SILER CITY, N.C. (WNCN) – Owners of a new restaurant in Chatham County say a racist letter left at their business isn’t a hoax.
A&I’s Chicken Shack opened up in Siler City within the last month. It posted a video of its ribbon cutting to Facebook on July 16.
On Wednesday, the restaurant posted to its Facebook page a photo of a note left.
“A (expletive) has no place in our town,” it began.
“White folks will not let a (expletive) come into our town and succeed,” it said.
The note left for the soul food restaurant also referenced re-electing President Donald Trump. It was signed, “WHITE NATIONALISTS.”
CBS 17’s Michael Hyland went to Siler City on Friday where he spoke with Andre Chaney, who owns the restaurant.
“We wanted people to know what we got, and that we’re not going anywhere,” Chaney told Hyland.
“My employees got to see how it frustrated me. It brought tears to my eyes. And, my whole day was shattered at that point.”
Per the restaurant’s Facebook page, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office has been notified of the incident.
Sheriff Mike Roberson said he assigned his “best investigator” to the case.
He’s also eaten at the restaurant in recent days to show his support.
“When people make anonymous threats like that it doesn’t do anything but scare people, that living in fear kind of thing is what we want to make sure we stamp out,” he said. “We can talk to each other and we can work things out. Anonymous threats are scary.”
The person responsible could face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the intent and who wrote the letter, Roberson said.
“In the end, we just want the truth. We want to find out the real intent,” he said.
Since posting about the note on Facebook, Chaney has heard from people well beyond Siler City, many of whom have stopped by the restaurant to show their support.
“Being hateful doesn’t accomplish the things you want it to accomplish,” he said. “Lots of people know that that’s not Siler City.”
He said he’s also heard from people skeptical about the note and questioning if it’s a ploy to drum up business.
“It’s not, ‘we need business’ and ‘Oh, it’s a hoax. They need business.’ We don’t need the business,” he said. “We don’t need the customers to walk in that door. We already have our regular customers. That’s like a family to us.”
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