COLUMBUS, Ga., -- The Georgia NAACP State Conference has launched an investigation into Cracker Barrel to gain a better understanding of the conditions that allowed an African American woman to be severely beaten inside a restaurant, while her assailant shouted racial slurs.
"Cracker Barrel has a proven history of racial intolerance, and this recent incident might very well be an outgrowth of that corporate culture," said Georgia NAACP President Edward DuBose. "Cracker Barrel has pledged in the past to take steps toward improving its diversity and racial tolerance, but I am unconvinced that the company has maintained that pledge in good faith."
A 2004 consent order required Cracker Barrel corporate leadership to hire an outside auditor to oversee the implementation of non-discrimination policies, procedures and training programs. The order also required severe discipline for Cracker Barrel employees found to have discriminated against any patron.
Troy Dale West Jr. was indicted last month on charges related to beating Tasha Hill inside a Morrow, Ga., Cracker Barrel restaurant. Police reports say West was shouting racial slurs at Tasha Hill until she fell unconscious, as her 7-year-old daughter watched on.
"What disturbs me most is that Cracker Barrel has refused to simply reach out to Ms. Hill in a basic gesture of condolence," DuBose said. "How can they ignore this act of brutal racial violence inside their building and pretend to have improved their culture of equality?"
The Georgia NAACP is considering a national boycott of Cracker Barrel, while lobbying state lawmakers for new hate-crime legislation.
Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.