According to the Associated Press, employees at several businesses in Austin, Texas found stickers saying “exclusively for white people” placed on their windows. Now an investigation has been sparked into where they came from and folks are condemning the mayor.
Mayor Steve Adler said the stickers discovered Wednesday morning were “an appalling and offensive display of ignorance in our city.”
But wait. There’s more ‘ugly’ to come…
The stickers also read “Maximum of 5 colored customers / colored BOH staff accepted,” apparently referring to the “back of house” operations at a restaurant and features a city of Austin logo and claimed to be “sponsored by the City of Austin Contemporary Partition and Restoration Program,” but such a program does not exist. The city has said the use of its logo was unauthorized.
Recognized as one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., Austin’s real estate around its urban core especially, continues to skyrocket; and this gentrification lends itself to increasing questions about economic and racial segregation.
Raul Alvarez, board president for the East Austin Conservancy, confirms this stance. But then doesn’t elaborate and attempts to redirect the intentions of the organization.
“I certainly share the concerns about the history and culture and affordability that’s being lost because of the rapid development, but our organization tends to focus on what it is we can do to preserve what makes East Austin unique and not focus on strategies that divide the community,” he told the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.
Several business owners and employees said the stickers made them very uncomfortable. April Jensen, (shown above) who works at the Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop, told the newspaper “it kind of hurt” when she read the sticker.
“I don’t really understand the message behind it,” said Jensen, who is African-American. “All types of customers come in here.”
This incident comes in line with what seems to be an ongoing series of racist acts since the incident that has now become iconic, Ferguson.