A national restaurant chain shouldn’t have to be told not to turn the country’s ugly racist past into a kitschy décor item, but like your Trump-supporting uncle, Joe’s Crab Shack still has a few lessons to learn, apparently. A Roseville, Minnesota, location of the restaurant chain is under fire for using a place mat that insensitively makes light of the 1895 hanging of a black man in Grosbeak, Texas. In the photo, a crowd of white onlookers surround the individual and the placement features a not-funny-at-all text bubble coming from the executioner’s stand that reads, "All I said was ‘I don’t like gumbo!’" Gross.
The mat was put into the spotlight after two black customers, Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen, went to the location for a birthday dinner and ended up walking out in disgust. The Minneapolis NAACP has subsequently gotten involved, releasing a statement and demanding an apology, the removal of the place mat (which has happened), and a charitable donation from the chain’s parent company. Speaking to USA Today, Allen says, "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." Twitter, too, is not having it: