A Rhode Island restaurant has stopped selling T-shirts advocating for Donald Trump’s impeachment after the owner started getting threats, as well as catching the attention of a U.S. Senator from the state.
As WCBV-TV (Boston) reports, Wendy Carr, owner of Amigos Mexican Restaurant in Westerly, Rhode Island, until recently sold T-shirts bearing a simple message: “86 45.” For those who don’t get it, “86” is old-time diner slang meaning to get rid of or replace an order (“86 those fries!”), and “45” refers to Donald Trump being the 45th president.
In other words, “86 45” means “get rid of Donald Trump.”
To Carr, it simply meant advocating for the impeachment of the 45th president, according to the Westerly Sun. She says that she printed and sold the shirts to raise money for political candidates she supported, and that her employees at Amigos wore the shirts on Election Day — voluntarily, she notes.
“It’s restaurant language … in this case it means impeach.”
And in fact, says Carr, the shirt is not exactly new or ground-breaking — similar shirts have been around for years, and can be purchased via retailers such as Amazon.
And while she found some support in patrons, employees, and townsfolk for her stance on Trump, others were not so impressed.
Carr admits that some Trump supporters took offense to the shirt, but were nevertheless respectful in discussing their difference of opinion with her. Some had even promised to boycott the restaurant, but changed their minds after talking with her, she says.
“There were a lot of people with different values. I think we came to understand each other. We disagreed in a respectful way.”
Unfortunately for Carr, others weren’t so respectful. She says that she began getting unspecified threats from “all over the country” once news of the shirts broke.
Also taking exception to the shirts was Rhode Island’s Republican U.S. Senator Elaine Morgan. She didn’t take Carr’s explanation of restaurant slang at face value, instead saying she believes that it’s an incitement to do harm to the president, perhaps to even murder him.
“For food it means to get rid of. For a person it means murder … to 86 somebody means murder.”
It’s a claim that Carr wholly rejects.
“A state senator should not be trying to stifle a small business owner that has an alternative view that is different from hers. She’s trying to incite a lynch mob. She should focus on her policy positions.”
Carr has since stopped selling the shirts.