Maine Insurance Company Slammed For Racist Juneteenth Holiday Sign

It sure wasn’t progressive.

via: BET

Many stores and offices closed Monday (June 20) for the observance of Juneteenth, the federal holiday that marks the end of slavery in the United States. For some reason, an insurance agency in Maine that closed for the holiday thought it was a good idea to tape a message to its window that used a racial stereotype.

But it apparently wasn’t the smartest choice. The Harry E. Reed Insurance Agency in Millinocket faced an avalanche of condemnation after a photo of the sign circulated on social media, Newsweek reports.

“Juneteenth ~it’s whatever… We’re closed. Enjoy your fried chicken & collard greens,” read the sign, posted to Facebook by local resident Alura Stillwagon. She captioned it, “The racism in Millinocket is real.”

“My first reaction was disbelief, I just couldn’t understand that someone would post that without seeing anything wrong with it,” Stillwagon told Newsweek. “Millinocket is a predominantly white town, and I just thought about the few people of color who have to see this racism in their own town.”

The company received a flood of negative reviews on Yelp, forcing the business review site to “temporary disable the ability to post” views about the insurance agency.

“While racism has no place on Yelp and we unequivocally reject racism or discrimination in any form, all reviews on Yelp must reflect an actual first-hand consumer experience (even if that means disabling the ability for users to express points of view we might agree with),” Yelp wrote.

The sign, which has been criticized as racist, also caught the attention of Millinocket Town Council Chairman Steve Golieb.

“It is deeply saddening, disgraceful and unacceptable for any person, business, or organization to attempt to make light of Juneteenth and what it represents for millions of slaves and their living descendants,” Golieb wrote. “There is no place in the Town of Millinocket for such a blatant disregard of human decency.”

“We are terminating our contract with this independent agent,” Allstate wrote on its official Twitter account. “Our commitment to Inclusive Diversity and Equity is non-negotiable and we take action when individuals violate our code of conduct.”

Meanwhile, Progressive spokesperson Jeff Sibel emailed a statement to NPR: “At Progressive, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are fundamental to our Core Values. We’re committed to creating an environment where our people feel welcomed, valued and respected and expect that anyone representing Progressive to take part in this commitment.”

The rep added, “The sign is in direct violation of that commitment and doesn’t align with our company’s Core Values and Code of Conduct.”

The post Maine Insurance Company Slammed For Racist Juneteenth Holiday Sign [Photos] appeared first on LOVEBSCOTT.

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