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Families say they were denied go-kart rides at Boomers because of faiths

Original post made on May 7, 2014

A Sikh family from Alameda and a Muslim family from Sunnyvale have alleged that they were barred from riding go-karts at a Livermore amusement park last summer because of their religious head attire.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 2, 2014, 11:03 AM

Comments (31)

Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on May 7, 2014 at 6:25 am

It would appear to any rational person that safety is the primary concern. A wrapping or scarf can come off and get caught in the motor or wheels with dire consequences. To claim religious discrimination is a bit of reach I think!

Posted by Ms. bunny
a resident of San Ramon
on May 7, 2014 at 7:31 am

Utterly ridiculous! These measures are to PROTECT the SAFETY of ALL - including the nitwit "head gear" wearers! Talk about a frivolous lawsuit...Shame on these people. They need to knock the "chip" off their "shoulders" seriously.

Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on May 7, 2014 at 7:35 am

So now we have to change our safety rules and protections to accommodate ohers choices of clothing or headware? Let's just eliminate all rules and let everyone do whatever they want and wear whatever they want like lots of chains around their necks that will get caught in the equipment and rides that put the rest of us at risk of injury. Obviously a frivolous lawsuit from those looking to make money and to make a statement that they are solely discriminated against because they are Muslims or Sikhs. I don't care what they wear on their heads, or how many tatoos they have, or how many piercings they have. It's their choice but they must live with it and not try to capitalize on it when they see possible opportunity. If they want to be accepted they are not helping themselves by these lawsuits.

Posted by Joey
a resident of Danville
on May 7, 2014 at 7:37 am

And they would be the first ones to sue when they get injured. Deal with it!

Posted by Concerned for safety
a resident of San Ramon
on May 7, 2014 at 8:42 am

This is what is killing our country. Everyone feeling entitled to express themselves and impose their will at the expense of common sense for small business and others. Boomers has my support and continued business. These head gear idiots should go back to other parts of the world and take these risks there rather than clogging us up with their baggage. They need their head examined.

Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on May 7, 2014 at 10:28 am

To make it simple, Boomers should get innovative and start-up a new ride.

Bring a few live camels to the park and create a camel ride...riders may ware anything they wish, as long as it doesn't cover the camels eyes.

Just my opinion, Thanks for listening, Julia Pardini from Alamo

Posted by Xin Han
a resident of Blackhawk
on May 7, 2014 at 12:05 pm

To all the ignorant posters here .. the sikh turban is not a safety concern. There are USAF pilots of sikh heritage who wear them, not to mention various parks all them with no restrictions.

The turban IS NOT a hat or scarf that one wears against the elements.

Palace Entertainment needs to really talk about their real motive here.

Posted by Xin Han
a resident of Blackhawk
on May 7, 2014 at 12:08 pm

To all the ignorant posters here .. the sikh turban is not a safety concern. There are USAF pilots of sikh heritage who wear them, not to mention various parks all them with no restrictions.

The turban IS NOT a hat or scarf that one wears against the elements.

Palace Entertainment needs to really talk about their real motive here.

Posted by Douglas
a resident of Blackhawk
on May 7, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Make these riders sign a release form that prevents them from suing Boomers or anyone else if they get hurt (or killed) and then let them be as stupid as they want. I am so sick of people thinking they are being singled out for whatever reason. A civilized society has rules to keep everyone safe. Otherwise it would be complete chaos.

Posted by Gary
a resident of San Ramon
on May 7, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Very simple solution... take off the headgear. If you can't do that then don't ride. The rules were made for the safety of the customers, not to discriminate against anyone. It would be fine to have them sign a waiver that they will not sue if they get hurt... until you think of the fact that, if they get their way, it could result in injury to someone else that isn't trying to buck the rules. I sincerely hope that no one is going to back down on this or that some nitwit judge is going to find in favor of the plaintiffs.

