An Italian restaurant in New Mexico came under fire from Black Lives Matter activists after it posted a sign mocking the phrase.
“Black Olives Matter Try Our Tapenade” read the sign outside of Paisano’s Italian restaurant in Albuquerque to promote a dish on its menu, Fox News reported.
“We’re currently offering a special seared ahi tuna with a black olive tapenade,” owner Rick Camuglia told FoxNews.com. “My chef had prepared the topping and placed it in the fridge. He wrote ‘Black Olives Matter’ on the container and I thought it was hilarious. So we put it on the marquee.”
But the lighthearted joke got serious when the restaurant posted a photo of the sign on Facebook.
“It wasn’t a mistake to put up the billboard,” he said, “but it was a mistake to post it on Facebook.”
The page, and the business’ phone lines, quickly came under assault by offended social justice warriors.
“People were calling us racist. Saying we were a white supremacist restaurant. Some got really derogatory and just started cursing me out,” he said.
But there was good news too.
“Our phone has also been ringing off the hook with people making reservations. People are placing carry-out orders in the high hundreds,” he told Fox News. “And they’re asking for black olives on everything. Black olives on the salad, ‘I’ll have extra black olives on my sausage sandwich’—we’ve had to order more from our supplier.”
“We’ve had customers coming over from California, people even calling in from Australia.”
The local NAACP remained unimpressed.
“The posted sign at Paisano’s Restaurant that included the phrase ‘Black Olives Matter’ is a nice marketing idea,” Harold Bailey, the president of the Albuquerque branch of the NAACP, told KRQE in a written statement. “However, with all of the national uproar, demonstrations and marches, regarding the shooting of African American men and youth by police officers, the Albuquerque NAACP feels that it was in bad taste….
“Hopefully, the owners at Paisano’s will be a bit more sensitive in the future. Unjustified killing of innocent Black men is nothing to joke about. Whether it was intentional or not, it sent the wrong message to many.”
The restaurant removed the sign on Friday but Camuglia still has no intention of apologizing.
“Our intention was never to offend or hurt anybody,” he said, “But all of this just says a lot about the state of our society when you can’t even make a simple statement about a fruit without people attacking you. People may need to recalibrate their politically correct meter.”
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