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Society

Deli Owner Puts Up 'Controversial' Sign, Community Backlash Forces Him Out Of Business

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Jim Boggess was looking for a way to celebrate his heritage with the community around him. A deli owner in Flemington, Boggess thought that he had found the best way to execute his idea. Customers passing by the window of the Main Street deli were greeted by the handwritten sign that read, “CELEBRATE YOUR WHITE HERITAGE IN MARCH, WHITE HISTORY MONTH.”

This sign was not received as Boggess hoped it would. One of his customers, Bhakti Curtis was particularly vocal about the sign. Curtis was of mixed-race decent, and when he happened upon the sign, became enraged. He went to the Flemington Police Department and filed a complaint. He stated that the sign was “mocking Black History Month,” and that the “T” in “WHITE” was crossed in the same style used by KKK.

Even though police did not find the sign racist or derogatory, Boggess was about to face other consequences. After he was put on the spot over the sign for about four days, he finally took it down. However, the damage was already done. Customers stopped coming to the deli, and his financial situation kept growing worse.

A month after the sign was put up Boggess had to close down the deli. This was even after he had made amends to Curtis, and the two even took a picture shaking hands.

Boggess was finally forced to seek for help from the public. He started a GoFundMe appeal titled, "Jimbos white history sign gone bad."

The page reads;

"If you haven't heard of this story and you want to read about it, just google Flemington white history or go on YouTube and search White History Month. Anyway, it went crazy for four days and then I had to take the sign down for various reasons. It was only supposed to be a white thing, but people read more into it than that.

I don't think I deserve this just because I wanted to be proud of being white and be able to celebrate my heritage like everyone else does. If you read this, please leave a comment and what state you're from so I can see where my support is coming from.

Thank you for all the support and I WILL stay strong and hope to find a job.

Thank you,
Jimbo Boggess"

According to Boggess, he received a lot of letters from people all over the country who supported him. Despite this, his customers stopped coming, and he lost his American dream.

Sources: NJ.com / Photo Credit: The Young Turks