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Video of patrons standing for “The Star-Spangled Banner” inside a California eatery sent progressives into a tailspin online, including the person behind the TikTok post who captioned the incident “the most dangerous situation I’ve ever been in.”
Others chimed in, saying the moment would’ve been their “worst nightmare,” “that’s terrifying” and “this feels like a horror movie.” Commenters included hashtags like #godblessamerica, #getout, #illegal and #whitepeoplethings.
Jeanene Paulino, owner of Rainbow Oaks restaurant in Fallbrook — where the patriotic moment occurred — said the complaints are all just another way of getting attention.
“I feel like, if we take a few minutes out of our day to be grateful for the men and women who have made the sacrifices so that we can stand up and say how we feel and she said how she felt. And I wish she realized that it’s because those men and women who made those sacrifices that she was able to do that,” she told hosts Todd Piro and Ashley Strohmier.
Paulino joined “Fox & Friends First” on Wednesday to weigh in on the reaction pouring in from progressives, saying she wishes they would recognize their freedom of speech comes from those fighting to preserve the right.
The footage that amassed criticism from some shows a number of diners rise and recite the pledge with their hands over their hearts as Old Glory waves on television screens nearby.
Paulino said the complaints posted by progressive patrons online were “privileged” and ungrateful to those who previously served and sacrificed.
“I think maybe they’re not focusing on gratitude,” she continued. “This particular TikToker had seen a local news post, so she probably did it for attention.”
Rainbow Oaks has maintained its tradition of standing for the national anthem daily for years, a tradition established by previous owners that Paulino said she is proud to continue.
“I come from a long line of patriots, so I was thrilled to keep the tradition going. No, we won’t be stopping,” she said.
The TikToker also took some heat for being hyperbolic with the caption, with Paulino saying they should be grateful the U.S. is so secure that such a benign incident made them feel threatened.
Fox News’ Kristine Parks contributed to this report.