Protests erupted in the city of Chicago outside McDonald’s headquarters on Wednesday after bizarre text messages between CEO Chris Kempczinski and Mayor Lori Lightfoot appeared to blame the recent deaths of Jaslyn Adams and Adam Toledo on their parents.

Meeting with Mayor Lightfoot back in April after 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams died in a fatal shooting in a McDonald’s drive-thru lane, Kempczinski’s texts were leaked in which he seemed to say that it was Jaslyn Adams’s parents fault that such a tragic incident occurred.

He also mentioned the recent shooting of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old who was gunned down by Chicago police despite having both of his hands up at the time of arrest.

“Tragic shootings last week, both at our restaurant yesterday and with Adam Toledo,” Kempczinski wrote to Mayor Lightfoot. “With both, the parents failed those kids, which I know is something you can’t say. Even harder to fix.”

Outraged protestors gathered to march on McDonald’s headquarters building on Wednesday to accuse the CEO of racism and victim blaming. Angry over his comments that blamed the children’s parents, labor advocacy group Fight for 15 Chicago organized the protest.

“As the leader of the largest fast food corporation, Mr. Kempczinski has a responsibility to do much better for Black and Brown communities than add on to racist stereotypes,” Fight for 15 Chicago tweeted in an official statement.

The text messages were obtained by an unnamed Chicago activist, according to the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Oppression. The activist made a public records request and posted the texts on social media the day after Mayor Lightfoot’s visit to McDonald’s headquarters.

Later acknowledging the text messages, CEO Chris Kempczinski sent a statement to all U.S. McDonald’s corporate employees explaining that he was “thinking through my lens as a parent and reacted viscerally.”

“I have not walked in the shoes of Adam’s or Jaslyn’s family and so many others who are facing a very different reality,” Kempsczinski continued. “Not taking the time to think about this from their viewpoint was wrong, and lacked the empathy and compassion I feel for these families.”

“This is a lesson that I will carry with me,” he said.

Sickened by the recent “senseless surge in gun violence that is affecting so many children,” he acknowledged that “it is also clear to me that everyone has a role to play” and “quite simply, it is on all of us to do better for the children of our communities.”

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski stated that he would do better to work with city officials to “understand what that means for McDonald’s.”

Lawanda McMullen, Jaslyn Adams’ grandmother, told NBC News that Kempzinski was “entitled to his opinion.”

“He apologized, but was it sincere?,” she asked. “I don’t know, but I know she had great parents.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has yet to comment on her role in the exchange, but a spokesperson told local WLS-TV news affiliate that “victim shaming has no place in this conversation.”

“As the mayor has said previously, families do everything they can – moms, dads, grandparents – to love and support their children, and tragedies can still happen,” the spokesperson said.

According to NBC News, Lightfoot simply responded to the McDonald’s CEO at the time that it was a “terrible tragedy.”

Activist groups demanded a meeting with Kempczinski with the next seven days to fully address their concerns.

“If he does not resign, I expect him to come to Little Village, to come to North Lawndale, to come to Englewood, to come to everywhere in Chicago where there is a McDonald’s making money off of people who are currently disenfranchised,” an activist told NBC News.

Kempczinski has yet to respond to demands for a meeting with activists.