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Joe's Crab Shack Under Fire for Using Image of a Hanging as Interior Decor

A very poor design choice

Joe's Crab Shack/Flickr

Casual seafood chain Joe's Crab Shack is on the receiving end of some extremely bad publicity this week, and it's well-deserved: A couple who visited a Minneapolis-area location recently were shocked and disgusted to find a photo of a hanging displayed on one of the restaurant's tables, reports CBS Minnesota.

Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen sat down at a Joe's in Roseville, Minn. when they discovered the decorative tabletop had a picture embedded in it "that depicted two black men being lynched by a white mob, with the caption next to one of the victims that read, 'All I said was that I didn’t like the gumbo.'" According to CBS, the couple did some brief research while still at the restaurant and found that the photo depicted a real-life execution that occurred back in 1896. They spoke to the restaurant's manager, who apologized but also said that it was likely other restaurants had similar tables.

This is on our table at Joe's Crab shack in Roseville, MN it's the lynching of two black men in Groesbeck, Texas in 1895...

Posted by Tyrone Williams on Wednesday, March 9, 2016

In a press release issued yesterday by the Minneapolis arm of the NAACP, chapter president Nekima Levy-Pounds said, "This disturbing incident that occurred at Joe's Crab Shack, demonstrates that racism is still alive and well in this country. It is sickening to know that someone would make a mockery of black men being savagely lynched and then use that imagery for decorative purposes in a restaurant. We demand accountability of Joe's Crab Shack for allowing racist material to appear in its restaurants. This is completely unacceptable."

The group is asking for a public apology from the Joe's Crab Shack corporate office, and also asking for the "immediate removal of any and all lynching or otherwise racially-offensive imagery from its restaurants," as well as "a donation to a local community-based organization that serves African American youths and teenagers." Clearly someone on the Joe's design team needs to be fired for this one.