At Joe’s Crab Shack in Minnesota a couple was shocked and offended as soon as they entered the establishment.
Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen walked into the Roseville location and noticed a picture of a 1896 lynching on their table.
The photo was captioned, “All I said was ‘I don’t like gumbo!’”As you can imagine, seeing that image ruined my appetite and my pre-birthday dinner. It is hard to believe that this type of racism is still going on in 2016,” Allen said in a statement.
I can almost guarantee you that some foolish decorator thought that they were being clever when they designed this decor and probably didn't give it a second thought. But the fact of the matter is, even if that is the case. Not being conscious enough to realize, recognize, and understand the impact of such a photo is racist.
In a March 9 Facebook post, Williams shared the picture with friends:
This is on our table at Joe’s Crab shack in Roseville, MN it’s the lynching of two black men in Groesbeck, Texas in 1895 they we’re accused of robbing and murdering a white man with a rock it’s sad this is the image we have to look at in a Crab shack that has nothing to do with Texas it’s crazy how a brother can’t get a break me and Chanyrll Allen can’t get a break lol we just wanted some all you can eat Crab legs smh and now we got to go,” he wrote.
The photograph was of Richard Burleson, a man convicted of killing a man with a rock in the 19th century. The customers partnered with the NAACP to demand an apology and insist that the table be removed promptly.
Ignite Restaurant Group released a statement explaining:
“We understand one of the photos used in our table décor at our Joe’s Crab Shack location in Roseville, MN was offensive. We take this matter very seriously, and the photo in question was immediately removed,” said David Catalano, chief operating officer of Ignite Restaurant Group. “We sincerely apologize to our guests who were disturbed by the image and we look forward to continuing to serve the Roseville community.”
The restaurant also offered the couple a free meal, though they turned it down.