Racist Juneteenth sign at Maine insurance agency sparks

Citizens in Millinocket, Maine, say they are outraged after an insurance policies company shown a racist sign remarking on the new Juneteenth federal holiday.

Lisa Groelly


hide caption

toggle caption

Lisa Groelly


People in Millinocket, Maine, say they are outraged right after an insurance policies agency exhibited a racist signal remarking on the new Juneteenth federal holiday getaway.

Lisa Groelly

Citizens in the city of Millinocket, Maine, say they are outraged and upset soon after a area insurance agency exhibited a racist signal remarking on the Juneteenth getaway. Progressive and Allstate are terminating their relationships with the company, according to associates of the insurance policies organizations.

“Juneteenth ~it’s no matter what… We’re closed. Love your fried hen & collard greens,” the indication mentioned in a huge font. It was taped to the entrance of Harry E. Reed Insurance coverage Company in Millinocket on Monday. The smaller town sits about a few hours outdoors Portland and some 50 miles away from the U.S.-Canada border.

An image of the racist sign was shared on the web Monday, gaining the attention of hundreds throughout social media.

The insurance coverage agency has confronted heavy criticism on-line, with folks leaving one-star reviews on Google and Yelp, some of which have because been eradicated.

One critique created on Yelp states: “@Progressive – is this definitely a company that you want symbolizing you? Or is Progressive a firm that thinks in racism?”

Progressive spokesperson Jeff Sibel wrote in an electronic mail that the business is “informed and appalled by the signal” and that it is terminating its romantic relationship with the agency.

“At Progressive, Range, Fairness and Inclusion (DEI) are fundamental to our Core Values. We are committed to building an atmosphere in which our men and women come to feel welcomed, valued and revered and count on that any one representing Progressive to just take component in this dedication,” Sibel wrote. “The sign is in direct violation of that motivation and would not align with our company’s Core Values and Code of Perform.”

The Harry E. Reed Coverage Company did not respond to NPR’s ask for for remark.

Millinocket resident Alura Stillwagon originally posted the graphic on Facebook with a caption examining, “The racism in Millinocket is true.”

Stillwagon, who very first listened to about the signal from her mother, Lisa Groelly, states she experienced to do a double acquire when viewing an image of it.

“I had to go through it a lot more than once because I thought it was a little something [my mom] noticed on Fb. But when she mentioned it was a company [in town], I was immediately disgusted,” Stillwagon told NPR. “Men and women have this notion that Maine is not quite racist and that it’s fairly liberal. But up north, it can be not like that at all.”

Groelly, who lives in Millinocket, says when her buddy told her about the sign shown outdoors the company, she was speechless, contemplating it ought to have been a joke.

“I’m hoping that people will wake up and know that this is not Ok. Men and women need to know their history. They have to have to notice that there was a great deal of struggling and that this getaway is warranted — and it is really required,” said Groelly in an interview with NPR.

Steve Golieb, chair of the Millinocket Town Council, introduced a statement on Tuesday relating to the incident:

“It is deeply saddening, disgraceful and unacceptable for any particular person, business enterprise, or corporation to endeavor to make mild of Juneteenth and what it represents for hundreds of thousands of slaves and their residing descendants,” Golieb reported in his statement. “There is no position in the City of Millinocket for this sort of a blatant disregard of human decency.”

Allstate claimed in a assertion to NPR on Wednesday: “We are terminating our deal with this impartial agent. Our dedication to Inclusive Diversity and Fairness is non-negotiable and we choose motion when men and women violate our code of carry out.”

The state of Maine celebrated Juneteenth as an formal getaway for the initially time on Monday. Governor Janet Mills signed a invoice into regulation previous yr declaring the once-a-year commemoration a paid out state holiday break. This month, Mills signed a proclamation declaring June 19 as Juneteenth.

Juneteenth is an annual commemoration celebrated on June 19 that marks the United States’ second independence day.

On this working day in 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger — who experienced fought for the Union — arrived at Galveston, Texas, with nearly 2,000 troops to announce that the a lot more than 250,000 enslaved Black folks in the point out ended up lastly cost-free.

President Biden signed a monthly bill in 2021 to figure out Juneteenth as a federal holiday break.

About the Author: AKDSEO

You May Also Like