Posted by Ms. Bunny
a resident of San Ramon
on May 8, 2014 at 7:51 am

Xin Han, we all know these are religious preference clothing issues (required by Allah/God? I think not) So don't think we don't "get" that very real point. You seem to be ignorant of the facts however, that if something occurs and PARTICULARLY, with the head area, that any "head clothing" (burka/turban) could get snagged/caught and CREATE serious physical injuries. Particularly to above the shoulder region. Further? The liability rests with the OWNERS. Are you THAT disrespectful of their rights as small business owners? Have you no grace or respect for WESTERN MANNERS and RULES of doing business in this country? This is the main problem with immigration if not religion. They want to live in America and be part of this country, but they are upset by our guidelines and rules more often than not and feel "violated". You can well imagine? If ANY American immigrated to an Asian or Eastern Arab country? What WE WOULD HAVE TO ADHERE TO. -And believe me, the "punishment" demonstrated for our breaking of their rules/laws would be far greater than an American business owner politely saying, "sorry, these are the rules, thanks for obeying them". Do you think for ONE MOMENT they would treat the situation as diplomatically or lightly? THINK AGAIN. Your disrespect of America shows "in spades" here. Why people like you choose to live here and "use" America is far beyond any "moral compass" I can digest. The shame is on these people AS WELL as your defense of their actions.

Posted by G-Man
a resident of Danville
on May 8, 2014 at 8:16 am

I'm with "Concerned with safety"'s earlier post -- I am so tired of individuals and small groups who feel they have been singled out or wronged, here in this very open and forgiving country of ours, as they run straight to the media or some opportunistic attorney. And this one is based on religion? Yeah, not buying it. It is a moment in the sun for some publicity to somehow show how big, bad Americans treat the Muslims here. Note to the plaintiffs -- If you don't like it, you are free to go back to your country of ethnicity and try things there, and let us know how that works out. Respect authority, follow the rules, or hit the road. I'm all out of feeling sorry today for people like this who have no cause to clog up our courts with this crap.

Posted by Concerned for safety
a resident of San Ramon
on May 8, 2014 at 8:30 am

Xin Han’s post has to be the most disruptive one in this string: To assume there is some motive for requiring anyone to take off head gear. Classic race card syndrome that bogs down this society. And then to compare USAF pilots’ use of headgear (highly trained professionals in sanitized environments) to a Boomer’s go card – how ignorant is that. Xin Han’s post is more likely there to express his/her own anxiety about how they feel about their role in this community. Stop making excuses and follow the rules.
The problem with Douglas’ posting is that no one takes personal responsibility anymore for their own experiences. They will sign the waiver, and still sue. Signing a waiver does not prevent a lawsuit, nor does it protect innocent parties. Lawyers will see to that.
I love Gary’s posting because, although tongue and cheek (and frankly very funny), it reflects the frustration felt by many on the predatory and unreasonable behavior of these families. Keep this aggression and chaos back home and let’s be a better society here in the US. And if you do not like it, then you know where to go.
Regarding immigration… the one sentiment shared by more than just a few who migrate to the United States is… “I love the United States. There are so many ways to rip it off.” I wish we could turn back the clock say 15-20 years and create some type of standard or threshold for immigration rather than welcoming the worlds tired, hungry, opportunistic, etc.
Go home to chaos if that is what you prefer. And stay there.

Posted by Madhatter
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2014 at 9:19 am

Doesn't get much simpler then that.

Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on May 8, 2014 at 9:37 am

What an issue of being politically correct. The goals of these people with their head gear is not being able to ride the Go-carts it is to slowly and methodically impose their will and customs on us and to get us to change our ways so we will be like the country they were not happy in. They came here because they believe that we offer something better, then they work hard to change us to be like where they came from that they wanted to leave. Makes perfect sense if you don't think about it too much.

Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on May 8, 2014 at 9:41 am

At the risk of seeming to talk out of both sides of my mouth, I'm going to say that i understand and sympathize with both sides of this argument.

I agree that Sikh turbans are not nearly as much of a safety threat as the looser head scarves that Muslim women sometimes wear. Actually, the kids of the family in question weren't even wearing the usual Sikh turbans that adults wear - they were wearing the smaller, tighter-fitting, and elastic hair-coverings that Sikh boys often wear. These are almost like tight-fitting shower caps or hairnets (not mesh, but of an elasticized cloth). So in practice these are NOT a real safety issue, and in fact would be safer than having even slightly long hair.

