Residents stand outside Bella's Italian Restaraunt protesting owner

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- On Saturday evening, a couple Charlottesville residents, including Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, lined up outside of Bella's Italian Restaurant to protest its owner, Douglas Muir.

The controversy started on Wednesday when Muir commented on a Facebook post hat was meant to celebrate diversity at Darden Graduate School of Business. He commented:

"Black lives matter is the biggest rasist organisation since the clan. Are you kidding me. Disgusting!!!" [sic]

On Friday, the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science said Doug Muir has agreed to take a leave from the school. He is associated with both the School of Engineering and the Darden School of Business at UVA.

Protesters say that the leave of absence wasn't enough.

"The leave of absence is a good step, but there is no way to know why he is taking a leave of absence. He hasn't made a statement. He hasn't said if he regrets what he said," said Chelsea Lau, one of the protesters.

Protesters stayed outside the restaurant until the end of dinner rush. They said they hope their presence can make a difference.

" We want people walking by or in the restaurant to learn what the owner said. At the same time, we want people to know it's not a reflection of what the workers believe," said Lau.

General Manager of Bella's, Brian Sullivan, came outside and spoke with protesters. He said that he doesn't agree with the Muir.

"The rest of [the staff at Bella's] are definitely in the other direction against that. Like I said, nobody could believe that the comment was made. Once it was brought to [Muir's] attention, he was aware that he shouldn't have made that comment,.

He also said that Muir plans on meeting with community leaders next week to discuss what he can do to rectify the situation.



 
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