Businesses, concerned citizens, and officials in Austin, Texas want to identify the culprit behind offensive stickers plastered on at least six small businesses this week.
The labels, slapped on various shops, say “Exclusively for white people. Maximum of 5 colored customers, colored BOH (Back of House) staff accepted.”
— CNN (@CNN) March 19, 2015
Austin Mayor Steve Alder is infuriated by the stickers, condemning them Wednesday. The stickers feature an unauthorized use of the city’s logo and a claim that the offensive slogan is endorsed by city officials.
“This is an appalling and offensive display of ignorance in our city,” Adler said in a statement Wednesday. “Austin condemns this type of hurtful behavior. Our city is a place where respect for all people is a part of our spirit and soul.”
The stickers were first discovered between midnight and 7 a.m. Wednesday morning in East Austin, a historically black neighborhood that is a home to a growing community of artists.
The owner of Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop told NBC affiliate KXAN that the stickers could be an attempt at satire or a statement of gentrification in the neighborhood. But as a “multiracial family with a multiracial staff, there’s nothing funny about this,” Olivia Guerra O’Neal said.
“It’s sick, and its cowardly message can be read many ways, none of them positive,” O’Neal added. “We are disgusted by this act of vandalism and cowardice.”
Among the other stores tagged with the offensive sticker were a taco shop, grocery store and bike shop. City officials and police said they are monitoring the situation and hoping to find the culprit behind the racist stickers.
“Sure, it’s offensive, but it’s also just a sticker,” Sarah Goeth, the owner of Windmill Bicycles, told KXAN. “It’s easy to take down. I’ve got a business to run.”