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Man quits restaurant job after owner renamed blackened chicken wings to ‘I can’t breathe’

/ 05:46 PM June 24, 2020

A man quit his job at a restaurant after one of the owners changed the name of their blackened chicken wings dish to “I can’t breathe,” in reference to the final words of Black man George Floyd before being killed by police.

Brandon Gonzalez was about to serve the wings to a customer at Hole in the Wall in Florida, United States, when he saw the name change on the receipt, as per NBC’s WTVJ on June 22.

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“I guess he thought it was funny to change a customer’s order from 10 blackened wings to 10 ‘I can’t breathes,'” Gonzalez was quoted as saying.

He noted that the restaurant co-founder, Sam Diedrick, was laughing while trying to tell employees that they are going to replace “blackened” with “I can’t breathe” in the menu.

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Gonzalez stressed that one main reason which absolutely offended and baffled him “was the fact that they have a 90% Black kitchen.” The joke, he said, came from a place “where you wouldn’t find things like that funny unless you were a racist.”

“You’re pretty much joking about the BLM movement,” he added. “You think it’s a joke that George Floyd was saying ‘I can’t breathe’ an x amount of times, like, you think that’s funny? That’s not funny.”

Gonzalez also showed a receipt of the transaction in his Twitter account on June 21. The receipt does bear the words “I can’t breathe” in red ink, under the chicken wings item.

The owner has since apologized for his “insensitivity in a lame attempt at humor” through Facebook, according to the report. The restaurant also issued an apology through its website and stated that Diedrick will be suspended.

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hole in the wall statement

Image: screengrab from Hole In The Wall website

Floyd died begging for air and saying “I can’t breathe” as ex-officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for over 8 minutes on May 25. His death has sparked numerous mass protests across the U.S. and other countries, as people clamor for an end to racial injustice and institutional racism.

This is not the first time Floyd’s words were used in an insensitive or racist manner. A gym in Wisconsin earlier this month drew flak for posting an “I can’t breathe” work outIan Biong/JB

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TAGS: African Americans, black lives matter, Florida, George Floyd, Racism, restaurants, United States
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