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BLM holds ‘Cancel Carmine’s’ protests outside famed restaurant in NYC

Black Lives Matter activists descended on Carmine’s restaurant in New York City and slammed its management as ‘racist’ after three black women visiting from Texas claimed they were called the N-word before they allegedly assaulted an Asian hostess who asked for proof of vaccination.

BLM protesters chanted ‘F*** you, Carmine’s’ and ‘Carmine’s are racist’ outside the popular Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on Monday night – four days after an altercation that highlighted the perils faced by restaurant workers pushed into enforcing the city’s vaccine passport mandate.

Kaeita Rankin, 44, her niece Tyonnie Keshay Rankin and Sally Rechelle Lewis, 49, – all of whom are from the Houston area – say they were provoked into the brawl after the racial slur was hurled.

The restaurant initially claimed the women did not show proof of vaccination, leading to the feud, but walked back that assertion Monday and admitted the three did present their cards, according to Trident DMG, a public relations firm representing the trendy trattoria.

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However, the trio soon stormed out when three men who were part of their group arrived several minutes later and two of them could not produce proof of vaccination, Trident DMG told Gothamist.

The three women then launched ‘an entirely unprovoked, brutal attack on our hosts,’ Emma Novak, a spokesperson for the PR firm, told Gothamist.

Rankin, her niece, and Lewis were arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief. They were given desk appearance tickets and ordered to appear in court on October 5.

Justin Moore, a lawyer who represents Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, alleged that the hostess used a racial slur and was rude to the women. Moore said the hostess  also  accused the women of producing fake vaccination cards.

‘The hostess begins spouting out derogatory comments, and speaking with two of the women; they claim that the N-word is being spewed out,’ Moore told The New York Times.

‘They also heard the hostess say, “Yeah, you guys can leave my restaurant,” or something very aggressive like that.

‘When Dr. Rankin hears that, she turns around and addresses the hostess. She tells her: “This isn’t your restaurant. You’re just a staff member here. Please address us with respect”‘.

He said the incident amounted to ‘mutual combat.’

Moore’s allegations were rejected by Carolyn Richmond, an attorney for the restaurant.

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‘Nothing about this incident suggests race was an issue,’ Richmond told The Times.

‘The pandemic has added a key responsibility to the host position – insuring the safety and health of all employees and guests by checking for proof of vaccination in compliance with New York City law.

‘The idea that anyone would become violent as an employee performs this necessary function is anathema to New York, the hospitality industry and New Yorkers in general,’ she added.


‘As all of the women showed proof of vaccination they were all permitted to enter and were in fact seated inside.’

BLM protesters on Monday demanded that the restaurant release closed-circuit surveillance footage of the incident. Carmine’s management was accused of ‘trying to cover up their employee’s actions by using the vaccination passport as an excuse.’

The restaurant responded by releasing the footage, which shows the three women seemingly accost the hostess even though it did not appear that she provoked them. The footage was first obtained by NY1.

BLM protesters supporting the women claim the hostess ‘lunged’ at the three Texas tourists and that she was disrespectful.

The trio have claimed the unnamed 24 year-old hostess was actually the aggressor, and have called for her to be fired.

During the fracas, restaurant staff jumped in to defend their co-worker, who was left with bruises and scratches, with footage of the brawl making headlines across the United States.

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Hawk Newsome, a co-founder of BLM’s New York chapter who planned Monday’s protest, said the duking tourists were reacting to being called the racial slur.

‘After she (the hostess) dropped the N-bomb, the three women did a double take and followed her out the restaurant,’ Newsome said.

‘And that’s the melee you saw.’

BLM organizers also blasted the city’s strict vaccine passport rules and invoked the names of recent black women killed by police.

‘This vaccination card mandate to create more Sandra Blands, and more Breonna Taylors, it ends here,’ said BLM organizer Kimberly Bernard.

‘You shouldn’t exclude people from everyday activities because they choose not to engage in something they have every reason to doubt.’

Jeffrey Bank, the owner of the restaurant, released a statement saying that the surveillance footage shows the assailants started the brawl without justification and were ‘entirely unprovoked.’

‘This video footage makes clear that the women’s Texan criminal defense attorney is heaving falsehoods to try to get his clients off the hook for their attack,’ Bank said.

‘It also makes clear Carmine’s staff acted appropriately and professionally.’

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Moore told Daily News: ‘This hostess clearly has some anger management issues and unfortunately her aggression and her violence led to something that three black women are being punished for.’

‘Any claim that they were racially profiled is a complete fabrication, disingenuous, and outright irresponsible,’ the lawyer for … (Read more)

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