An Italian restaurant in Albuquerque is being criticized on social media for writing the words "BLACK OLIVES MATTER - TRY OUR TAPENADE" on a street-side billboard last week. The sign was taken down shortly after people began complaining about it on social media.
In an interview with local TV station KOB, owner Rich Camuglia said his restaurant, Paisano's, frequently engages in wordplay on its sign to promote menu items, in this case a pan-seared Ahi tuna with a black olive tapenade relish. He doesn't seem to fazed by the criticism or outrage at his sign.
"I think it shows an interesting state of affairs of where our country is that people, first of all, can be offended by a statement about a vegetable," Camuglia told KOB. "Black olives matter, and it does matter in our tapenade."
Camuglia seems to be mixing up "offense" with "disappointment." Much of the social media reaction is mostly amazed that a person exists who would take a group dedicated to saving black lives and use it to sell a garnish. And not just any garnish—black olives, also known scientifically as "the worst olive."
Paisano's appears to have learned the wrong lesson from this however, as the restaurant made a post to its Facebook page Friday, doubling down both on the slogan and on black olives.
It's probably a matter of time before the restaurant introduces new specials, such as the "All Olives Matter" appetizer (it's just olives).