January 18th, 2017 – A cafe in Texas found itself changing the “Specials” board after their Facebook post offering chicken and waffles with a side of watermelon for MLK Day went viral. Sabrina Pyle, owner of Azle Café in Tarrant County, wished her patrons a happy day honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and now wishes she had left it at that.
“I wasn’t thinking about the historical (context),” she said. “I was thinking, we have margaritas and tacos on Cinco de Mayo, so, let’s have some fun with Martin Luther King Day,” she told WFAA.
Pyle told the station she thought of the idea the day before as a way to bring people in for lunch. A friend quickly let her know that the special was not a good idea after seeing it online.
“After she brought it to my attention, I did take it down. But I didn’t realize it had already been shared,” Pyle said. “I just did something distasteful. I just didn’t think it through.”
Brad Pelt, an Azle native, follows Pyle on Facebook and shared the post after feeling like he needed to speak out.
“To use something like chicken and waffles and a side of watermelon as a Martin Luther Ling Special is disgusting,” he said. “It’s not okay. You have a responsibility on social media. You don’t just scroll past things. You have to stop and go, ‘Wait, no, this is not okay.'”
The cafe, the owner and its employees have received a deluge of calls and posts that Pyle says has gotten out of hand. “Like the one I got today: You should know better, you racist scum, I will never eat there…You are going to hell, end of story,” she read from her phone. “It’s hurtful.”
Pelt has now taken down the post after seeing the vitriol aimed at Pyle and the cafe. He said that was not his intention.
“I took the post down because I don’t want people harassing her, her business, her family or her employees,” he said.
Pyle spoke at length to her local TV station wanting to ensure that this was a lesson learned.
“It shouldn’t have gotten out of hand, no not at all,” she said. “I am by far not racist.”
Do you think the post was a fun lunch special or should the historical context have been considered? Funny or Offensive? Vote and comment below.