Lubbock Restaurant Under Fire for ‘Racist’ Vintage Neon Sign
Lubbock makes the Big Time again:
A restaurant in Texas is facing backlash after a photo of a sign posted in one of its rooms went viral on social media. The vintage neon sign at Cook’s Garage in Lubbock features a caricature of an African-American man with “Coon Chicken Inn,” written across his teeth. Many are demanding the sign’s removal, calling it racist in comments circulating via social media and Yelp.
According to KCBD, a local MSNBC affiliate in Texas, the issue arose after a person attended a holiday party at Cook’s Garage and later posted a photo of the sign to Facebook. Owners of the restaurant responded to the complaint by writing back: “We did not put this sign up to be derogatory, racist or to offend anyone. This is part of Americana History… just like everything else hung in our collection and buildings.”
The Coon Chicken Restaurant sign is a genuine historical artifact and it does need to be displayed but not in this context:
It would be a powerful addition to an educational display on racism, for example, since it shows how casual and ubiquitous that racism was in the past. It could also be featured in a context of mockery, as it already has been:
(wikipedia) A fake advertisement for the restaurant is shown in the 2004 mockumentary C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America where it is depicted as being successful in a fictional timeline where the Confederacy defeats and annexes the United States in 1864 with the help of the United Kingdom and France.
Surrounded by basically pleasant and positive nostalgia pieces, it is jarring to say the least. The owners are either completely tone deaf, or they do in fact consider blatant racism an object of nostalgia.