A California deli owner is facing backlash for a Donald Trump-inspired promotion, in which he offered a free side dish to anyone who says “send her back” when placing an order. The phrase “send her back” originated from a Trump rally a few days ago when a crowd broke into the chant, referencing Somali-born Representative Ilhan Omar.
As Yahoo! News reports, John Canesa, owner of Clayton’s Canesa’s Brooklyn Heros, wrote in a Facebook post, which has since been deleted, that all of his meatballs were made with beef, “[in case] we offend any of our overly sensitive pork haters,” which some took to be mocking Muslims, who don’t eat pork. His post then went on to say, “Free side when you say send her back!”
The phrase “Send her back!” — apparently when used in this context — originated last week at a Trump campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina. Days earlier, Trump had tweeted that four freshmen Democrat Congresswomen should “go back to their broken and crime-infested countries.” Three of the women he was talking about were born in the United States; the fourth, Ilhan Omar, was born in Somalia. At the rally, the crowd chanted “Send her back!” apparently suggesting that Omar should be sent back to Somalia.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 17, 2019
Trump has said that he feels “a little bit badly” about the chant.
Back in California, the Facebook post has been receiving backlash, with several Facebook users expressing “disappointment” and “sadness” about the deli’s offer.
One such person was the Mayor of Clayton, Tuija Catalano.
“I am very saddened to have seen a FB post by the owner of local deli this morning… There is no place in our community for hatred and bigotry. When hateful comments are being promoted as part of a local business, they reflect on our community’s reputation,” she wrote, per Yahoo! News.
As is often the case when businesses get involved in political controversies, the post led to negative reviews on Yelp. In fact, the business received so many negative reviews in such a short time that Yelp disabled reviews, something the site often does when a business is involved in a public controversy.
Canesa, for his part, has not responded to requests for comment from the media. However, KTVU-TV reporter Sara Zendehnam tweeted that she’d gone to the location, only to find it closed, and suggested that it was backlash from the offer that prompted Canesa to delay opening the business.
Zendehnam later tweeted that she had spoken to Canesa, and he said that he and his family have been receiving death threats over the post.