A restaurant in Lubbock, Texas, is defending itself after charges of racism for a sign that uses a derogatory term for black people and depicts a blackface caricature. The restaurant, which features vintage signs, claimed in a now-deleted Facebook post that the sign is a "part of history," CBS affiliate KLBK reports.
Cook's Garage, which opened in April, wrote in the Facebook post on Thursday that the sign came from the 1920s. The vintage neon sign depicts the words "Coon Chicken Inn" on the lips of a blackface caricature.
"Aunt Jemima, mammies, and lots of other black collectibles are highly sought after, as is Americana collectibles with white characters," said the message, according to the website The Root. "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."
Cook's Garage did respond to a request for comment from CBS News. The restaurant declined to comment to KLBK if the sign was still up.
Lubbock resident Jasmine Abdullah told KLBK that she saw the post on a friend of a friend's page, and has reached out to Cook's Garage to take it down. She said she hasn't gotten a response.
"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? ... If we want to be remembered as a group of people, that is not how we want to be remembered. 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."
An eBay listing for the sign puts its price tag at $4,500.