Illegal Pete’s message to customer: “Black Olives Matter”

Jovi Wansley, who is black, asked for black olives on his burrito at Illegal Pete’s on South Broadway. His friend, who is white, did not.

To jokingly distinguish the two burritos, a staffer wrote the words “black olives matter,” on Wansley’s order, according to KDVR.

This upset both of the customers. They reportedly see it as a mockery of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The phrase “black lives matter” has been central to the campaign to reduce police officers’ use of force against people of color, which happens at disproportionate rates. It has faced backlash from people who incorrectly interpreted the phrase to mean “only black lives matter,” while advocates see it as a simple acknowledgement of the fact that black people’s lives are important.

For some, this whole incident might feel something like getting a Rosa Parks joke on your order in the 1960s.

The store manager tells KDVR that the employee was not aware of the customer’s race, but Illegal Pete’s will emphasize sensitivity for all its staff.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email