March 12, 2016 – A Minnesota resident named Tyrone Williams had an allergic reaction after visiting seafood chain restaurant, Joe’s Crab Shack, but the food wasn’t the problem. The table Williams and his party were seated at was decorated with a series of kitschy vintage photos, including one dated “Hanging at Groesbeck, Texas on April 12th 1895.” The photograph depicted the lynching of Richard Burleson, a twenty-one year old black man, in front a large crowd of whites in Texas in 1895. The zany marketing team at Joe’s Crab Shack superimposed a cartoon speech bubble over Burleson’s head which reads, “All I said was, ‘I don’t like the gumbo.’”
This is on our table at Joe’s Crab shack in Roseville, MN it’s the lynching of two black men in Groesbeck, Texas in 1895…
The restaurant manager apologized when confronted about the photo and offered a gift card for William’s next visit. Williams declined, explaining a statement released by the NAACP, “As you can imagine, seeing that image ruined my appetite and my pre-birthday dinner.” Williams told KARE 11:
“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.”
The Ignite Restaurant Group which owns Joe’s Crab Shack also apologized for the joke but it remains unclear whether the image is present in the decor of any of the restaurant’s other 100 locations across the country.
Racial insensitivity or is gumbo just a matter of life & death?
You make the call. Was Joe’s Crab Shack lynching photo joke Funny or Offensive? VOTE and COMMENT now…