With the lifting of government enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions in Texas this week, some businesses are deciding to continue to require masks inside their locations. One Texas restaurant has said they're receiving threats over their stance.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Monica Richards, the owner of Picos Restaurant in Houston, said that after announcing they would continue to ask customers to wear facemasks, the restaurant received "horrific" and hateful messages threatening to contact the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) to have employees deported if they continued the policy.

According to KXAN, Richards, who is herself an immigrant, called the threats "heartbreaking":

“Being Hispanic, and going through that immigration process, and finally receiving your papers, and then for somebody to start threatening you after you’ve been through all that, that’s crazy.”

In his statement at Lubbock's Montelongo's Mexican Restaurant, Governor Greg Abbott stated that "people and businesses don't need the state telling them how to operate," and set a course of action based on personal responsibility for Texans.

Greg Abbott
Justin Massoud, Townsquare Media Lubbock

Montelongo's has also faced some criticism and backlash as a result, with some calls to "cancel" the restaurant for hosting the event.

While many Texas businesses are opting to continue requiring masks, many others are not, leaving the decision up to their customers. Both sides of the issue are completely correct.

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There used to be signs in most businesses that said "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" and "Management reserves the right to refuse service." It's completely their prerogative. No grocery store, restaurant, etc. is actually considered a public area. They can allow you in, or not.

If you don't like how one business operates, shop somewhere else. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. Threats and anger do nothing to get a point across and never change anything. Name calling and shaming is exactly what's wrong with the country, and why we here in Texas can rise above it by taking personal responsibility for our actions.

Calling a restaurant stupid because you don't personally agree with their business decisions only makes you look petty and even worse than your target.

Rise above it, Texas. We're better than the rest. Let's go out and prove it.

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