An Italian restaurant in Deming, N.M. is facing backlash after a sign that read “Blame China!” was seen on the front doors of the temporarily closed establishment.
The reasoning: The owner was forced to shut down in February after having difficulty hiring workers, as many establishments in the state have reportedly experienced.
- “We are not racist, we are not bigots,” owner Kimberly Yacone said to KRQE, “This thing came from China, it’s a known fact.”
- Yacone and her husband, Robert, blame the Chinese government for having to close the business.
- When asked whether the sign “instigates violence against the Asian community” she said she doesn’t think so, since it was directed toward the government, not the people.
Backlash: Many social media users who disagree with Yacone’s claims, recently left negative reviews on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Yacone said that some have even called her.
- “They use racism to deflect that they don’t pay a living wage to their employees. That’s the real reason they can’t find anyone to work for them. Their pay sucks just like their food,” one user wrote on Monday.
- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico said in a statement to KRQE: “This sign simply replays the Trump administration’s tactic of dodging blame for its failures by playing to racial antagonism toward Asian Americans. We’ve seen how signs like this inspire hate and violence against the Asian community. Instead of contributing to these kinds of divisions in our country, we should be pulling together to defeat the virus.”
- Yacone, who said it is “ridiculous” to call them racist, has no intention of taking the sign down.
- “It is what it is,” she said.
Featured Image via KRQE