This week, O’Mei Chinese Cuisine in Santa Cruz closed its doors to the public after 38 years of service after a local website revealed that owner Roger Grimsby donated $500 to former Klu Klux Klan (KKK) Imperial Wizard David Duke’s failed campaign for Senate in Louisiana last year.
Grigsby wrote a letter to local CBS affiliate in San Francisco KPIX in which he indicated his belief that the move against him was a “war on whites.” Grigsby wrote: “We are just a token in a much larger process of terrorizing white European Americans into silence in what has become known as the ‘war on whites.’ My campaign contribution was to one of the men supporting European civil rights.”
In a phone interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Grigsby appeared to defend his First Amendment rights. “They spread the gossip; they spread it as if it’s truth. All the things they called me: white supremacist, neo-Nazi, KKK — it’s all bullshit. My girlfriend and my former wife were both Chinese. Anybody who knows me, it’s like the United Colors of Benetton in our restaurant. We’ve had every ethnicity.”
The restaurant placed a sign outside its door, telling its patrons, “O’mei has come under attack. Slanderous and malicious internet rumors concerning this business, it’s owners and staff have forced us to close for now. We will let you know when we plan to return to providing you with what many consider the best Chinese food in the area. Thanks for the last 38 years!”
O’Mei’s Yelp listing still has the restaurant’s operational hours listed. It is unclear whether Grigsby intends to reopen his business venue in the future.
Efforts to expose white supremacists and their supporters accelerated after the violence in Charlottesville last month, with one employee of a hot dog stand in Berkeley losing his job. Some people identified by online activists were not, however, at Charlottesville, and endured threats and harassment as the result of mistaken identity.