Following an altercation between a Carmine's restaurant hostess and a group of black patrons, Black Lives Matter of Greater New York and related organizations are calling out the city's vaccine mandates, saying that they are racist and predominantly affect people of color.
On Monday, protestors gathered outside of Carmine's restaurant, claiming that the hostess called the three black women that were arrested racial slur, and reportedly accused them of carrying fraudulent vaccination cards, according to the National Review.
Speakers at the rally spoke out against the hostess' alleged actions, and noted the perceived discrimination against the black unvaccinated patrons.
BLM NYC co-founder and chairman Hawk Newsome alleged that Carmine's was covering up "their employees' actions by using the vaccination passport as an excuse," and called for video footage from the restaurant to be released, which he believed would show the hostess as the aggressor.
On Tuesday, Carmine's owner Jeffrey Bank released the footage, which showed that one of the women started the violence, not the hostess.
"This attack was entirely unprovoked," Banks told the New York Post. He also denied that any one of his employees called the women a racial slur.
In a speech given outside the restaurant on Monday, Hawk Newsome alleged that the hostess had previously "antagonized these women."That hostess, he said, was then restrained and brought into the restaurant. Following that, Hawk Newsome said that "a black manager came out and apologized for that employee's behavior, invited the entire party back into the restaurant."
"The entire party was allowed into the to the restaurant which nullifies the whole, they didn't present a vaccination card theory. It doesn't make sense," he continued.
Hawk Newsome then said that as these women walked back into the restaurant, the hostess "dropped the N bomb," which resulted in the brawl caught on video.
Co-founder of BLM NYC, Chivona Newsome, blasted Mayor Bill de Blasio's vaccine mandates, saying they predominantly affect unvaccinated people of color.
"Being a doctor does not protect you from anti-blackness. Having a vaccination card does not protect you from discrimination. The 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits the actions of Carmine's. It says it is illegal to discriminate against you on the basis of race," she said.
"Seventy-two percent of black people in this city from ages 18 to 44 are unvaccinated. So what is going to stop the Gestapo, I mean the NYPD, from rounding up black people, from snatching them off the train, off the bus?" she added.
Chivona Newsome said that is incidents like the one at Carmine's continue, BLM would enact another "uprising," according to the National Review.
"We're putting this city on notice, that your mandate will not be another racist social-distance practice. Black people are not going to stand by, or you will see another uprising. And that is not a threat; that is a promise," she said. "The vaccination passport is not a free passport to racism."
Co-founder of the Black Women's March, Kimberly Bernard, echoed a similar statement, stating that she would not allow the vaccine passport system to be used as a cover for racism.
"We are serving notice on the mayor, on the governor, on the restaurant industry that we will not allow for you to use this pandemic, vaccination cards, and masks as another reason to be racist, to put us in prison. Because there's enough of us in there," she said.
One man from Rise and Resist said that the "Republican Party and elected officials and pundits on Fox News try to blame the entirety of the unvaccinated COVID crisis on black people, even though black people are twelve percent of the population."
One woman, who identified herself only as Maya, told the National Review that Democrats, not Republicans, were to blame for the mandates.
"Most black people aren’t going to acknowledge that the Democratic Party has disenfranchised us. Malcom X said it's foxes and wolves. The fox pretends to be your friend to your face but passes laws behind your back to harm you. The wolf is not your friend, they don’t like you, and they treat you as such. But who do you respect more? Black people tend to fall for the fox," Maya said.
"This vaccine mandate is disproportionately affecting people of color. People shouldn't be forced to do it. It's 'for your health,' but they’re willing to ruin people's lives to protect against a virus with over a 99 percent survival rate... This is going to be the new Jim Crow, and it's going to affect mostly people of color," she said.