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Racial slur causes protest against Pompano Beach restaurant

Pompano Beach residents protesting the Snappers Restaurant

Racial slur causes protest against  Pompano Beach restaurant

By China Boynton

      Pompano Beach residents are taking a stand and protesting the Snappers Restaurant located at 600 N.W. Third St. in Pompano Beach in the heart of the Black community, for the fourth straight day, allegedly because the owner’s son called a business owner in Pompano, the Nword.

     “I did not expect this to turn out so big. I started this by myself with just one sign and a bull horn because I was called the N-word”, said Arthur Forest, owner of Faith Construction Corporation in Pompano.

     Now protesters, numbering up to 25 at times, have urged the community to stop eating there and have taken to the streets with signs and hand-outs.

     This all started on Friday when Pompano Beach resident and owner of Faith Construction, Forest was working on the empty lot next to Snappers clearing growth and debris from a burned out shed when  a verbal altercation ensued between Forest and the owner of the restaurant’s son, Ali Juma.

     The verbal disagreement escalated when it was alleged by Forest that Juma called him the “N ” word after Ali approached Forest in a threatening manner and Forest pushed him back.

     According to Forest this was not the first time that there was some mixed feelings shared between Snappers’ owner and his workers.

     The first incident happened when we left some dirt in the drive-way of Snappers. Mr. Juma talked in a very negative way to one of my workers. My worker chose some choice words to use because Mr. Juma was negative towards him. We did remove the dirt”.

     The second incident and what help to stir the caldron after some trash was put into the restaurant’s  dumpster, but later removed.

     Things got even worse when Juma called the police alleging that Forest was threatening him with a weapon and as a result Forest was led away in handcuffs but not arrested.

     Foster admitted that his worker had put trash in the dumpster owned by Snappers, but had taken it out when asked.

     “ I made a sign and I came out here on Saturday by myself,” said Forest. “When people started hearing about what happened by Sunday I  had at least 20 people out here with me.”

     Ali Juma has yet to make a statement in the matter but the owner of Snappers , Khair Juma in an interview with this re-porter denied he used the “ N “ word and said, “It wasn’t me it was my son”.

     “I’ve been running small businesses in this community for 20 years and Ive been running Snappers for 5 years,” said the father Juma. “I apologize If anyone was hurt and I will be more than willing to sit down with Mr. Forest and work this whole situation out.”

     “I am a decent person I have children, all I could think of was my children seeing me in hand cuffs because I was standing up for what I thought was right”.

     Despite the fact that the owner of Snapper’s claims that he wants to mediate the situation, most of the protesters feel that it isn’t genuine.

     “They weren’t sincere be-cause the only reason why they want to hold a mediation is to shut us up,” said protester Vi-cente Thrower.“ They don’t care about our community and we now know that they’ve decided to show their true colors.”

     This protest is about more than just racial slurs, it’s also about the Black community supporting Black owned businesses.

     “ I don’t like the fact that we have dozens stores in our com-munity and all of them are ran by Arabs, “ said protester Veronica Thomas. “ I think we should give more to our community and to our people.”

     When Foster was asked what he wanted to see happen, he said, “We need business people who respect our communities and give back. We don’t need people like some of them who disrespect us. I wanna see them cut of the lights, unplug the refrigerators, put the kool aid on the back of the trucks and get out of town”.

 

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    About The Author

    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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