The owners of the New Mexico restaurant whose enormous “Blame China” sign is drawing attention claim that their message is not racist because it is directed at the Chinese government rather than the people of China.
Now, they’re being forced to temporarily close the doors to one of their establishments and adjust the hours at another because – like a lot of restaurants across New Mexico – they’re having a difficult time hiring workers.
“When people are making more on unemployment than they are going back to work, it’s hard to find help,” The business owner said.
Due to the epidemic, the proprietors of Forghedaboudit Southwest Italian, which has two locations in New Mexico, have had trouble finding enough employees to staff their businesses.
The Deming facility had to be temporarily closed, and owners Robert and Kimberly Yacone had to change the hours of operation at the Las Cruces location. The Yacones, who were frustrated, put up a big sign outside their business in Deming that read, “Blame China! ”
The Deming facility had been operational for eight years before the coronavirus epidemic. The restaurants are renowned for their award-winning pizza, chicken wings, and Italian cuisine.
People who refuse to support their business have posted on social media in response to the sign, calling it racist and dangerous.
Yacone said she’s received calls from supporters defending their stance. “It’s just ridiculous to say that we’re racist,” she said.
“We are not racist. We are not bigots,” adding, “This thing came from China. It’s a known fact.”
Yacone was blaming China, where the coronavirus outbreak had its beginnings in late 2019, she determined that the whole nation was the cause of her issue because the coronavirus pandemic has forced them to shut their doors for so long, Yacone and her husband, Robert, believed that the Chinese government should be blamed for their hardships in New Mexico, she also felt she should let her customers know that China is to blame that is why they decided to post a sign on their door.
“When we say blame China, yeah! That’s where it came from, We’re not blaming Chinese American people,” she said.
At the entrance to her Italian restaurant, Yacone has several signs placed. Along with the sign that admonishes her clients to “BLAME CHINA!
Along the sign, she also wrote, “Reservations are required one day before due to lack of staff.” Adding that the “bar seating available upon availability,” about the restaurant’s lack of staff.
The “BLAME CHINA! “ sign, however, outraged the Members of her New Mexico community, believing that Yacone was contributing to former President Trump’s anti-Asian rhetoric.
But Yacone disagrees. “I don’t think it does, that’s towards the Chinese government,” she said.
Meanwhile, people on social media also don’t agree with her. Some bad reviews have come up on their Facebook page from people who say they refuse to support their business and call them bigots.
But Yacone plans to keep up the controversial sign, despite the negative response.
She said that “It’s just ridiculous to say that we’re racist.”
“This sign simply replays the Trump administration’s tactic of dodging blame for its failures by playing to racial antagonism toward Asian Americans. We’ve seen how signs like this inspire hate and violence against the Asian community. Instead of contributing to these kinds of divisions in our country, we should be pulling together to defeat the virus,” The ACLU of New Mexico said.
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