpson and his attorney to go stuff themselves. But Jeff Ruby is also business owner. He’s a capitalist, the restaurant business is his livelihood, it’s how he makes his money, and as long as no law was broken, it’s within his rights to say who he serves and who he does not.

And no law was broken. This had nothing to do with race, Simpson knows it, his attorney knows it, and most every person across the country knows it. This had to do with a customer’s complaint and a business owner’s decision, AND that owner being sickened by how a disruptive force that caused the customer complaint continues to exploit a horrible miscarriage of justice.

There was something on 20/20 a few months ago about a restaurant owner who told a family with two unruly kids that had disrupted the entire restaurant that they were no longer welcome in his restaurant, and to not to come back. Most people support him, but of course, some people claim he’s violated that family’s rights. Jesus Christ! What right does an disruptive person or persons have to a meal in a restaurant they do not own, when their presence and actions are a detriment to the atmosphere of the restaurant and to the other customers?

Hooray for Jeff Ruby.

And as far as O.J. Simpson’s “rights” are concerned, the only rights he should have anyway is to a change of clothes, a cell, and a toothbrush.

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