People are calling out all levels of racism across southeastern Wisconsin and it has resulted in two restaurants issuing apologies.
A sign reading "All lives matter" at a Milwaukee Jet's Pizza stopped Mahdi Gransberry in his tracks on Sunday.
"It just reminds you. Oh yeah, there are still people that don't believe our struggle is real," said Gransberry.
Many believe the phrase undermines the Black Lives Matter movement by diminishing the inequalities faced by black people across the world.
"I am just sincerely sorry, and I was deeply saddened to learn that it was up there," said Joe Gallucci, owner of the east side Jet's Pizza.
Gallucci told a crowd of protesters an employee acted on his own and the sign was taken down right away. Gallucci said he could not comment on if the employee will be fired.
A spokesperson for the pizza chain said in part:
He will be having a conversation with the that employee to discuss how we, as a business, feel about the message that does not speak for Jets Pizza or our franchise location.
We understand that the words on the sign represent ignorance and a lack of respect for the Black lives, everywhere, matter.
In a separate incident, Dylan Ali said he and his friends were at the Delafield restaurant, Fishbone's, last week. They were on the patio talking about George Floyd and civil unrest when a manager asked them to move.
"Some people felt a little uncomfortable with our conversation and that he moved us to avoid some confrontation," said Ali.
Ali says he was with a black friend and a caucasian friend.
A spokesperson for Fishbone's tells TMJ4 News they wrongly tried to address a perceived confrontation raised by a customer. The restaurant publicly apologized on Facebook for how they handled the situation and committed to educating their staff.
"I'm sorry they weren't comfortable, but it's very uncomfortable for people of color to be moved out of an area that you know people of non-color seem to find this discomfort," said Ali.
Ali says he has been in contact with Fishbone's owners about how to improve. Since they are taking corrective measures, Ali said he will continue to visit the restaurant.
See full statements from both Jet's Pizza and Fishbone's below.
Jet's Pizza statement:
We are in close touch with our local franchise owner in Milwaukee about this situation. He is apologizing for the sign that was posted in the window of the location by an employee acting on his own. He will be having a conversation with the that employee to discuss how we, as a business, feel about the message that does not speak for Jets Pizza or our franchise location.
We understand that the words on the sign represent ignorance and a lack of respect for the Black lives, everywhere, that matter.
For nearly three years, this location has employed a diverse workforce and management, while serving a diverse community. To continue that successfully, their staff and management must respect and support one another and their customers.
There is no place at our company or any of its locations for ignorance or anything that may appear like we are doing anything but fighting against racism in the way we do business.
Due to the series of events that unfolded in our restaurant on Wednesday night, we feel it necessary to issue a public apology for the actions we took and anybody that was harmed. We overreacted and did more harm than good. We should have let free speech prevail and been allies and should not intervened; the situation should have been handled differently. We made a mistake and we are truly sorry. We are currently seeking ways to educate our staff so we can continue to serve the community as we have for the last twenty years. To the three guests that were impacted by our poor actions, we offer a heartfelt apology.