On the other hand, the company is stuck with the issue of how to define and enforce their safety rules, without getting somebody upset. If they make exception for the tight-fitting Sikh hair-coverings, then the next problem will be for some other, looser head covering. Then for hats and scarves in general. So I do have sympathy for their side of the issue, as well. And, from a more libertarian point of view - it's their company/business, and they get to decide the rules, which are not really discriminatory, even if they affect some groups of people more than others.

If it was me running the business, I would make an exception for tight-fitting hair-coverings, and reserve the right to reject ANY articles of clothing that would represent a safety hazard. But no doubt this would satisfy some people, but not others.... I have no problem with the company sticking to a straight "no hats or scarves of any kind" policy. Not being able to ride go-karts is not the end of the world, if it is a side-effect of your religious beliefs. (I can hear the protest song now - "All we are sayingggggg, is give us a ride....")

Posted by Judy
a resident of San Ramon
on May 8, 2014 at 7:19 pm

While I understand the safety concerns that many of you are raising I find that Julia's comment about the camel rides is simply racist and does not below in any intelligent conversation about this issue.

Posted by concerned for safety
a resident of San Ramon
on May 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm

I misspoke when I have credit to Gary's comments. I meant to give credit to Julia Pardini from Alamo. I love her comments. Not racist at all, so lighten up Judy. Julia’s comments offer a terrific caricature of how these outsiders view their rights. Thanks for the great comment, Julia.

Posted by Zeena Foabs
a resident of Blackhawk
on May 9, 2014 at 7:28 am

The Mudge makes sense -- he's my kind of conservative in general. The answer here depends on facts that are not in the record. There are two legitimate interests in tension -- safety by the merchant, and full participation without regard to religion or 'difference' by the people. That said, everybody has let their preconceptions run away with them.

I know -- let's reserve judgment until all the facts come out!

I must say though, the speed and ferocity with which most commenters have pounced on these people gives strong support to any concerns they may have about being marginalized and treated with hostility because they are different.

It is possible that the people are just complainers, or that their gear really would cause a legitimate concern -- it is also possible that the business is using safety as a pretext for a discriminatory motive. More facts will probably resolve it. But the lesson we can all take from this is that jumping to conclusions is an ugly exercise. And regardless of this specific outcome, imagine having to deal with the hostile likes of you-all every day! Real Americans are better than that.

Posted by Judy
a resident of San Ramon
on May 9, 2014 at 7:54 am

Concerned for Safety:

Another caricature could have been used. It is simply racist.

Posted by Chris Daniels
a resident of Danville
on May 12, 2014 at 6:59 am

Ms Bunny ROCKS!!!! Only true racists play their little deck of race cards---people are sick of it. Recently a friend was denied bringing her small dog to Blue Agave. He had to be outside the gate. The little public school brainwashed receptionists were floored when told, "you won't let this dog in cuz he's BLACK!!! "

If you can't abide by AMERICAN standards go back to your developing myopic mud culture.

Posted by Gangaram
a resident of Diablo
on May 12, 2014 at 6:48 pm

There seems to to be much said here how immigration (especially from Asian countries) is all cost to the US and all benefit to the immigrants. I THINK NOT .. as a small example look at SV startups, spelling bees, your doctors, county/state/federal office holders, asian immigrants contribute A LOT to this society.

Thank them that your children won't be flipping burgers since those families and children have instilled back the values of STEM training.

Posted by Ms. bunny
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on May 12, 2014 at 9:25 pm

I guess I don't understand Gangaram...You're "fanning flames" here you shouldn't be.

Wow. Sad.

The issue AT HAND has to do with safety. It has to do with rules. It has to do with ALL OF US, following those rules - no matter WHO you are - WHAT your religion is or DICTATES.

It's common sense and nothing more should be made of it, read into it, used as a "weapon".

Safety guidelines and rules are meant to be obeyed and followed by ALL OF US, at least? In our country. NO one has the RIGHT to use their race; creed or color to make an issue on such a fundamental issue concerning SAFETY.

Posted by Zeena Foabs
a resident of Blackhawk
on May 13, 2014 at 4:41 pm

NO, Ms Bunny -- it's Not about safety -- it's about unsupported assumptions and lurking religious and cultural prejudice.

