The ongoing protests in response to the death of George Floyd have not only called for widespread police reform. They have also re-opened a lot of conversations on racism throughout the U.S. Such is the case with Cracker Barrel, the Tennessee-based restaurant chain, and a lawsuit it settled back in 2004.
As Fox News reported at the time, Cracker Barrel settled a number of lawsuits filed by or supported by the NAACP, citing the chain's numerous allegations of racism toward customers and employees for $8.7 million. Among the suits, customers in 16 states said they were subjected to racial slurs, served food taken from the trash and segregated due to their race. The settlement came just months after the chain had settled another lawsuit with the Justice Department, which made similar claims. Now, stories about Cracker Barrel have begun recirculating online.
In 2004 Cracker barrel settled a discrimination lawsuit because- allowed white servers to refuse to wait on African-American customers;— Mr. Marcus (no relation) (@MrMarcus260) June 10, 2020
- segregated customer seating by race;
- seated white customers before African-American customers who arrived earlier.
Please shut up. https://t.co/mF8vtEpHdp
Despite the 16-year-old settlement, Cracker Barrel is facing newfound scrutiny from Twitter users, speaking about much more recent experiences that were the subject of both lawsuits. Among them are numerous allegations of discrimination, as well as the expected crop of defenders. Incidentally, the chain, which currently operates 660 stores in 45 states, hasn't tweeted since May 28, when it was promoting a special for National Burger Day.
The protests, which are nearing their second full week, have been held across the U.S. as well as around the world. Among their calls for an end to police brutality, some governments have begun to restructure their police forces — in some cases drastically — as a means to address the systemic issues that have disproportionately affected minorities.
While there have been some heated discussions over the controversial approach some cities have undertaken, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has come out against the idea of defunding police forces. "As his criminal justice proposal made clear months ago, Vice President Biden does not believe that police should be defunded," Biden spokesman Andrew Yates told reporters on Monday. He did go on to say that the former Vice President "hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain."