WARREN (WXYZ) — A local banquet hall owner is speaking out after sharing a racist post on social media calling out the Black Lives Matter movement.
Gary DeCarlo, the owner of DeCarlo‘s Banquet and Convention Center, says he’s not a racist after he shared a post criticizing Black Lives Matter. He says he made a mistake and is hoping for a second chance.
“I just made the biggest mistake of my entire life. I’m not a racist never have been, and I made a mistake and I take full responsibility for it,” DeCarlo said.
He's now issuing an apology after sharing a post on social media that says, “Black Lives Matter, the entire country is sick of your (expletive), sick of the lawlessness, sick of the riots, sick of the threats and demands. The only thing you’ve managed to accomplish in all of this, is to live up to the ghetto stereotypes. Congratulations.”
“I didn’t write the post, I just shared it and I seen that it says Black Lives Matter and I didn’t read it real close and I shared it. It wasn’t meant to hurt anybody or upset anybody,” DeCarlo said.
The post now having an effect on his business, as some are canceling events they had planned at the banquet hall.
“That’s not a joke, there’s too much going on in the world. So to put a meme on Facebook like that to degrade us like that and we’re fighting hard to keep our history and culture going just like anyone else in other cultures,” said Tanisha Austin who planned to have her wedding at the hall, but has since said she is looking elsewhere.
Austin says her family used DeCarlo’s banquet hall in the past and never had any issues, in fact they even recommended it. But after seeing this post, she says her wedding and reception won’t happen there.
“They all say the same thing," Austin said. "You can’t make mistakes like that. That’s just unacceptable. I’m not making mistakes calling other races out there names. I respect the respect."
DeCarlo says he’s not a racist and is hoping someone can learn from his mistake.
“Maybe somebody can learn to read these posts better before they share them," he said. "Hopefully somebody can learn from my stupid mistake."
Austin says she made a deposit and is hoping to get her money back. DeCarlo says this post does not represent him, his business or the people who work for him and that he simply made a mistake.