Trending these days: parodying the Black Lives Matter movement to shed light on whatever concern, unrelated to what the original phrase meant. Lately, the White Marlin Marina in Ocean City, MD came below fire for promoting T-shirts reading “White Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter,” with an image of a white or blue marlin, to raise awareness “in promotion of billfish conservation.”
Now, a restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico is using the phrase to sell T-shirts about… olives. Eatery Paisano’s produced headlines for adding the phrase “Black Olives Matter” to its signage as a way to market, as KOAT 7 Albequerque says, “a tuna dish with black olive tapenade.” Paisano’s caught lots of flack for the sign, as some individuals felt that the play on the phrase trivializes the essential social and political concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement.
But some people actually identified the sign humorous. So significantly so that right after the backlash, owner Rick Camuglia saw a fantastic moneymaking opportunity. Now, he’s selling T-shirts and hats emblazoned with the controversial tagline. According to Camuglia, people from different countries were calling him, asking for “Black Olives Matter” memorabilia. And he’s been really profitable. “People have filled the restaurant and told us to leave up the sign,” Camuglia told KOAT 7. “That’s wonderful, you know, simply because a lot of men and women make a living off working for this restaurant.”
Generating income by piggybacking off a movement that touches on genuine troubles? What could be much more American than that?
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