A Chicago restaurant owned and operated by a family of immigrants from Cuba and Mexico was forced to close in June because, despite proclaiming that racism is evil, they would not align themselves with the pro-LGBTQ, pro-abortion, anti-police agenda of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Riesco family had owned and operated Nini’s Deli in downtown Chicago for a decade. It had become a Yelp Top 50 Restaurant in the country rated at 5 stars. Not only was the restaurant enjoying great success, but so was Juan Riesco – son of the owners and heir to the business along with his brother, Jose.
Juan had been in partnerships with brands like Nike and Adidas in his personal business, Chicago Native, and he was seen as a successful rising entrepreneur.
After the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while being arrested by police, pressure mounted for the Riesco family to throw their support behind the Black Lives Matter movement as a statement of support to the community. Community members pointed at the business’s silence on social media, and people began asking Nini’s for a statement on recent events.
On Wednesday, June 3rd, Nini’s released their statement via their Instagram account (which has now been shut down):
Nini’s Deli believes that all people were created in the image of God. We do not promote or agree with racism and hatred of any kind. In light of the current events, we want to let our city and nation know that we mourn with you. We pray for justice for George Floyd’s family, friends, and the entire community that is hurting. We believe that all black lives matter and we know that only God can bring about the justice that is deserved.
The statement continued with an apology for not saying anything sooner:
As a Christian, we stand against all injustice and will always serve our communities with love, grace, and integrity, no matter your race, gender, or background. We apologize for not making this statement earlier. We want to serve you, Chicago.
They were immediately criticized for not saying “Black Lives Matter” explicitly (despite saying “We believe all black lives matter” in their post). Community members demanded that the business align itself with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Nini’s Deli and the Riesco family quickly lost support from community members, partners, and businesses in the days that followed.
Protesters began marching and gathering outside of Nini’s. Police officers monitored the events. Jose Riesco set up a speaker to preach the Gospel – a controversial move that offended many protesters because of his outspoken views on homosexuality and abortion. Protesters painted Nini’s pink wall black, complete with the Black Lives Matter fist.
— JEOFRFREY (@JefeJey) June 6, 2020
You can read the entire timeline of events, including snapshots of Tweets and Instagram posts, by clicking here.
Ultimately, the Riesco family was forced to close Nini’s Deli permanently.
This is oppression by mob rule. Anyone who opposes the mob will be harassed to comply until the guilty party bows to the mob’s wishes. If the guilty party refuses, the mob punishes them using whatever means they can. The mob is the judge and the jury. No diversity of thought is allowed here.
Even if you disagree with the restaurant owners, is it the mob’s right to take away a family’s business from them?
According to Faithwire, the Riesco family has left Chicago and Juan and Jose now plan to dedicate their lives to ministry.
“…my circumstances have changed,” said Juan, “but my identity in whom I trust hasn’t.”