New Mexico Restaurant’s ‘Black Olives Matter’ T-shirt Sparks Controversy
An Italian restaurant in Albuquerque named Paisano's is catching some heat and making national headlines for selling t-shirts and hats parodying the Black Lives Matter movement.
Critics of the eatery's "black olives matter" merchandise say it's offensive and "trivializes" the campaign aimed at stopping violence and systemic racism toward black people by law enforcement.
Owner Rick Camuglia originally used the phrase on the restaurant's marquee in July to sell a new tuna dish made with with black olives.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) July 20, 2016
He then posted a photo of the sign on Facebook, resulting in a heated debate between BLM supporters who were offended by the play on words and those who thought it was funny and that haters should lighten up.
Camuglia remains unapologetic, but insists he's not racist or trying to stir up controversy. He told an Albuquerque television station he's selling the shirts and caps because supporters kept asking if they could purchases a souvenir from the restaurant.