FLEMINGTON, N.J. (PIX11) — A New Jersey man says he was forced to close his deli after a “White History Month” sign he posted in the window caused him to lose customers — and now he’s crowdsourcing money.
Jim Boggess owns the currently out-of-business Jimbo’s Deli in Flemington. Back in March, Boggess posted a handwritten sign in the deli’s front window about celebrating “White History Month.”
NJ.com reports that a customer, a bi-racial man named Bhakti Curtis, was offended by the sign and asked Boggess to take it down, but he refused. The situation erupted when the website posted the story, with both Boggess and Curtis receiving threatening calls. “I love everybody, and everybody should celebrate what they are,” Boggess told NJ.com. “I shouldn’t have to feel bad about being white.”
Curtis told the site, “I love white people. I just hate racism.”
Boggess has since apologized to Curtis and the pair have since made up, but the sign, which was taken down, may have cost him his livelihood. He has since created a GoFundMe page, explaining that had to shut the deli’s doors due to lack of customers:
“It was only supposed to be a white thing but people read more into it than that. I did get tons of supporting letters from all across the USA. Which was very comforting during such a stressful time.
Then the bottom dropped out and customers were no longer coming into my deli, and now I am forced to close down my Deli and lose my American dream. I have become heavily in debt and getting shut off notices from everywhere for both business and home. I don’t think I deserve this just because I wanted to be proud of being white and be able to celebrate my heritage like everyone else does.
If you read this , please leave a comment and what state your from so I can see where my support is coming from. Thank you for all the support and. I WILL stay strong and hope to find a job.”
Many commenters have questioned the sincerity of the fundraising page and Boggess admitted that the business wasn’t doing well even before he posted the sign. “Yes, you guys are right, the store wasn’t doing good before the sign was posted. But it was doing good enough to keep the store open . After the sign was posted I started only ringing up 23 to 40. Dollars a day.”
Boggess has raised a little over $200 since the page was created on Sunday.
“I support what you did! There’s no shame in being white!” one supporter, who donated $10 wrote. Shanelle Robinson donated $5 to Boggess, but added some advice.
“I highly doubt your business is suffering because of you wanting to celebrate your hertiage [sic]. I’m leaning more towards it being your attitude and lack of personal responsibility and accountability. You seem entitled and full of yourself. One thing I learned early in life by being black is that life is never fair. Hell Black history month wouldn’t have been created if it were. Instead of trying to compete with black people and what little we have fought for, how about educate yourself on our culture (because from birth I have been forced to educate myself on yours) and embrace us and our differences. My culture never excluded yours, yours always excluded mine, remember that! So here’s 5 dollars and I hope it helps you to enlighten yourself on the very people you feel you need to compete with for no other reason than you’re a spoiled entitled brat.”