What began as a joke for Edgar Antillon, the Latino owner of a barbecue restaurant in Milliken, Colo., has become, well, a thing that shows America’s race problem is not limited to policing.
NBC News is reporting that Antillon plans to host “White Appreciation Day” on June 11 at his Rubbin’ Buttz restaurant, offering white patrons 10 percent off their meals “because all Americans should be celebrated,” according to a sign outside his business.
"We have a whole month for Black History Month,” Antillon tells the television news station. “We have a whole month for Hispanic Heritage Month. So we figured the least we could do is offer one day to appreciate white Americans."
Antillon says the idea for “White Appreciation Day” started out as a joke, but then he decided to use it as a vehicle to bring people together, the site writes. He told the television news outlet that he is a first-generation American born to parents from Mexico and has experienced the sting of racism throughout his life.
“We’re all American,” he told the TV station. “Plain and simple. Whether you come from a different country or you were born here, we’re all American.”
Civil rights leaders are not laughing at Antillon’s cause célèbre.
“It’s wrong,” Ricardo Romero, a civil rights activist in northern Colorado, told KUSA TV, an NBC affiliate. “If you’re going to give a discount, give it to the whole community.”
The plan could also face legal challenges, according to Jennifer McPherson with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, NBC notes.
Anyone who feels discriminated against could file a complaint with the civil rights division of her office, and the claim would be investigated, the report says.
Read more at NBC News.