*A Joe’s Crab Shack in Roseville, Minnesota was called out for using a photo of a black man’s execution as table decor.
It was discovered by black diners Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen Wednesday night when they were seated at a table and noticed the photo embedded inside. It showed a large group of white people watching a public execution of at least one black person. On the bottom of the picture, it reads: “Hanging at Groesbeck, Texas, on April 12th, 1895.” At the top, a cartoon-like dialogue bubble reads, “All I said was that I didn’t like the gumbo.”
David Catalano, COO Ignite Restaurant Group, Joe’s Crab Shack parent company, said the image was immediately removed and the company understands that the photo used at the Roseville restaurant was offensive.
“We sincerely apologize to our guests who were disturbed by the image and we look forward to continuing to serve the Roseville community,” Catalano said in a statement.
“Although the manager was apologetic about the lynching depiction, that does not change the fact that this sickening image of black men being lynched was intentionally embedded inside of a table,” Williams told USA Today. “This type of blatant racism should not be tolerated in this country, or in our local and national eating establishments. 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.”
Allen said she could not believe the image was used so casually.
“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 said.
The Minneapolis NAACP is demanding an immediate public apology by the corporate offices of Joe’s Crab Shack; immediate removal “of any and all lynching or otherwise racially-offensive imagery” from its restaurants; and a donation to a local community-based organization that serves African American youths and teenagers.
Read Tyrone Williams’ Facebook post about the photo below: