Sept 26, 2020 – Welcome signs “Welcome to City Island, Settled 1685, The Garden Club of City Island”, Bronx, New York City, USA.
By Chris Jose, NBC New York
The only Black-owned restaurant in a Bronx neighborhood has become the target of racist hate, after a hand-drawn picture depicting racial stereotypes was delivered to the business.
Seafood Kingz opened eight months ago on City Island, with its big portions leaving people coming back for more.
“We stand out a little bit from the other places,” said owner Darryl Lelie. “The best part about being here on the island is that we’re open for everybody.”
Lelie is the kind of person who is always happy. But the hate mail his restaurant received earlier in the week had him clenching his fists.
The racist words and illustration of two men — one Black, one Jewish — calling the “bad news” left Lelie furious.
“We just want to do good business. We don’t want no problems,” he said.
The name on the paper is Ben Garrison, a controversial, right-wing political cartoonist known for antisemitic images. But Lelie doesn’t think he’s involved with the flyer, though he’s not sure who would deliver something so hateful.
“We have the right like anybody else to have nice, clean-running business,” said Lelie. “No place for hate here. Nope. Not at all.”
The restaurant owner intends to file a police report. The envelope, processed in New Jersey, has no stamp or return address. But now Lelie is delivering a message of his own.
“We’re here to stay. We’re not going anywhere. We’re here,” he said.
The restaurant is hosting a rally on Nov. 12 with local leaders and church members, encouraging the community to come out to help send a message of support.