Is This Sign Racist or Just Part of American History?

Cook’s Garage via Facebook
Cook’s Garage via Facebook

There are two trains of thought on displaying America’s historically racist trinkets and statues—well, a lot more, but the main ones are: 1) Racist symbols are a part of our shared song and we shouldn’t shy away from them; and 2) Fuck that, don’t nobody wanna look at that racist shit while I’m walking in the park/eating lunch/living life.


And fitting neatly into this paradigm is a Lubbock, Texas, restaurant that is staunchly defending a sign (it’s always “staunchly,” isn’t it?) that clearly shows a black caricature with the words “Coon Chicken Inn” written inside its glowing, neon oversized lips.

This week, an individual attending a company Christmas party held at Cook’s Garage in Lubbock noticed the glowing sign hanging on the wall. The person posted the photos on Facebook, and the owners of Cook’s responded—in staunch defense of the sign—on Facebook (before changing the post’s privacy settings), saying that such images are “part of Americana history” and not meant to offend. Actually, a lot of these racist signs go for a lot of money, they note!

Aunt Jemima, mammies, and lots of other black collectibles are highly sought after, as is Americana collectibles with white characters. The Coon Chicken Inn was an actual restaurant started in the 20’s. Again, we want to stress we do not intend to offend anyone, and are only preserving a part of history that should remind us all of the senselessness of racial prejudice.

KCBD-TV reports that Cook’s Garage has been open since April 2017 and started as a white “man cave” with a showroom for collected vehicles that expanded to include signs.

The site also reports that Coon’s Chicken Inn was real, too:

The Coon Chicken Inn was a highly successful restaurant chain from the late 1920s through the 1950s. A grinning, grotesque head of a bald Black man with a porter’s cap and winking eye formed a restaurant’s entryway. The door was through the middle of his mouth. The restaurants sold southern fried Coon Chicken sandwiches, chicken pie, livers — and hamburgers, seafood, chili, cakes, and assorted sandwiches. When possible, Blacks were used as waiters, waitresses, and cooks.

As for our first dilemma, three guesses as to who wants to live in peace vs. preserve “history.”

Read more at Mississippi News Now.



If it was displayed with an educational content giving its context, explaining why it is racist as well as when and where it existed -with the emphasis on the explaining the racism and the “why” of the racist image, then it would be acceptable. I’m guessing it isn’t though so, without explanation and condemnation of the racism, I’m just saying it is racist bullshit.