A day after a National Holiday meant to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States, one Minnesota restaurant owner is closing his doors after a flurry of racist comments.

In a post on Facebook, the owner says that "It’s crazy to see the amount of hate" and calls comments he is seeing on social media about news stories covering Juneteenth "disgraceful".

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Jamrock Cultural Restaurant -Facebook
Jamrock Cultural Restaurant -Facebook
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Tony O'Neil, owner and chef at Jamrock Cultural Restaurant in Downtown Duluth, says the amount of "pure hate" is "insane", and that he will be closing the restaurant for the day (June 20th) to "cool off". He also noted that his employees will be getting PTO for today due to the unexpected closure.

I have to agree with him—there's a staggering amount of hate in the comments about Juneteenth celebrations. A post on the Northern News Now Facebook page showcases comments ranging from repulsive memes of fried chicken, clowns, and blackface, to various misleading half-truths and lies about the holiday.

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Even O'Neil acknowledges that he gets "it's the internet", but he's spot-on about the sheer volume of hate and ignorance on full display on social media about what he says was a "dope peaceful event that was truly a celebration".

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However, the backlash has not gone unanswered. Loyal customers and community members have shown an outpouring of support for Jamrock Cultural Restaurant. One supporter remarked, "The comments on any local news clips regarding Juneteenth are disgusting and plain cowardly... I promise, they won’t say it to anyone’s face. Cowards!!" This solidarity proves that while hate may be loud, it is not the only voice being heard.

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