A Greenville, North Carolina, restaurant has pledged to donate thousands of dollars it made on Wednesday, the day President Donald Trump held a rally nearby where his supporters chanted “send her back” about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
The Scullery posted a sign in its window notifying customers that all profits made on Wednesday would go to the American Immigration Council, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit advocacy group.
On Friday, Matt Scully, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife, told HuffPost the $5,600 donation is about honoring diversity.
“We wanted to find a way to celebrate that and send a message of positivity and hope and unity,” he said, adding that he chose the AIC because he “really appreciated the work they’re doing and advocacy and helping families and children.”
Reactions from patrons were “overwhelmingly positive,” Scully said. “We received phone calls and had people come in to say they’re just here to be supportive of the message we sent.”
Sully noted that a handful of critics called the restaurant to voice their disagreement, or ranted about the donation online, but said he’s “trying to ignore” it.
The Scullery, which opened its doors in 2011, is a little more than a mile away from Williams Arena, where Trump held his rally. In front of thousands of supporters, the president continued his attacks on several progressive Democratic lawmakers of color ― Omar and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
Speaking to the crowd, Trump took aim in particular at Omar, who came to the U.S. as a child. After accusing her of having “a history of vicious anti-Semitic attacks,” the audience erupted into chants of “send her back.”
“It was sad ... to see what happened in my community, the chants to send her back coming from people that I probably know,” Scully said. “It was just disappointing and embarrassing.”
Trump had begun targeting the lawmakers on social media a few days earlier, though he did not initially name them. In a series of tweets on Sunday, he slammed ”‘Progressive’ Democrat congresswomen” for “viciously telling the people of the United States ... how our government is to be run,” urging the lawmakers to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
In spite of the president’s bigoted remarks, which were echoed by his base on Wednesday, Scully said he’s glad he can show there’s another side to his city.
“I’m proud to be able to tell a different story about our community to let people know that we shouldn’t be judged by a sound bite of people at a Trump rally.”