A Latino BBQ joint in Colorado, “Rubbin’ Buttz BBQ,” made national headlines after the owner announced his plans to hold a “White Appreciation Day,” offering 10% discount to all Caucasian patrons who come in on June 11.
The restaurant owners apparently wanted to emphasize white appreciation “because there's a lack of that” as they believe the white community is being mistreated in the U.S. because of “something that happened a few hundred years ago.”
However, after receiving serious criticism – where people dubbed the eatery as racist – and a bomb threat that led to an urgent evacuation, the restaurant co-owner Edgar Antillon has changed his tone quite noticeably.
Antillon, who at the time said that if a black man comes in he wouldn’t qualify for a discount, has now extended the promotional deal to everyone who comes in on that day, regardless of their race.
"We're not backtracking, we're not clarifying anything, this was the intention from the beginning," he claimed.
“White Appreciation Day” was apparently a play on the “Black History Month” and the similar days or weeks which are specified to celebrate racial minorities in the United States.
“[The day was] making a joke about the need of us having Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month, and understanding what we want to accomplish is eliminate the need for that,” the co-owner said.
The promotional offer, which first began as a joke before the restaurant decided to go through with it, also gained social media attention and created hashtag #WhiteAppreciationDay.
While some Twitter users admired and appreciated the restaurant’s efforts, others asked if the eatery aimed to celebrate the Native American genocide or the kidnapping and enslaving of millions of Africans.
“We're all Americans,” Antillon said, adding that he did not want to hurt anyone with this offer. “We're all from one country whether we were born here or not.”
No matter how good his intentions were, the event description was deemed racist. In times when the race-relations between black and white are worsening every day, these little things can have a big effect, but the eatery apparently failed to comprehend it.
Along with public backlash, the “White Appreciation Day” offer could have also had serious legal repercussions for the business.
“If someone felt like they were being discriminated against, they could come to the civil rights division and file a complaint with our office and we would investigate that,” said Jennifer McPherson, the interim director of Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies’ Civil Rights Division.