The Bortaga casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, is accused of being racist after a photo of their “Martin Luther King, Jr. Special” menu went viral on Twitter Monday night.
Press of Atlantic City reported the $24 menu included a main entrée of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole and collard greens, and home-style pecan pie for dessert.
Some people believed the menu was racist. “Borgata has to be clueless,” one Twitter user wrote. “And has no PR department. And is run by whites.”
Joe Lupo, Bortaga's senior vice president, said that the menu was researched by the casino's restaurant manager — an African-American woman — and was intended to honor Martin Luther King Jr. by serving his favorite dishes.
"Borgata’s only intention, and her only intention, was to honor the weekend," he said. "We were surprised that there were so much negative comments, but we probably could have communicated better that it was done so that it was his favorite foods.”
NPR reported that Dr. King, along with other civil rights leaders, would strategize in restaurants over platefuls of southern cooking.
Others didn’t take offense to the menu, but believed the intention behind the dining options should have been explained.