Clayton mayor responds to deli owner’s ‘send her back’ Facebook post

The mayor of a Contra Costa County town and the local community are responding to the Facebook post made by the owner of Clayton deli that seems to have referenced recent controversial statements made by President Donald Trump and his supporters.

John Canesa, the owner of Canesa’s Brooklyn Heros deli in Clayton, posted the comment to his personal Facebook page. “Meatballs made with beef today in case we offend any of our overly sensitive pork haters!! Free side when you say send her back! #canesasbrooklynheros,” he wrote.

The post comes after a series of tweets from Trump telling four women of color serving their freshman terms in Congress to “go back” to where they came from; Trump supporters also chanted “send her back” in response to the president’s criticism of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who’s originally from Somalia, at a campaign rally in North Carolina.

Tuija Catalano, the mayor of Clayton, wrote in a Facebook post that she’s “very saddened” to have seen Canesa’s Facebook post.

“We all have rights to our own political, religious, and other opinions. We all have a right to post about them too. However, there is no place in our community for hatred and bigotry,” she wrote.

“When hateful comments are being promoted as part of a local business, they reflect on our community’s reputation. As an elected official, who is also a woman and foreign-born, I personally find a comment about sending anyone back over their political opinions unacceptable.”

Several people are taking to Yelp to post negative reviews of the restaurant in response to his post.

“I am saddened to hear about Johnny’s racist views. I have always loved coming here but if he will no longer offer an inclusive restaurant, then I can no longer spend my money there in good conscience,” one person wrote in an update review. Her previous review was a five-star, glowing review, but this one was a one-star based on his Facebook post.

“Johnny, please change your ways,” she wrote.

An local organization, East Bay Human Rights Advocates, also responded to Canesa’s post. “We at EBHRA strongly condemn the comments made by Mr. Canesa, and further ask that he apologize to our community for his hateful message and further division in an already divided nation,” the group wrote on its Facebook page.

Sara Zendenham, the KTVU reporter who broke the story, wrote on Twitter that she was in touch with Canesa on Saturday. She reported that Canesa said that he’s a father of three and he’s been dealing with threats since his Facebook post.

She said he sent her a link to a Facebook live he said he did addressing the controversy, but the link is no longer working. It seems that his personal Facebook page has been deactivated or made private.

Drew Costley is an SFGATE editorial assistant. Email: | Twitter: @drewcostley

This post was originally posted at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *