Lynching — not Lunching — at a Joe’s Crab Shack


*Instead of LUNCHING at a Joe’s Crab Shack in Roseville, Minnesota, one couple claims to have dealt with a LYNCHING — or at least a photo of one, prominently displayed as decor at their table.

Yes. In 2016.

In addition, they say the photograph “had a cartoon character saying ‘All I said was I didn’t like the gumbo’” — implying that that was the reason the guy got lynched.

“We just instantly felt sick and confused,” one of the diners said.

I said “Yes. In 2016.”

In actuality, the photo showed the public execution of a black man named Richard Burleson, who was 21 years old when he was hung, after having been found guilty of robbing and murdering a white man in Groesbeck, Texas in 1895.

It seems that the Death Penalty Information Center, a non-profit organization that promotes informed discussion of the death penalty, confirmed that Burleson’s hanging was a legal execution. However, the center said that it’s important to note that death penalty laws were very different in 1895 than they are today.

The two diners say the Joe’s Crab Shack manager apologized for the photo and offered them a free meal, but that they declined.

I would think so. It was also not a shocker to read that the diners said they’d no longer be dining at Joe’s Crab Shack.

Me, either.

Lynching photo

Joe’s parent company, the Ignite Restaurant Group, has since apologized for the photo. However, Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds said the apology is “not enough” and that it did “not go far enough in addressing the concerns we’ve raised. We do not feel the racist imagery is just at the Roseville, Minnesota location. We’ve received indication from numerous people around the country that similar imagery exists at other Joe’s Crab Shack locations.”

She wants to see “the immediate removal of all racist, offensive imagery from tables across the country. African Americans have already suffered a long painful history of oppression and systemic racism in this country. This just goes to show how far we still have to go.”

Joe’s wasn’t high on my list before I read about this.  I haven’t eaten there in years — and won’t be any time soon.

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