The Shu Shop in Birmingham, Alabama describes itself as a “relaxed, hip outpost offering Japanese ramen noodles & toppings alongside snacks & small plates.” But if you’re in the Theatre District in downtown today, you won’t be able to enjoy it because it’s closed. In particular, it closed so it wouldn’t have to serve the MAGA “racists” going to see Brian Kilmeade at the nearby Lyric theater.
To announce you are closing down to protest racism is always a good move in any city, but I give extra credit to do it in a state like Alabama.
Every time I drive through Alabama on I-10 I’m treated to a bombardment of hate radio with callers feeling completely free to spew anti-Semitic and racist diatribes. Lately, the venom has been directed at Latinx and Muslim communities.
The “Brian Kilmeade Show” is always featured in the lineup. Brian is very bitter and has a long history of racism.
We will be closed on Saturday, August 10.
“Why?” You ask. It is because our neighbors at the Lyric have chosen to host an event that is anti-immigrant, hostile towards brown people, pro-wall, and that goes against what we believe in at Shu Shop.
As a decent human, first and foremost, a person of color, a woman, a second generation immigrant of Pakistani decent, and a Birmingham native, I refuse to contribute to anyone’s hateful bullshit.
I love my city. This is my city. This is OUR city.
My father came here fully educated with absolutely nothing but a 50 dollar bill and the need to make the life of his future children better.
The hosting of Brian Killmeade flies in the face of everything that MY BIRMINGHAM is about- love, acceptance, knowledge, and RESPECT.
It’s taken me a very long time to feel like any place was my home. Downtown Birmingham has been a vacant space that myself, my friends, my colleagues, my FAMILY has tried relentlessly to make better because OUR city is better. Because we believe in something better for ourselves.
As a woman from Birmingham who got the chance to finally not feel like the outsider, who was afforded the opportunity to serve her community, who wants better for and of everyone around her, I take this blatant racist bullshit as a personal affront.
I will not be ok with hosting this asshat in my town.
In our town.
I will not be ok with this level of disrespect.
This is NOT my Birmingham. Nor should it be yours.
Stand strong, my friends. I love y’all dearly.
Amen. People like Adeeba have worked hard to make Birmingham a better place, and have every damn right to strike back against attempts at turning back the clock.
I have heard the arguments against refusing to serve people based on politics. For that, I normally agree. But this isn’t about ideology. This is a war—a war being waged on immigrants, minorities, women, and the LGBT community. I don’t give a f–k about your belief on the capital gains tax, but I DO care that you support ripping toddlers from their mothers and putting them in cages. I DO care that you promote fascism, and support Nazi tactics against people you don’t like.
The Red Hen owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, kicked Sarah Huckabee Sanders out of her restaurant. She told the Washington Post that “the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty and compassion and cooperation.” Immigrant and gay chefs at that restaurant shouldn’t have to serve someone who is openly persecuting and traumatizing their people. I wish more businesses had the moral courage that the owners of the Red Hen and the Shu Shop display.
I try to avoid driving through Alabama, but it’s unavoidable in my line of work. The next time I go to Huntsville, I plan on making a stop in Birmingham to get some good noodles. I hope you’ll consider visiting as well.