Black Lives Matter Louisville is threatening small businesses with “mafia tactics” that don’t pay. They demand 1.5% of net sales to approved NPOs, diversity training, diversity hires. They vandalized a business that refused.
Members of Louisville’s Cuban community plan to gather Sunday in support of a NuLu restaurant owner who says he was threatened by Black Lives Matter protesters during a recent demonstration.
Fernando Martinez, a partner of the Olé Restaurant Group, was one of dozens of business owners in the downtown Louisville district who recently received a letter from protesters laying out demands that aim to improve diversity in the area, which is known for its locally-owned shops and restaurants.
Martinez has publicly denounced the demands on Facebook, calling them “mafia tactics” used to intimidate business owners. And on Thursday, a small group of protesters confronted him outside his newest restaurant, La Bodeguita de Mima, on East Market Street.
The demands and an attached contract, which were created by local organizers and activists, ask NuLu business owners to:
Adequately represent the Black population of Louisville by having a minimum of 23% Black staff;
Purchase a minimum of 23% inventory from Black retailers or make a recurring monthly donation of 1.5% of net sales to a local Black nonprofit or organization;
Require diversity and inclusion training for all staff members on a bi-annual basis;
And display a visible sign that increases awareness and shows support for the reparations movement.
Phelix Crittenden, an activist who works with Black Lives Matter Louisville, said the demands and related “NuLu social justice health and wellness ratings” were not meant to be a threat but were instead intended to start a conversation with owners about how their businesses can better reflect and support Black people.
Restaurateur Fernado Martinez was one of dozens of NuLu business owners who recently received a list of demands from Black Lives Matter protesters.