An Italian restaurant in New Mexico is under fire for selling merchandise mimicking the Black Lives Matter movement.
Pasiano’s in Albuquerque made headlines in July when the restaurant faced social media outrage for a billboard sign that read “Black Olives Matter, Try Our Tapenade” parodying the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We put up what we thought was a cute play on words, which we do commonly here at the restaurant,” owner Rick Camuglia reportedly said. “We were trying to promote our pan-seared Ahi tuna with a black olive tapenade relish. And so we put ‘black olives matter, try our tapenade.’”
Camuglia uploaded photos of the dish and the sign on Facebook and was greeted with people calling the move “offensive,” “tacky and hideous” and “in very bad taste.” “People were calling us racist. Saying we were a white supremacist restaurant. Some got really derogatory and just started cursing me out,” Camuglia reportedly said.
Now, the restaurant is back in the news for selling t-shirts and hats emblazoned with the line “Black Olives Matter.”
Camuglia said that the restaurant produced the merchandise at the request of people who supported the restaurant. He added that people wanted something of a souvenir from the restaurant. He also said that his business was doing great.
“People have filled the restaurant and told us to leave up the sign,” Camuglia said. “That’s great, you know, because a lot of people make a living off working for this restaurant.”