Trending these days: parodying the Black Lives Matter movement to shed light on whatever issue, unrelated to what the original phrase meant. Recently, the White Marlin Marina in Ocean City, MD came under fire for selling T-shirts reading “White Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter,” with an image of a white or blue marlin, to raise awareness “in promotion of billfish conservation.”
Now, a restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico is using the phrase to sell T-shirts about… olives. Eatery Paisano’s made headlines for adding the phrase “Black Olives Matter” to its signage as a way to promote, as KOAT 7 Albequerque says, “a tuna dish with black olive tapenade.” Paisano’s caught plenty of flack for the sign, as some people felt that the play on the phrase trivializes the important social and political issues of the Black Lives Matter movement.
But some people actually found the sign humorous. So much so that after the backlash, owner Rick Camuglia saw a great moneymaking opportunity. Now, he’s selling T-shirts and hats emblazoned with the controversial tagline. According to Camuglia, people from different countries were calling him, asking for “Black Olives Matter” memorabilia. And he’s been quite successful. “People have filled the restaurant and told us to leave up the sign,” Camuglia told KOAT 7. “That’s great, you know, because a lot of people make a living off working for this restaurant.”
Making money by piggybacking off a movement that touches on real issues? What could be more American than that?