A Tennessee restaurant was forced to cancel a nearly $1,000 order after woke mobsters launched a harassment campaign based on unsubstantiated rumors perpetuated by local media that it planned to donate the food to a “Back the Blue” rally.
Shuford’s Smokehouse in Chattanooga said its business began receiving online threats from self-proclaimed social justice warriors warning they would tear down the decades-old diner for its apparent donation to a pro-police function. Shuford’s owners, however, clarified that the order was no giveaway, but instead a clear-cut business transaction.
“A lady placed an order Tuesday for food for Saturday. She said she was taking it to the [pro-police] Back the Blue Rally in Chattanooga. It was just a business transaction. We did not donate the food,” Madison Davis, daughter of restaurant owner Jeff, told the Tennessee Star.
“One of the news channels reported on Thursday that we were supplying the food for the rally,” Davis added, without naming the outlet to avoid stirring up more controversy. “So they made it sound like we donated the food, and we did not. Whenever that got reported is when we started getting threats, threatening phone calls, harassment, nasty negative reviews on our Facebook.”
Davis said the harassment became so bad for the restaurant that employees took extreme measures to protect themselves, while the smokehouse removed its Facebook page after online trolls caused ratings to plummet.
“We went from a 4.8 to a 4 [rating] in less than an hour because of people blowing it [Facebook] up, calling us nasty things that I really don’t want to repeat,” Davis told the Star. “We finally got a threat that someone was going to burn our building down where we smoke all of our meat in. That is when we decided to cancel. We didn’t want to do the transaction anymore.”
While the restaurant is still standing, the Davises took a hit, losing out on a $1,000 order in an era of ongoing pandemic uncertainty in the service industry.
Among those leading the online harassment campaign was Chattanooga Black Lives Matter activist Cameron Williams, who later said he would take down posts and videos indicting the restaurant for racism based on false local reporting. According to a screenshot of the messages exchanged between the restaurant owners and Williams obtained by The Federalist, Williams pledged to take down the defamatory content if the restaurant released a statement clearing up confusion about the order.
“He said that he would take down the post and videos if we made a public statement that it was not donated,” Davis said. “Per our attorney’s advice, we did that. Instead of following through with his word, he did not take down the slandering stuff.”
While the restaurant held up its end of the bargain, Williams did not, and instead his posts remain up rallying his followers to demonize the local small business.
In one video, Williams bragged about his followers having forced the restaurant to “delete their Facebook ASAP” and encouraged people to place “realistic” to-go orders they never intend to pick up after leaving bad reviews on Google.
In the past, Williams has rooted for America’s destruction, encouraging rioters to tear down property that is not black-owned while chastising Independence Day as racist.
Chattanooga police have begun an investigation into protester threats, naming Black Lives Matter as the suspect.