The sign in the deli window reads loud and clear, “CELEBRATE YOUR WHITE HERITAGE IN MARCH, WHITE HISTORY MONTH.”
Jim Boggess, proprietor of Jimbo’s Deli on Main at 22 Main St in Flemington NJ., says, “No matter what you are — Muslim, Jewish, black, white, gay, straight — you should be proud of what you are. I shouldn’t have to feel bad about being white.”
But a neighbor and former customer, Bhakti Curtis, who is bi-racial, doesn’t accept that. He said the sign, is “mocking Black History Month,” especially the way the T was crossed in “WHITE.” The cross piece was not right at the top, it was lower down, in a style used by the Ku Klux Klan and other white-power groups, Curtis said. That cross piece of the T has since been broadened to make it a more traditional, if top-heavy, capital T.
On March 3, Curtis saw the sign, told Boggess it offended him, but got no satisfaction. So he filed a complaint with the Flemington police. Detective Sgt. William Svard said Cpl. Louis Hribik’s report indicates that Curtis said the sign is “racist,” that he felt harassed by it and wanted to know what would be done about it.
Boggess said, "If there's any racial discrimination going on, it's by people who are objecting to his sign "because I'm white." He said that while other groups have their own celebrations, "I just want to be included. Why is this such a big deal? I don't get it. I love everybody and everybody should celebrate what they are."
But Curtis is not feeling the love. "A business can't go putting racist signs in the window because everybody has a right to go in that store. Everybody! And have a right to buy something from that man and not feel demoralized or degrade.