A New Mexico restaurant is facing backlash for selling “Black Olives Matter” merchandise.
Paisano’s owner Rick Camuglia, who came under fire for erecting a Black Lives Matter-riffing sign to entice consumers to try the establishment’s tapenade dish, recently began selling t-shirts and hats as a souvenir from the Italian eatery.
“It’s just something to do that’s kind of fun now,” Camuglia told KOAT. “It’s a little bit different than selling pasta.”
Camuglia posted pictures of the dish and the sign on Facebook, which garnered both criticism and support. Many accused him of being insensitive to the struggle. They criticized the restaurant owner for “trivializing an important movement for the African-American community,” according to the media outlet.
Camuglia said he wasn’t trying to stir racial tensions, but was simply attempting to call attention to his dish. And from the looks of his clientele, the move appears to be a good one for business.
“People have filled the restaurant and told us to leave up the sign,” he said. “That’s great, you know, because a lot of people make a living off working for this restaurant.”
Meanwhile, critics have taken to social media to express their outrage at Camuglia’s move, and those who would support such an act:
Yeah. Not surprised by Black Olives Matter t-shirts. They’ve been laughing at our tragedies for a while now. pic.twitter.com/Cmuy0SPTIs
— (((RuggedAmethyst))) (@GrooveSDC) August 16, 2016
Black Olives Matter is proof that racism is alive and well and drenched in White Privilege. That murder and racism would be taken as a joke.
— Lil’ Pound Cake (@LilPoundCake1) August 16, 2016
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