NAACP Welcomes DOJ Complaint Against Cracker Barrel

Kweisi Mfume, President & CEO, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) said the NAACP welcomed the decision by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store to enter into an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to stop discrimination at its restaurants against African American customers and employees, but said the next step is for the restaurant chain to provide compensation for past discrimination victims.

Mfume said: "Cracker Barrel's failure to yet provide compensation to a single victim of its multi-year pattern of discrimination is a tragic reminder that the guarantees of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may still be systemically and deliberately ignored."

He said today's agreement with the Justice Department "marks the beginning, not the end, of the consequences to Cracker Barrel for its long pattern of discrimination against African-Americans. Cracker Barrel is already facing four trials in federal courts on claims of pattern and practice discrimination brought by over one hundred victims. We expect any other victims of discrimination to come forward in response to the DOJ's findings."

The NAACP filed a federal lawsuit against Cracker Barrel Old Country Store three years ago claiming it engaged in a pattern and practice of racial discrimination. The NAACP case calls for financial compensation to more than 100 personal victims of Cracker Barrel's discrimination. The Justice Department decree fails to provide for active monitoring by the NAACP, or other implicated civil rights groups such as the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.

Under terms of the consent decree, Cracker Barrel has agreed to a series of steps to combat racial discrimination, including a five-year comprehensive system to address discrimination, more training of managers and the hiring of an independent auditor.

In view of today's consent decree, Dennis Hayes, NAACP General Counsel, said individuals may still report incidents of discrimination at Cracker Barrel restaurants by calling 1-800-299-8308.

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