A California deli sparked outrage across the country when it posted a controversial promotion offering a free side to anyone who made an order using the chant “send her back,” a rally call to have a Muslim congresswoman deported.
The words are adaptations of a Twitter message from President Donald Trump saying four congresswomen of color should “go back” to “crime infested places” they came from.
John Canesa, the owner of Canesa’s Brooklyn Heros in Clayton, California, has since deleted the Facebook post about the promotion, but not before handing out at least 65 free sides at the restaurant about 35 miles northeast of downtown San Francisco, according to NBC Bay Area.
“Meatballs made with beef today in case we offend any of you overly sensitive pork haters!! Free side when you say ‘send her back,'” Canesa reportedly wrote Friday, July 19.
Since then, the business has gotten so many bad reviews on its Yelp page, that the review site posted an “unusual activity alert.”
“While we don’t take a stand one way or the other when it comes to this news event, we work to verify that the content you see here reflects personal consumer experiences with the business rather than the news itself,” Yelp says in the alert. “As a result, we’ve temporarily disabled the posting of content to this page.”
Canesa, a father of three, told Fox affiliate KTVU he’s been dealing with threats after the post.
Clayton Mayor Tuija Catalano posted a screenshot of the promotion on her Facebook page and said she was “very sad” to see the offer.
“We all have rights to our own political, religious, and other opinions. We all have a right to post about them too. However, there is no place in our community for hatred and bigotry,” Catalano wrote in a caption for the post. “When hateful comments are being promoted as part of a local business, they reflect on our community’s reputation.”
Catalano described herself as foreign-born and said she personally finds “a comment about sending anyone back over their political opinions unacceptable.”
The phrase “send her back” has been in media headlines since a crowd chanted them to call for the deportation of Rep. Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota, at a campaign rally July 17 for Trump in Greenville, N.C.
Trump had earlier told Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
All of the women are U.S. citizens, but Omar, a Muslim woman, immigrated to the U.S. as a child refugee from Somalia.