US deli owner under fire for Trump-inspired promotion
LOS ANGELES : A sandwich shop owner in northern California has come under fire for a publicity stunt offering customers who say "send her back" a free side dish.
Mr John Canesa, who runs Canesa's Brooklyn Heros deli in the town of Clayton, north of San Francisco, launched the promotion on Facebook in a show of support for recent comments by President Donald Trump targeting left-leaning ethnic minority lawmakers.
The gimmick was inspired by racist chants of "send her back" aimed at Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American former refugee, that broke out at a Trump rally in North Carolina earlier this month.
Mr Canesa's controversial Facebook post, which can no longer be viewed by the public but screenshots of which are circulating on the web, also joked about his ingredients in an apparent jab at Muslims.
Said the post that went up last week: "Meatballs made with beef today in case we offend any of our sensitive pork haters!"
Mr Canesa claimed in a series of posts on Friday last week that the promotion had gone down well with customers and that he had given out at least 65 free side orders.
"Come and get it we are about to sell out," he wrote.
Not everyone has been amused by the promotion, with local mayor Tuija Catalano saying it served only to promote "hatred and bigotry".
"When hateful comments are being promoted as part of a local business, they reflect on our community's reputation," she wrote in a Facebook post alongside screenshots of Mr Canesa's promotion.
Many on social media also weighed in on the controversy with some calling for a boycott of the business and others applauding the idea. - AFP