Society

Lynching Photo Sparks Controversy At Restaurant

| by Emily Smith
lynching photo at restaurant's tablelynching photo at restaurant's table

A Minnesota restaurant is under fire after reportedly decorating its tables with a picture of a public execution for a black person.

Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen were about to eat at Joe’s Crab Shack in Roseville, Minnesota, on March 9 when they saw a photo embedded into the table, KARE 11 reports. It appeared to show a group of white people watching the public execution of at least one black person.

“Hanging at Groesbeck, Texas on April 12th 1895,” the photo's caption reads. There is then a cartoon bubble above the photo that reads, “All I said was that I didn’t like the gumbo.”

Williams posted about the incident on Facebook, KMSP notes. He also complained to the manager about the photo, who was then apologetic. However, Williams was still disturbed by the "sickening image" and its "blatant racism," according to KARE 11.

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“I have felt sick to my stomach and stressed out since seeing that image on the table where I was planning to eat my food,” Williams said.

“Seeing a picture of two black men being lynched was the last thing that I expected to see at what was supposed to be a family-friendly restaurant," Allen added.

Allen said the photo ruined her appetite and her pre-birthday dinner, adding that it’s hard to believe that type of racism still exists in 2016.

“It is sickening to know that someone would make a mockery of black men being savagely lynched and then use that imagery for decorative purposes in a restaurant,” Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the Minneapolis NAACP, said.

The Minneapolis NAACP is now demanding a public apology from the corporate offices at Joe’s Crabshack and the immediate removal of all related photos. The NAACP has also requested that Joe’s Crabshack make a donation to a local community-based organization that serves African-American youths.

A representative for Ignite Restaurant Group, the parent company of Joe's Crab Shack, said that the company understands that some people were upset by the image, but that the company had no intentions of upsetting anyone. 

Sources: KMSP, KARE 11 / Photo Credit: KARE 11

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