US

Hispanic restaurant owner recipient of death threats, outrage mob after hosting Jeff Sessions

A Mexican restaurant in Houston deactivated its social media after being targeted by the online outrage mob for posting a picture of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, calling it an "honor" to serve him. But that's not the whole truth. (Image source: KTRK-TV screenshot)

A Hispanic restaurant owner in Houston was forced to shut down his restaurant's social media presence after his business faced a barrage of online hate and negative reviews for hosting Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

What are the details?

On Friday, El Tiempo Catina posted a picture of Sessions posing with the son of restaurant co-owner Dominic Laurenzo after Sessions finished his meal of fajitas, according to KTRK-TV. Sessions visited the restaurant following a meeting with federal prosecutors to discuss violent crime and illegal immigration.

The restaurant said it was an "honor" to serve the top law enforcement officer in the nation, a distinction that was apparently out-of-line the restaurant quickly learned.

The backlash against Laurenzo, his restaurant, and his family was so swift that he decided to deactivate all of his restaurant's social media channels. Some critics even hurled death threats at his family.

"People are insulting us in such a dramatic fashion, and we feel like we don't deserve it. At least temporarily I had it taken down because I don't want to be insulted, my children to be insulted, my family to be insulted," Laurenzo told KTRK.

"We have gotten so many complaints and comments. And threats, death threats. This has been extremely shocking to our family," he explained to KHOU-TV.

What's the irony?

There is great irony in the outrage, Laurenzo pointed out. Critics perceived the picture as an endorsement of Sessions and the Trump administration's posture toward immigrants, but he said the truth couldn't be further from such an indictment.

"I certainly regret it because it's inaccurate in terms of the totality of what we would be thinking," he told KTRK of the posting's caption.

Indeed, Laurenzo emphasized to KHOU that he does not agree with Sessions' view on immigration or LGBT rights.

One last thing…
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