A Canadian gun store owner who generated some backlash for advertising a “White Friday” sale changed his sign but insisted he was not a racist.
The owner of Perkins Guns and Ammo in Pembroke, Ontario ultimately changed the sign that altered the “Black Friday” phrase but told CTV Ottawa that he felt he couldn’t use the term before because of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s past use of blackface.
(Video: YouTube/CTV News)
“I don’t know why people got upset,” owner Lance Perkins told the news outlet, referring to the sign which he displayed earlier this month which read: “Gun deals, all you people, come on in, White Friday sale.”
“My ‘White Friday’ sale in regards to selling guns or crossbows or anything in the store, had nothing to do with color, it’s just a sale. We’re allowed to have sales in Canada,” he added.
He asserted that the decision to later change the “White Friday” phrase was not due to the criticism he received but did explain to CTV News that he chose to steer clear of the use of the word “black” because he didn’t want any connections made to Trudeau’s blackface scandal.
“This year I don’t really know why people got offended by the use of the word ‘white.’ I couldn’t use the word ‘black’ because of Trudeau using blackface,” he said. “All you see in the newspaper is Black Fridays, Black Fridays, and you know what, I said we’re not American, let’s go with a different shade, a different color.”
“I picked white because it resembles white snow, it resembles Christmas. Why not go with something brighter than black,” he said.
No offense was meant by a “White Friday” advertisement posted by Perkins Guns and Ammo in Pembroke. Owner Lance Perkins says winter is white, snow is white and Christmas is white so why shouldn’t they have a White Friday sale.https://t.co/D414Ls2DWa pic.twitter.com/KkONMLUsir
— 104.9 myFM (@1049myFM) November 25, 2019
Perkins had also used the phrase “you people” in his sign, a reference to comments made by legendary Canadian sportscaster Don Cherry which ultimately got him fired.
“I believe the man is a great Canadian, he did not pick out anybody in regards to race,” Perkins said. “But he wasn’t racist…he just said what was on his mind.”
According to History.com:
The most commonly repeated story behind the post-Thanksgiving shopping-related Black Friday tradition links it to retailers. As the story goes, after an entire year of operating at a loss (“in the red”) stores would supposedly earn a profit (“went into the black”) on the day after Thanksgiving, because holiday shoppers blew so much money on discounted merchandise. Though it’s true that retail companies used to record losses in red and profits in black when doing their accounting, this version of Black Friday’s origin is the officially sanctioned—but inaccurate—story behind the tradition.
But the true story behind the shopping day goes back to the 1950s when Philadelphia, Pa. police used the term to “describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, when hordes of suburban shoppers and tourists flooded into the city in advance of the big Army-Navy football game held on that Saturday every year,” according to History.com.
“By 1961, ‘Black Friday’ had caught on in Philadelphia, to the extent that the city’s merchants and boosters tried unsuccessfully to change it to ‘Big Friday’ in order to remove the negative connotations,” the site explained.
Eventually, “retailers managed to spin a new connotation: The day the books went from red ink to black,” because of all the post-Thanksgiving Day sales, according to The New York Times.
Meanwhile, it was not clear when Perkins’ “White Friday” sale would end as he said “everyday there’s s a sale here,” but he was more than clear that it was no “joke.”
“I wouldn’t call it a joke,” he said. “It’s still a sale. It’s just a sale.”
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