Racist Juneteenth sign at Maine insurance agency prompts

A racist sign about Juneteenth hung on the entrance doorway of an insurance coverage company in Millinocket, Maine, has prompted viral online outrage, condemnation from city leaders and an apology from anyone affiliated with the enterprise.

The indication posted on the window of the Harry E. Reed Insurance plan Company on Monday examine, “Juneteenth ~it is what ever… We are shut. Appreciate your fried hen & collard greens.”

The take note was an explanation as to why the business enterprise was closed for Juneteenth, the nation’s newest federal holiday break that has extensive been celebrated by Black Individuals to commemorate the initially emancipation of enslaved men and women in Texas in 1865.

Lisa Groelly, who photographed the signal, reported she was at work when a co-employee termed her and explained to her about it. Her first response was “disbelief,” she claimed, so she went to the company to see it for herself.

“It was surprising,” she mentioned. “I arrived again and I was speaking to my co-worker about it, and we have been really stunned. We have been impressed at the sheer ignorance and stupidity of it.”

Groelly despatched the photos to her daughter, Alura Stillwagon, who posted them to Facebook on Monday with the caption, “The racism in Millinocket is genuine.” One more picture of the indication blew up on the social media web page Reddit, with more than 2,000 upvotes.

A girl named Melanie Higgins took accountability for the indication in a letter posted to Facebook on Wednesday. She apologized for “any misunderstanding and hurt” triggered by her “usual, snarky workplace closure signals and information.” Higgins, who reported in the letter she is multiracial, stated she understands the “severity of intolerance” and that the sign experienced a “seemingly flippant tone.” 

“I am so sorry for any suffering I have prompted and the negative focus it has brought to our gorgeous group,” Higgins wrote. 

Amid prevalent criticism of the indicator, Allstate coverage finished its romance with the company for violating its code of carry out, a spokesperson confirmed to NBC Information. Progressive insurance coverage also terminated its romance with the agency in recent days for violating its code of perform, CNBC reported. A Progressive spokesperson mentioned in a assertion to CNBC that the corporation was “aware and appalled by the signal.”

The outrage was so harsh that it prompted a distinct insurance agency in Maine with a equivalent identify to issue a statement underscoring its lack of involvement with the incident. 

In a statement Tuesday, the chair of the Millinocket Town Council, Steve Golieb, called any “attempt to make mild of Juneteenth” and what the holiday getaway represents “deeply saddening, disgraceful and unacceptable.”

“There is no location in the City of Millinocket for these kinds of a blatant disregard of human decency,” Golieb claimed.

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