Controversial Restaurant Sign Sparks Criticism, After Allegations of “Racism”

KAMC News

Cook’s Garage restaurant faced backlash this week, after a photo of a sign in their building began circulating on social media, that some Lubbock residents are calling “racist.”  

It’s a vintage neon sign from a 1920’s restaurant called the “Coon Chicken Inn,” featuring a caricature of an African-American man, with the name of the restaurant in his mouth, but many on social media are calling it “offensive.” 

Lubbock resident Jasmine Abdullah said she saw the post on a friend of a friend’s page. 

“I was reading the comments, I saw the sign, and I immediately got infuriated,” Abdullah said. “Because I was thinking ‘In this day and age, we are still having to deal with things like this?” 

She said she believes it is a racist image. 

“If we want to be remembered as a group of people, that is not how we want to be remembered,” Abdullah said. “If you want to put a piece of American history or African-American history up, there are tons of people you can have hanging up in your restaurant. Not something derogatory.” 

Abdullah told EverythingLubbock.com she’s reached out to Cook’s Garage multiple times asking them to take it down, but hasn’t gotten a response. 

Cook’s Garage declined to comment for EverythingLubbock.com, but posted a public response on their Facebook page

“It was a piece of history in the 20’s. This is not the 1920’s,” Abdullah said, regarding the original 1920’s restaurant. “If they did their history before responding, they would know that restaurant was closed down for that particular reason, for the racial epithets it basically stood on.” 

Cook’s Garage declined to comment on if the sign was still up, but Abdullah said it was about more than the sign. 

“People are always saying racism is dying. You know, it’s not, and this is just kind a reminder that it’s not going anywhere. But the fact that it’s not going anywhere means that we can’t either.” 

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