Cracker Barrel is receiving backlash after customers saw what appears to be a noose hanging as decoration in one of their restaurants.
The Cracker Barrel location is in Windsor, Connecticut. A few customers immediately noticed the noose hanging and later posted images on social media.
Response to the Offensive Decoration
Keren Prescott is an activist and president and co-founder of POWER-UP. This is a non-profit organization working to educate people about racial disparities. In addition, it also advocates for underrepresented people. Prescott responded to the event at Cracker Barrel.
“Having a noose, or even having a rope tied in such a way that resembles a noose, is very traumatizing to see as a Black person … We know the history of the country,” according to WTNH News.
Cracker Barrel since responded to the issue labeling the item as “decorative.”
Shortly thereafter, the restaurant removed the item in question.
“We’re sorry this happened. The décor item – an antique electric soldering iron – came with an original cord that was wrapped in a way that should have been noticed and corrected before it was ever displayed. The item has been removed from our East Windsor store. While this display was unintentional, it was completely unacceptable and against our company’s philosophy of seeking to create a welcoming environment for everyone,” Cracker Barrel said in a statement.
History of Alleged Discrimination
Cracker Barrel has had issues relating to offensive or discriminatory behavior in the past. According to Mashed, in 1991 Cracker Barrel introduced a hiring policy designed to prevent hiring or allow firing employees that were not displaying “normal heterosexual values.”
Eventually, they soon realized the ignorance of the company policy and reversed it.
Another issue occurred more recently in 2004. A Department of Justice investigation looked into the alleged racial discrimination against African-American customers. According to the report, some customers claimed white servers refused to wait on African-American customers, segregated customers seating by race, seated white customers before African-American customers and treated African-American who complained about food or service less favorably than other customers with similar complaints.
There was evidence of this happening in 50 different Cracker Barrels. Under court order, Cracker Barrel had implemented new policies. They were in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In fact, the restaurant segregated its customers until 2004, when the U.S. Justice Department had to force them to stop.