Cultural Revolutions

The Assault on Denny

The assault on Denny's restaurants, a chain beloved by middle Americans and serving a million customers a day, helps us understand the real meaning of civil rights. Flagship, the chain's parent company, was forced to settle a group of lawsuits—choreographed by the Justice Department, the NAACP, and Saperstein, Mayeda & Goldstein of Oakland, California—for $54 million. The firm will collect a total of $8.7 million.

Denny's had to hire a "civil rights monitor," introduce an internal espionage system to expose naughty comments, send its white employees to reeducation camps, endow blacks with franchises, and put a hostile black woman on Flagship's board of directors. Denny's also had to promise the NAACP that it would spend at least one million dollars hiring, training, and installing black managers.

By the end, more than 4,300 people had signed up as plaintiffs against Denny's, and the New York Times tried to recruit even more by publishing a toll-free number (1-80G-GET-LOOT?). The operator answers: "Hello. Claims for the Denny's settlement. May I help you?" Yet there has been no admission of guilt, no trial by jury, and no sworn statements in court.

The accusations against the company boil down to minor service complaints by customers who may have been setups, assertions by disgruntled ex-employees, smears by sworn enemies, and liberal media hype....

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