O'Mei Chinese Cuisine Santa Cruz closes owner Roger Grigsby KKK David Duke Supporter

Thanks For Not Calling Us Back, Roger Grigsby

We’d like to let the owner of Chinese restaurant O’Mei off the hook for not calling us back

After we went to print, Grigsby emailed KPIX, the CBS News Bay Area affiliate, to say that his $500 campaign contribution was “to one of the men supporting European American civil rights.”

In our time at GT, plunking away at computers and answering phones over the years, we like to think we’ve learned a lesson or two through this whole journalism thing.

One tidbit is that sometimes a guy or gal will have a perspective that seems so evil and vile from afar—either through word of mouth or pure conjecture—and yet once you hear them explain their side, that person’s point of view is pretty much never as bad as you imagined it in your head.

That’s the reason, as we mentioned last week, we were disappointed to not hear from Roger Grigsby, owner of O’mei, a Chinese restaurant on Mission Street. Grigsby donated $500 toward the white supremacist David Duke’s meager attempt at a U.S. Senate campaign in Louisiana last year, inciting outrage around Santa Cruz when the community learned of it this summer. Or at least we thought we were disappointed.

But after our story was published, Grigsby talked to reporters from KPIX and the Santa Cruz Sentinel (shortly after his whole wait staff apparently walked out), saying that he supports Duke for the former KKK leader’s record of “defending the civil rights of European-Americans,” adding that the backlash against him and his now-closed restaurant is all part of a “war on whites.”

Congrats, Roger. You proved our theory wrong! We now actually appreciate your not returning our calls, and sparing us from what would have been a conversation much, much worse than we were even imagining.

The saga got picked up all over, including, of course, at Breitbart, where one commenter wrote, “The time has come to fight the fascists on the left. If Santa Cruz is ground zero, so be it.”

Uh, OK then. If “fascists on the left” means “people who dislike racism” … well, bring it.

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