Chicago, Illinois – The owner of a Chicago’s Max’s Deli made a joke about “white people shooting white people” and called the Las Vegas shooting a “community outreach” in a post to his Twitter account that has since been deleted.
Greg Morelli, the owner of Max’s Deli, tweeted at 7 a.m. Monday, about the shooting, “Soon as I heard it was country music, I felt relief. White people shooting white people isn’t terror… it’s community outreach,” according to Breitbart News site.
Once the tweet was being criticized, Morelli told the Chicago Tribune, “As a white guy, I was relieved that it wasn’t across race lines, or religion lines or (an attack) from outside the country. When I heard the news, I said, Please God, don’t let it be war.”
Breitbart News said the restaurant began receiving threatening phone calls and the staff was alarmed enough that it shut down the restaurant early Monday to avoid enraged customers.
Morelli then said his tweet was a “dumb joke.”
“It was seven in the morning, and I was stressed out and freaked out by the shooting,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “It was a dumb joke, and it didn’t work. I own it. It was stupid.”
A day after his initial tweet, Morelli posted a message to Facebook apologizing for the tweet.
“We live in a time of mass shootings. This is my mass apology,” Morelli wrote.
“The thoughts have not worked. The prayers have not worked. What lead me to think Twitter was a good idea is beyond me. I simply do not know what to do about the shootings. Truly, I’m lost!” he wrote on Facebook.
“I own the words I wrote. They hurt people. I apologize. Some have suggested I take them down. I don’t know if you can. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. But I’ll try.There. I just took them down. Let’s see if it’s a step in the right direction.”
Followers on Facebook weren’t buying the apology.
“Been to your deli many times,” said a Michael Murphy in a comment under Morelli’s post. “Never ever again. Unreal.”
About a month ago the deli owner created a menu featuring a caricature of Donald Trump dressed as a Nazi and giving a Hitler salute. He added a caption reading, “I am with the Alt-Right,” Breitbart News reported.
Morelli received much criticism for the cartoon.
“I do not regret assigning symbolism to hatred. I do not regret being trashed on Facebook. That said, it hurt,” Morelli told the Chicago Tribune.