A Houston Mexican restaurant was forced to shut down its social media pages after a picture of the owner posing with Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions sparked a boycott.
El Tiempo co-owner and executive chef Domenic Laurenzo posed for a photo Friday with Mr. Sessions, who was in town to discuss immigration enforcement with law enforcement officers.
“We had the honor to server [sic] Mr. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States. Thank you for allowing us to serve you,” read a tweet from El Tiempo’s account.
On Saturday, Roland Laurenzo, Dominic’s father and the restaurant’s co-owner, condemned the Trump administration’s immigration policies in a now-deleted Facebook post.
“El Tiempo does not in anyway support the practice of separating children from parents or any other practices of the government relative to immigration,” the post read, CultureMap reported. “The posting of a photograph of the Attorney General at one of our restaurants does not represent us supporting his positions.”
Roland told a local NBC affiliate that the photo was taken and sent to the restaurant’s social media manager, who posted it without consulting with the owners.
“It was posted without review or approval by ownership and this has lead to everyone jumping to conclusions that somehow we are involved in this political matter,” Roland’s Facebook post continued. “We don’t approve of anyone separating parents and children.”
Despite Roland’s explanation, the social media campaign #BoycottElTiempo continued and the Laurenzos became the target of death threats, he told a local ABC affiliate. The Tex-Mex chain’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages were taken down Saturday afternoon.
“People are insulting us in such a dramatic fashion, and we feel like we don’t deserve it,” Roland said Sunday. “At least temporarily I had it taken down because I don’t want to be insulted, my children to be insulted, my family to be insulted.”
“The last thing I ever wanted to do was to upset everybody,” Domenic added. “It didn’t dawn on me until after that everyone was associating me with approving of the politics of Mr. Sessions and by no means is that the case. It’s been a big misunderstanding.”
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