A Cracker Barrel restaurant in Connecticut faced criticism when a customer pointed out that some of its decorations resembled “nooses” hanging from the ceiling. The restaurant chain has issued an apology for the incident.
Cracker Barrel clarified that the items in question were not actual nooses but rather wrapped cords attached to decor pieces. Nevertheless, the restaurant acknowledged that it was “completely unacceptable” for its employees to have overlooked the potential resemblance to nooses when setting up the decorations.
“SOMEONE AT CRACKER BARREL IN EAST WINDSOR NEEDS TO EXPLAIN WHY THERE ARE NOOSES ON THE CEILING…” TWEETED ALFONSO ROBINSON, ALONG WITH PICTURES OF THE DECORATIONS.
Cracker Barrel responded to the tweet the same evening, explaining that the “noose” decoration was actually a wrapped cord from an antique soldering iron that was part of the display at the East Windsor restaurant. The restaurant assured that the item had been removed.
Positive Conversation with Activists
Following the incident, activists visited the restaurant and had a “positive” and “constructive” conversation with the restaurant manager, Mark Smith, according to Keren Prescott, the founder of PowerUp-Manchester.
Smith acknowledged that the cord resembling a noose had been displayed in the restaurant for 22 years, and no one had raised concerns until recently. He invited Prescott to examine the premises and understand the situation better.
In an interview with the Journal Inquirer, Prescott appreciated Smith’s openness, stating, “At one point, the manager said, ‘You might notice things that I don’t,’ which I really appreciated because as a white man, he might not view certain things the same way a black person would.”
Calls for Review
Several Twitter users have urged Cracker Barrel to conduct a review of all the decorations across its locations or provide a timeline for the review process.
In response, Cracker Barrel issued a statement to Fox News, emphasizing their commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment. They acknowledged that while some of their historic decor may resemble earlier times, their culture is firmly rooted in the present. The company expressed gratitude to the guest who brought the matter to their attention and promptly removed the item.
Cracker Barrel aims to maintain a culture of hospitality that respects and welcomes all visitors, and they consider this incident a mistake that needed correcting.