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Ernest Walker, a Black U.S. Army veteran, was denied a meal at Chili’s on Veterans Day. Chili’s, like many restaurants around the country, offers free meals to vets on Veteran’s Day, but at this particular Chili’s restaurant in Cedar Hill, Texas, the manager decided not to serve the American serviceman.
Since the incident, Chili’s has removed the manager and released the following statement:
“We personally apologized to Mr. Walker for the unfortunate experience in our restaurant on Veterans Day and thanked him for his service to our country. We also thanked him for taking the time to speak with us and he appreciated our apology.”
Now, Walker says things have gotten worse for his family. The Army vet has received multiple death threats, unsolicited mail, and had to move out of his house to ensure his family’s safety.
Walker and his attorney S. Lee Merritt spoke with Roland Martin during Monday’s edition of NewsOne Now about the racially charged attack he and his family have had to endure since the unfortunate incident at Chili’s.
Walker told Martin he has also received a tremendous amount of support. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban joined the chorus of voices standing in solidarity with Walker.
Despite the support, Walker said, “There are still those who questioned my service almost like the birth certificate of the President – you show it and it’s still not good enough.”
Merritt said since the election of Donald Trump, “people feel more emboldened to question even African-American veterans or people of different faiths or people of Mexican descent.”
Even though Chili’s apologized for the incident, Merritt and his client hope the restaurant chain would “do more to help move the narrative back to a place where if we’re all one America, then we can all get behind our veterans.”
Watch Roland Martin, Ernest Walker, S. Lee Merritt, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the out of control response to the Chili’s incident in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty