A post on a personal Facebook page has led to a public firing of a Fitchburg restaurant manager.
After a string of angry comments demanding action on Friday, June 5, the Thirsty Goat, 3040 Cahill Main, posted a notice on its official page that it had fired general manager Caroline Dwyer-Clanton because of her post three days before, calling Black Lives Matter protesters “domestic terrorists.”
The post referred to a caravan on the Beltline in Madison that prompted police to close off traffic.
Accompanying Dywer-Clanton’s post was a graphic depicting a car bumping into and running over stick figures, with “All Lives Splatter” at the top of the graphic and “Keep your ass out of the road” at the bottom.
The Star repeatedly attempted to contact Dwyer-Clanton for comment on June 5. Her Facebook account appeared to have been deleted.
Dwyer-Clanton managed several properties for Thirsty Goat owner Dave Schutz, including the nearby Wyndham Garden Inn. In Schutz’s post announcing her firing, he called Dwyer-Clanton’s words “insensitive, dangerous and unacceptable.” The post added that The Thirsty Goat is donating $5,000 to Urban Triage as a result and will continue to look into ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
The incident came amid protests all over the country, generally sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. Responses to the protests, some of which have included looting, extensive property damage and violence, have been polarizing.
The post of Dwyer-Clanton’s that angered some Thirsty Goat customers criticized protesters for “shutting the beltline down again during the most ridiculous move on the planet” and Madison police for “blocking the road so they can march.”
“Why are the police condoning what these domestic terrorists are telling them to do?” it stated. “Isn’t it illegal to be walking on any highway or going under 45 mph? … To break public safety orders and curfew? We are all supposed to follow all the rules yet all these other people follow all the rules … Time for a change Madison people time for a big f’ing change!!!”
A Facebook user identified as Dexter Patterson saw the post and tagged The Thirsty Goat in it with hashtags “#BoycottThirstyGoat,” “#UntilTheyFireThisWoman” and “#FireCaroline.” Patterson’s post, which received 86 likes, instructed fellow Facebook users to review The Thirsty Goat and share Dwyer-Clanton’s post.
Patterson told the Star he then reached out to Thirsty Goat owner Dave Schutz and informed him of Dwyer-Clanton’s actions.
“We will not tolerate and do not condone racism in our business,” Schutz wrote. “We own the actions of the general manager and apologize for the harm caused to our community.”