A Hispanic-owned barbecue restaurant in Milliken, Colo., is planning to host a “White Appreciation Day” next month in what it says is an effort to reduce racial divisions.
“We have a whole month for Black History Month,” said co-owner Edgar Antillon, “We have a whole month for Hispanic Heritage Month, so we thought the least we could do was offer one day to appreciate white Americans.”
And so, Antillon announced Thursday that on June 11, white visitors to Rubbin’ Buttz will be given a ten percent discount.
— Edgar Antillon (@eantillon) May 7, 2015
Some aren’t happy, however.
“It’s a perpetuation of racism,” community organizer Ricardo Romero told 9News. “It’s wrong. If you’re going to give a discount, give it to the whole community.” Meanwhile, there’s the possibility that somebody could file a discrimination complaint with Colorado’s Civil Rights Division, since the state prohibits racial discrimination in restaurants.
Perhaps in response to possible legal issues, the restaurant’s Facebook account has started to respond to critics by saying that June 11th, while still White Appreciation Day, will offer the ten percent discount to all customers.
Antillon has courted controversy in the past. He’s also the organizer of a ballot initiative trying to get the state’s marijuana users the right to carry a concealed firearm. This time, he says he’s trying to bring the community together rather than divide it.
“Although we’ve had overwhelming support for it, there are a few who are filled with hate and/or misunderstanding,” the restaurant said on its Facebook page Friday morning. “People full of hate and negativity want your attention, don’t give it to them. Stay happy!”
Whether people support it or oppose it, the decision has certainly won the restaurant a mountain of publicity. It has been receiving so many phone calls to the restaurant that it has had to suspend ordering by phone.