CLAYTON, Calif. (KTVU) – An East Bay deli owner is facing backlash for a controversial Facebook post.
On his personal Facebook page, John Canesa of Canesa’s Brooklyn Heros deli in Clayton said, “Meatballs made with beef today in case we offend any of our overly sensitive pork haters!! Free side when you say send her back! #canesasbrooklynheros.”
This after President Donald Trump suggested four congresswomen of color “go back” to where they came from and a crowd at a Trump rally in North Carolina chanted “send her back” about Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Customers were surprised to see the deli, normally open on Saturdays, closed. There was no sign explaining why, but some who stopped by suspected it had to do with Canesa’s Facebook post.
Some denounce the post, writing bad reviews about the deli on Yelp and commenting on social media, including the foreign-born mayor of Clayton, Tuija Catalano.
She tells KTVU she’s a strong believer in First Amendment rights and Canesa is entitled to his opinion, but in a statement she says, “I am very saddened to have seen a FB post by the owner of local deli this morning. 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. When hateful comments are being promoted as part of a local business, they reflect on our community’s reputation. As an elected official, who is also a woman and foreign-born, I personally find a comment about sending anyone back over their political opinions unacceptable.”
The East Bay Human Rights Advocates group had a similar stance. On Facebook writing, “We at EBHRA strongly condemn the comments made by Mr. Canesa, and further ask that he apologize to our community for his hateful message and further division in an already divided nation.”
Others though stopped by the deli to show their support and stand by John Canesa.
Matt Ghirardo is a longtime customer and said he doesn’t agree with the backlash, “If you don’t like somebody’s opinion don’t come here, but you don’t have to get on social outlet and write all these negative comments. This is good food, this guy has been in business for a long time.”
While customer Charles Van Brusselen said the post is misunderstood, “I thought it was kind of a joke and people took it too far apparently you can’t tell jokes anymore.”
The owner of Cansesa’s Deli, John Canesa, posted a video on Facebook responding to the incident.
A rally is now being planned by the East Bay Human Rights Advocates on Saturday, July 27th at the Grove Park in downtown Clayton. Organizers on Facebook say the goal is to promote tolerance and inclusivity.