How Local Restaurants are Supporting Black Lives Matter
Given recent events, many local restaurants in over 140 cities across the U.S. have taken the initiative to help fight against systemic racism by leaving out food, water, and other supplies and donations for protestors.
Just yesterday, Pies 'n' Thighs in Williamsburg, Brooklyn left sandwiches wrapped in paper and water bottles out on a table for protestors to pick up on their way home. (It was a COVID-friendly method, too.) They also released a statement on Instagram of how they would support the cause.
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We've been thinking a lot about the system of violence that led to George Floyd's murder this week and how to give meaningfully. This is not a one time event with a one time answer, and that's why we decided to donate this weekend's pie sales to the Equal Justice Initiative to help their fight against economic and racial injustice in America. To learn more about their work around racial justice, the legacy of slavery, racial segregation, and the presumption of guilt that led us to this week, please visit www.eji.org.
For many independent restaurants that are already struggling financially from the pandemic, donating food to protestors is the best way they can support the Black Lives Matter movement. Remember, local restaurants arguably took the biggest hit from the shutdown, with many having to shutter their dining rooms and kitchens entirely—rendering them unable to provide takeout or delivery. Some even closed permanently due to severe financial loss.
In some cities, the action has become more violent than in other areas, with local businesses having their storefronts vandalized and windows smashed. While this is a detriment to the livelihood of independent restaurants, many owners and chefs have been empathetic as to why these acts have happened. Take Baco Mercat in Los Angeles as an example: Their storefront was completely destroyed during protest activity, however, in an Instagram post, instead of calling for sympathy, they said they understood.
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RP @chefjosefcenteno "If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable." — LDB This is America under a leader who sows divisiveness and violence. Please remember this @whenweallvote. #justiceforgeoegefloyd | We'll be closed today. So will @bar_ama and @orsaandwinston. Thank you for your support! Stay safe, #dtla. We love you!
The restaurant quoted Louis D. Brandeis, "If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
The New York Times reported that Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, which sits just a few blocks from where George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, handed out "packed go-bags for marchers that included critical supplies to protect themselves… gloves, face masks and face shields, eyewash kits, gauze and other first-aid."
It's clear that many local restaurants are standing in solidarity and doing what they can to support the BLM movement. For more, Here's How You Can Support Black-Owned Food Businesses in Your City.