A New Jersey deli owner is raising eyebrows with a sign in his window encouraging customers and passer-by to celebrate “White History Month,” The Newark Star-Ledger is reporting.
Jim Boggess owns Jimbo’s Deli on Main in Flemington, New Jersey. Some time on or before Tuesday, he put a sign up in the window of his deli that has gotten people talking.
Neighbor Bhakti Curtis, who is bi-racial, isn’t amused, claiming that the idea of so-called “White History Month” makes a mockery of Black History Month, which just concluded.
He tried to talk to Mr. Boggess about the “White History Month” sign, but he wasn’t satisfied according to CBS New York.
“He didn’t have a clue why I was offended and then why other people would be upset about it neither.”
Not only does Mr. Curtis take exception to the words on the sign, he didn’t care for the way the T in “white” was originally rendered.
“The ‘white’ had a cross. It was a cross ‘t,’ which is used by the Klu Klux Klan as a symbol, right.”
By way of comparison, here is the “cross t” symbol Mr. Curtis appears to be talking about; you can decide for yourself if his claim is valid.
The deli owner has since taken a marker to the “T” to make it less similar to the KKK symbol.
Mr. Curtis went to the police, claiming that the sign is racist and threatening, but the police determined that the sign wasn’t racist and didn’t violate any laws, so there’s nothing to be done about it.
Jim Boggess is making no apologies.
“No matter what you are — Muslim, Jewish, black, white, gay, straight — you should be proud of what you are. I shouldn’t have to feel bad about being white. I just want to be included. Why is this such a big deal? I don’t get it.”
Mr. Boggess admits that the “White History Month” sign has gotten mixed reactions. Some have photographed the sign and given him a thumbs-up; others, including the Business Improvement District — which sees the sign as an “embarrassment” to the other business on the street — have asked him to take it down.
Jim Boggess intends to keep the “White History Month” sign up for as long as he can, but he admits he’s “getting a lot of pressure.”
Do you find the deli’s “White History Month” sign offensive? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
[Images courtesy of: Newark Star-Ledger,Prezi]