CHICAGO (CBS) — A local business owner is under fire on social media after Facebook users found and shared his posts regarding politics, particularly immigration.
Peter Malek, a co-owner of Uptown restaurant and bar Holiday Club Chicago, reportedly posted an image depicting a Hispanic woman holding a baby. The caption of the meme reads at the top: “I don’t want you to take my child,” and a Mexican flag is shown underneath. At the bottom is written: “Well then, don’t become an illegal alien sneaking across our border.”
Hundreds of Facebook users have shared, commented or posted about Malek, some calling for a boycott of the business.
“Well, that’s a wrap for me ever going to Holiday Club Chicago. Their owner perhaps senselessly, perhaps intentionally just posted something completely distasteful and disheartening coming from a business in Chicago,” posted one woman.
Facebook users have also left negative reviews on Holiday Club Chicago’s Facebook page.
“For a bar in a sanctuary city, you sure draw the line when it comes to immigrants. Wish 0 stars were an option,” wrote another.
This incident coincides with the Supreme Court’s ruling today upholding the Trump Administration’s travel ban. The Supreme Court upheld the ban on Tuesday by a 5-4 vote, saying in its opinion that the order is “squarely within the scope of Presidential authority.”
“I’m sorry but it was not a racial post,” Malek told Block Club Chicago in a message. Block Club Chicago also reported Malek stating, “I’m an immigrant that came here in the ’70s with my parents from Communist Poland. We came together. We did it the right way.
In response to the anger around Malek’s social media posts, Holiday Club Chicago posted two statements on Facebook. The first reads, in part:
“For over 17 years at this location, [w]e have always been on the forefront of righteousness and liberal social thought and have supported the ideology and real application, of strength through diversity. This is especially apparent in not only the broad spectrum of our clientele but also the broad racial spectrum of the ownership.”
It continues, “That being said, Please know, we as a whole at Holiday Club in no way endorse, support or placate to Trump Policy in general but especially with regards to immigration and his attempts to create a culture war. (A culture war that he is wining by dividing us, the morally righteous).”
Read Holiday Club Chicago’s full statement here:
The second, posted at 2:09 PM reads:
“Please rest assured that the Holiday Club and the majority of its ownership does not support the postings of Peter Malek. It was with great shock to us to learn and see this horrid opinion aired. We are working diligently to resolve the issue at hand and the resignation and separation of Peter Malek from Holiday Club is forthcoming.”
Peter Malek’s Facebook page is no longer available, and attempts to obtain a statement directly from Holiday Club Chicago or Malek were unsuccessful.