MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A South Florida eatery is facing some tough questions after an employee quit over what he says was a racist joke.
That employee has seen an overwhelming reaction on social media. He says this all came from one of his bosses trying to be funny.
Brandon Gonzalez, 25, says he was working his shift as a bar back at the Hole in the Wall Pub in southwest Miami-Dade over the weekend.
As he was about to deliver a plate of blackened wings to a customer, he and his coworkers in the kitchen noticed what was printed in red on the order ticket.
“The owner kind of walked up to them and said, ‘Well, we now can’t write blackened so I wrote I can’t breathe,’ and then he kind of chuckled,” Gonzalez said. “I can’t breathe isn’t a joke. It’s the words of someone that’s unfortunately passed away and died at the hands of police brutality.”
Gonzalez says he was stunned and put the receipt in his pocket.
“You have to have a certain type of mentality to find that joke funny, and I just knew right away that’s not what I want to be affiliated with,” he said.
Gonzalez quit after his shift, and decided to speak out.
"I want people to be aware of it, I want people to know that this is stuff that every day people deal with," Gonzalez said.
No one at the pub would speak to Local 10 but after several attempts for a response, the management sent a statement:
“The management of Hole in the Wall Pub is disgusted about what occurred. We apologize to our customers and employees. It is reprehensible and goes completely against our values. We have taken immediate action by suspending Mr. Diedrick. We will be engaging directly with each of our employees to listen to their concerns and explain to them the steps we are taking to ensure this never occurs again.”
Gonzalez said most of the kitchen staff at Hole in the Wall Pub is African American.
Since speaking out about what happened on social media, Gonzalez received multiple job offers.