MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis NAACP is calling for action after allegations of racism at a Twin Cities restaurant.
The organization’s leaders say two African-American diners — Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen — recently sat down for a meal at Joe’s Crab Shack in Roseville when they discovered a disturbing image embedded inside of a decorative table at the restaurant.
The diners, according to the NAACP, found a picture that depicted two black men being hanged, surrounded by a white crowd, with the caption next to one of the victims that read, “All I said was that I didn’t like the gumbo.”
Doing some quick research at their table, the NAACP says the diners discovered that the picture was authentic and depicted a real hanging from Texas in 1896. They notified the manager, who the NAACP says was apologetic.
“Me and Chauntyll, we just felt sick and confused,” Williams said. “It was just sickening.”
Allen said the restaurant manager told her this may not be an isolated incident.
“When we talked to the manager, he said that he was pretty sure that these tables were designed by a particular person,” she said, “and if that particular person had the mindset to pick that particular picture, I’m sure they picked quite a few more that are similar.”
In response, the NAACP is demanding a public apology from the corporate offices of the restaurant, immediate removal of any similar pictures in tables at restaurants around the country, and a donation to a local community-based organization that serves African-American youth and teenagers.
The City of Roseville released a statement regarding the imagery on Friday.
“The City of Roseville was shocked and saddened to learn of the racist imagery being openly displayed,” the city said in the statement. “The City condemns this type of display in the strongest possible terms and calls on Joe’s Crab Shack to remove any and all racist imagery not only from its Roseville location, but all of its restaurants nationwide.”