Restaurant Posts Sign: “Black Olives Matter”…Social Media Loses its Mind

Written by Philip Hodges

An Italian restaurant called Paisano’s in Albuquerque, New Mexico wanted to advertise for a new dish by putting this message on its sign – “Black Olives Matter, Try Our Tapenade.” Tapenade is a savory spread made from chopped up black olives, capers, and anchovies. It’s making me hungry just writing this.

But not everyone was appreciative of the sign’s message – a play-on words with Black Lives Matter. People thought the message trivialized the very serious, non-trivial, and vitally important group called Black Lives Matter.


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Outraged people did what they do best and took to social media to vent. The Sun reported:

People have taken to social media to slam the slogan, with Claudia Sanchez writing: “As a woman of color I find your posting offensive and in very bad taste.”

“Very bad taste?” Wait, is she making a pun of her own? If she’s being serious, I wonder if she’s even tried their tapenade. I hear it’s really good. Like, it had a really good taste. Whatever. Sun continued with the woman’s outraged comment:

“You simply wish to rub salt in an ugly festering wound which evil minded people refuse to allow to heal.”

Black Olives Matter

“…rub salt…” There she goes with her extended food analogy pun again. Salt. Olives. Tapenade. Mmm. If I lived in Albuquerque, I’d head down there now and demand some of this black olivey goodness. But alas, I’m on the other side of continent.


Sanchez’s outrageous comment concluded:

“The civilized world no longer has any tolerance for your hateful public display of what passes to you as humor.”

Well, I’m glad that she has so much tolerance. And she wasn’t the only one. Others apparently posted very negative comments about the sign’s offensive message, but the restaurant was accused of deleting those negative comments. The Sun continued:

Others praised the pun, with Russell Berryman writing: “Always love a good play on words. Keep up the good work.”

The restaurant’s owner Rick Camuglia told CBS affiliate KRQE: “We didn’t think anybody would be offended by that. It was not our intent to offend anybody.”

The sign has since been taken down by the restaurant and photos of the billboard have been taken down.

The negative feedback they got from incensed, intolerant people wasn’t the norm. Most people loved the humor and actually put their money where their mouth was:

Paisano’s also posted a thank you note on their social media page, saying: “Since Wednesday, July 13th, we have been inundated with positive, supportive phone calls from the community as well as overwhelmed with business, not only from our “regulars”, but from so many new customers who came from Albuquerque, surrounding cities, and even neighboring States simply to support us.

“A heartfelt “Thank You” to you from our Crew, some of whom were moved to tears because of your kind words and outpouring of support.

“Many nowadays would contend that society has changed for the worse, but our experience this week has proven the opposite. We have encountered so many quality people of character; salt of the earth and the bedrock of America. Awesome.

“Many have shown a unique way to show solidarity. I can’t count the number of customer’s orders who’ve included adding Black Olives to every dish ordered. Pizzas, Sandwiches and pasta dishes with “double Black Olives Please!” all day long. So much that we almost ran out and ordered more.

“We have served Albuquerque for over 40 years and look forward to the next 40.”

The restaurant has previously prided itself on witty slogans, including “World Gluten Headquarters”.

I know, I know…what about green olives? At least the sign didn’t say “All Olives Matter.” Now that would have been offensive.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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Philip Hodges

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