U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) this week appeared on FOX News and spoke out on behalf of Chattanooga restaurant owners who received violent threats for merely taking a food order for a pro-police rally.
Blackburn told the network that members of her staff have reached out to the family who owns the business, Shuford’s Smokehouse. The people who made the threats, the senator said, are part of “the raging mob.”
“If you don’t totally agree, they want to shut you up. They want to shut you down. And there is no one in this country that ought to have their business shut down because somebody disagrees or has a different political opinion,” Blackburn said.
“Our nation and our nation’s freedom – that we are going to celebrate this weekend on Independence Day – [have] been well served and preserved because we have robust respectful bipartisan debate.”
As The Tennessee Star reported this week, an unknown person allegedly threatened to burn down Shuford’s Smokehouse last weekend. This, after a news station reported — erroneously — that restaurant owners would donate food to a rally that supported local police.
Online threats forced Shuford’s employees to take drastic measures to protect their business, said Madison Davis, whose father, Jeff, owns the restaurant.
“A lady placed an order Tuesday for food for Saturday. She said she was taking it to the [pro-police] Back the Blue Rally in Chattanooga. It was just a business transaction. We did not donate the food. One of the news channels reported on Thursday that we were supplying the food for the rally. So they made it sound like we donated the food, and we did not. Whenever that got reported is when we started getting threats, threatening phone calls, harassment, nasty negative reviews on our Facebook,” Davis told The Tennessee Star Monday.
“We had to take our Facebook [page] down within an hour of the report coming out. We went from a 4.8 to a 4 [rating] in less than an hour because of people blowing it [Facebook] up, calling us nasty things that I really don’t want to repeat. We finally got a threat that someone was going to burn our building down where we smoke all of our meat in. That is when we decided to cancel. We didn’t want to do the transaction anymore.”
– – –