A violent, racially-charged image is the last thing you’d want to see when sitting down to a birthday dinner at a restaurant – but that’s exactly what Chauntyll Allen and her friend Tyrone Williams got at Joe’s Crab Shack in Roseville, California.
The two African-American friends sat down at a table that was decorated with old-timey photographs, and quickly spotted a picture captioned “Hanging in Groesbeck, Texas on April 12, 1895.” A cartoon speech bubble had been added above the victim, reading “All I said was that I didn’t like the gumbo.”
A quick internet search revealed that the photo showed the hanging of a black man. “They are trying to make a joke out of our black bodies being lynched,” said Allen, “and I had a real problem with that.”
Joe’s Crab Shack’s parent company Ignite Restaurant Group released this statement:
“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. We sincerely apologize to our guests who were disturbed by the image and we look forward to continuing to serve the Roseville community.”
After all the outrage online, the restaurant chain had better be checking all their tables and decor to make sure there are no other troubling images hidden in plain sight.