One Texas restaurant owner may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, and has now become the target of harsh backlash after posting a “special” for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday that reeked of just a teensy bit of racism and ignorance.
According to WFAA, Sabrina Pyle, the owner of Azle Café in Tarrant County, Texas, said that on Monday, she came up with a bright idea that she thought would bring customers pouring in for the holiday.
“[On Monday] I came up with this incredible, ingenious idea for what I thought would bring people in for lunch,” Pyle told the news station.
Except her idea wasn’t that incredible or ingenious.
Her Monday special was chicken and waffles with a side of watermelon.
So many (racist) stereotypes in one meal.
For those needing a refresher in Historical Context 101, the stereotype that black people are inordinately fond of watermelons rose after the Civil War to depict them as lazy and dirty.
Anyway, apparently a friend brought it to Pyle’s attention that maybe the special wasn’t a great idea.
“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.”
But it was too late in today’s social media era. According to the news station, Brad Pelt saw the post about the special on Facebook, took a screenshot and shared it online.
“To use something like chicken and waffles and a side of watermelon as a Martin Luther King special is disgusting,” Pelt said. “It’s not OK.”
From there, Pyle’s post went viral, and soon, upset citizens began ringing her phone at the cafe and leaving messages on her phone.
“Like the one I got today: ‘You should know better, you racist scum; I will never eat there for free. … You are going to hell, end of story,’” Pyle said while reading a message from her phone. “It’s hurtful.”
Pelt said that that wasn’t the intention behind sharing the post.
“I took the post down because I don’t want people harassing her, her business, her family or her employees,” he said. “I still think you have to have communication to move forward. You can’t just say I’m sorry and move along.”
And Pyle wants everyone to know that she has definitely learned her lesson.
“It shouldn’t have gotten out of hand, no, not at all,” she said. “I am by far not racist.
“I wasn’t thinking about the historical [context],” Pyle added. “I was thinking, we have margaritas and tacos on Cinco de Mayo, so let’s have some fun with Martin Luther King Day.”
Read more at WFAA.