If we had all the facts it MIGHT be about safety, but we don't have all the facts. However, we DO have the fact that you and others want to leap right past that obvious gap to spout your conclusions as if they had any basis. They don't.

And that, well THAT reveals the underlying bias.

Posted by Ms. bunny
a resident of San Ramon
on May 14, 2014 at 7:26 am

You're wrong Z. The "facts" have been made CLEAR by the OWNERS of the business and the witnesses present.

Get over yourself. Stop making this a cultural/political "war" and face facts: IT'S ABOUT SAFETY.

Posted by Zeena Foabs
a resident of Blackhawk
on May 14, 2014 at 7:46 am

Ms. Bunny: the only 'fact' here is your choice to believe Boomers' version of the incomplete story. They would not be the first business to use a legitimate apparent motivation as a pretext to discriminate -- whether it be about housing, or jobs, or promotions, or rides at the amusement park. It happens all the time.

Please Note: that I am NOT saying that Boomer's IS that kind of business -- I am saying that we need More Facts before rendering an actual, Rational judgment. Safety may, indeed, be the only motivation -- not only that, but there might even be a Better alternative policy that would serve BOTH parties' interests, but that hasn't been thought-of yet. That happens all the time, too.

Get over MYSELF? No ma'am -- not a problem. But you might want to check out the rabbit in the mirror. Your posts are full of more ego than thought. Funny, ain't it, how posters so often reveal themselves in their own complaints?

Posted by Ms. bunny
a resident of San Ramon
on May 14, 2014 at 9:19 am

Yes Z. I would agree.
You reveal MUCH by your posts.
As in?
You might consider "knocking" that "chip" off your "shoulder" when it comes to the rules and law IN THIS country. Hm?

Just a thought...

Posted by Zeena Foabs
a resident of Blackhawk
on May 14, 2014 at 9:27 am

... written like a true unconscious native, betraying the very strong likelihood that you have No Idea what it's like to be different. As the saying goes: the fish is the very last one to know she's in the water.

You are Why we HAVE laws in this country, protecting against both conscious and unconscious discrimination. You have clearly demonstrated the need for those laws -- congratulations.

Posted by Ms. bunny
a resident of San Ramon
on May 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

Your inability to share in American ways with those of us who are native to this country, OUR homeland, is another perfect example that you desire and wish to remain APART from America - its culture and western mannerisms in living life and doing business.

This is precisely my dear, what we Americans see over and over again with many who immigrate here. You believe in special treatment as opposed to following our codes of conduct, rules and laws. You don't mind impacting our existing population; vying for jobs - but you desire to live life on YOUR terms to the extent of telling us? We are wrong as Americans. That our rules, guidelines, and very way of life and business doesn't suit your sensibilities.

Let me reiterate what so many others blatantly state...If you are so unhappy here with us and our culture and traditions and western civilization style?

Please feel free to hop the first plane BACK to your native land(s) which of course, were/are, so much better than ours? That you CHOSE to come here in the first place.

This speaks "volumes" about who you are and your "ax to grind" in our country. Utterly pathetic.

Let me state here and now? When it comes to championing a just cause or belief or an issue close to my heart such as this one is as an America? You bet I'll voice my right to speak.

Sorry if it hits "home" and truth of who you are and the problems you brought with you to this country.

""" end of communication ***

Posted by Zeena Foabs
a resident of Alamo
on May 14, 2014 at 11:03 am

Sure Ms Bunny -- as the natives said when the Pilgrims arrived: "there goes the neighborhood." Web Link

You have revealed yourself to be one sad, self-righteous, xenophobic sack. Those families have much to object-to, in the bigoted attitudes of anyone whose main source of pride is in the happy accident of their fortunate birth.

The whole point of America is to be better than that.

Posted by oh!riley
a resident of Danville
on May 14, 2014 at 11:07 am

Just wondering--the article states the families are from Alameda and Sunnyvale and made no note of their "status"--what lead you to jump to the conclusion that they are immigrants and not American citizens? Certainly not the religion they practice or the "non-western" names, right? Just because someone doesn't look like me or do the same things I do doesn't mean they are not Americans or entitled to the same rights as all of us, regardless of status. My name is Riley, please don't assume that my allegiance lies in Ireland--I'm an American through and through.

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