Note: we are republishing this story, which originally made the news in November 2020, amid record high levels of political division in America. According to Pew surveys, the US ranks among the highest in the world according to how many people feel more divided than before the pandemic. More on this here: https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2021-10-15/us-most-divided-nation-in-worldwide-survey-essential-politics
A customer at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Connecticut called out the establishment’s decorations, highlighting that there appeared to be “nooses on the ceiling.” The restaurant chain has since issued an apology for the decorations.
Cracker Barrel later explained that the “noose” was a wrapped cord which was attached to décor items, but maintained that it was “completely unacceptable” that employees at the establishment failed to note that they looked like nooses before the decorations were put on display.
Twitter user Alfonso Robinson posted pictures of the decorations, and captioned the post: “Someone at Cracker Barrel in East Windsor need to explain why there are nooses on the ceiling…”
Cracker Barrel responded to the tweet that same evening, writing that the “noose” decoration was “an original wrapped cord” which belonged to an “antique soldering iron” put on display at the East Windsor restaurant.
The restaurant stated that the item has since been taken down.
Activists arrived at the restaurant and they had a “positive” and “constructive” conversation with restaurant manager Mark Smith, PowerUp-Manchester founder Keren Prescott said.
Smith said that the noose-like cord had been displayed in the premises for 22 years, but that no one had noticed it until last week. He invited Prescott to take a look inside the restaurant.
Speaking to the Journal Inquirer, Prescott said: “At one point the manager said, ‘You might notice things that I don’t,’ which I really appreciated because as White man, he might not view certain things the same as a Black person would.”
A number of Twitter users have called for Cracker Barrel to launch a review of all the decorations in its locations, or put forth a timeline for the review to be conducted.
Cracker Barrel sent a statement to Fox News, saying: “We work hard to create a culture of hospitality that’s welcoming, respectful and inclusive to everyone who walks through our doors. Some of the historic décor in our stores may be reminiscent of earlier times, but our inclusive culture is firmly grounded in today.
“As we previously said, the décor item in our East Windsor store – an antique soldering iron with an original wrapped cord – should have been noticed and corrected before ever being displayed, and it has since been removed. We are grateful to our guest who pointed it out to us so we could correct this mistake.”
Sources: New York Post