Racism? Or just a clever marketing ploy? Maybe a bit of both?
Those are the questions people are asking themselves with respect to a sign Lance Perkins posted in front of his gun shop in Pembroke, Ontario earlier this month.
The sign read:
ALL YOU PEOPLE
COME ON IN
WHITE FRIDAY SALE”
Perkins, who owns Perkins Guns and Ammo, was adamant that his ad was not racist.
“My ‘White Friday’ sale in regards to selling guns or crossbows or anything in the store, had nothing to do with colour, it’s just a sale…we’re allowed to have sales in Canada”, he told News Ottawa.
As for why he went with White Friday instead of Black Friday, he said the word “black” elicits negative emotions because of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s blackface controversy.
“This year I don’t really know why people got offended by the use of the word ‘white.’ I couldn’t use the word ‘black’ because of Trudeau using blackface,” he explained.
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“All you see in the newspaper is Black Fridays…Black Fridays…and you know what, I said we’re not American, let’s go with a different shade, a different colour,” he continued. “I picked white because it resembles white snow, it resembles Christmas. Why not go with something brighter than black.”
If the White Friday sale wasn’t enough to draw attention, the sign also contained another potentially divisive message: “You People.”
Popular Canadian Hockey commentator Don Cherry was fired this month for a rant in which he used the phrasing “you people” to allegedly refer to immigrants during a telecast.
Cherry was trying to encourage people to buy a poppy flower to wear to support the Canadian military as part of the country’s Remembrance Day, similar to our Memorial Day.
“You people love — you, that come here, whatever it is — you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey,” Cherry said. “At least you could pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life, that you enjoy in Canada.”
Perkins believes that Cherry was wrongfully terminated and that his remarks weren’t racist nor anti-immigrant.
“I believe the man is a great Canadian, he did not pick out anybody in regards to race”, he said. “But he wasn’t racist…he just said what was on his mind.”
The sign in front of Perkins Guns and Ammo no longer says “White Friday Sale” or “All You People.” The owner said he’s changed it, not because of the blowback but because he changes it every few days.
It now contains the words, “Merry Christmas.” At least that’s not controversial, right?