Joe’s Crab Shack Used Lynch Mob Photo as Table Decor

Company apologizes, but diners think problem exists elsewhere
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2016 1:16 PM CST

A Joe's Crab Shack in Minnesota apparently thought a lynching was fair game to joke about on its table decor. Two diners noticed a photo embedded inside a table at a Roseville location Wednesday night that appeared to show a black person being hanged while white people watched, USA Today reports. Below the picture is the text, "Hanging at Groesbeck, Texas, on April 12th, 1895." Above the picture: "All I said was that I didn't like the gumbo." One of the diners says that the manager was "apologetic," but that the "sickening image" should never have been used.

The Minneapolis NAACP got involved, demanding a public mea culpa, donation to an organization serving African-American youth, and removal of the image and any others like it from the company's restaurants. No word on the donation, but the COO of Joe's Crab Shack's parent company issued an apologetic statement and said the image was removed from that restaurant. The president of the local NAACP tells the Washington Post that no one has yet committed to investigating other locations to ensure no similar images have been used in the decor, and one of the two diners tells CNNMoney that a friend told her he's seen a similar photo at an LA-area Joe's: "So I do believe this is around the nation." (More racism stories.)

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