An Italian restaurant in New Mexico is refusing to back down after its restaurant sign mimicking the Black Lives Matter movement, releasing shirts that read "Black Olives Matter," which have caused a stir on social media.
Paisano's owner Rick Cmauglia previously printed the offending slogan on the restaurant's side wall to advertise a black olive tapenade and became extremely defensive about "political correctness" when called out on it. Now, it seems, he's doubling down on his pun.
The restaurateur has begun selling "Black Olives Matter" T-shirts, posting images of the new merchandise to social media. Now he's drawing criticism from many for the insensitivity of making fun of a slogan that is centered around trying to stop police violence targeting Black men and women.
Many have taken to Twitter to express their anger.
Seeing Black Olives Matter trending has me understanding how little so many really care. We have to stop expecting outside acknowledgment.— Karen Hunter (@karenhunter) August 16, 2016
Police kill black ppl with impunity but LOL LET'S SELL PIZZA. Cause white ppl joking about black lives is funny...https://t.co/DEzz8fuqUs— Sam White (@samwhiteout) August 16, 2016
Black Olives Matter? Guess The Civil Rice Movement, Emancipation Vegetation, The Holocrust, Wine-11, Orlando Fruiting & Sandy Cook were takn— HELLA BLVCK (@HELLABLVCK) August 16, 2016
It must be nice to be immune to racism to the degree u can joke abt its impact on others. Black Olives Matter🙄 https://t.co/2sM90gTH5K— TheAverageBlackMan™ (@TheAvgBlackMan) August 16, 2016
Camuglia told KRQE, "I think if that offends some people, a statement about black olives, that somebody needs to reevaluate their politically correct meter." Despite this opinion, his Facebook posts were immediately criticized for being in poor taste, with some users calling it "insensitive," "tacky and hideous" and "offensive."
"We didn't think anybody would be offended by that, it was not our intent to offend anybody," Camuglia added.
Maybe he'll sell enough T-shirts to Trump supporters and other bigots to make the hit his business will take from those who will surely refuse to eat there worth it.
(Photo: David Marsden/Getty Images)