Colorado Antique Store Selling ‘Whites Only’ Signs Sparks Outrage

Can we talk about the black toy baby on the shelf behind the signs?

Colorado antique store owner, Cheryl Dean, received backlash for selling “Whites Only” signs.

What We Know:

  • According to CNN, Nicola Shanks was browsing an antique store in Cortez, Colorado last week when she saw several signs that took her aback. Some of the signs read: “Public Swimming Pool,” “Colored Seated In Rear,” and “We Serve Colored Carry Out Only”.
  • Moreover, Shanks couldn’t believe what she was seeing; to think an antique store would be selling such racially charged artifacts. “I think it was disbelief at first, that I was actually seeing these signs in a store. It’s something I would expect to see at the Jim Crow museum, not a local antique store,” she said.
  • To make matters worse, the store owner, Cheryl Dean, refused to take the signs down from the store shelves. Furthermore, Dean insisted that the signs had no racist intent in being sold. But, some would argue that it is the basis of the deliberate creation of the racist signs.
  • According to Fox31, Dean said, “I’ve lived in a small town my whole life. I don’t even know what the words means. There’s been black people in the store and we laugh about it. There’s people that collect that stuff. It has nothing to do with racism. It’s part of history, like, ‘Look how far we’ve come’.” 
  • Shanks refuted, “That’s the thing she says over and over: ‘It’s history. You’re trying to erase history.’ I shared with her that history belongs in a museum and that these things are made for profit and you’re profiling a very horrible time in this country’s history.”
  • Subsequently, Hundred of people are now vowing to boycott the antique store and are conducting negative reviews against the store. Dean said, “They’re horrible. They’ve threatened to burn down my store. They’ve threatened to kill me.”
  • Dean finally said she has no regrets; that she never thought anything about it and that it is crazy how so few people can cause one person much misery.

The store owner’s deficit of empathy shows in her use of words like “that stuff” and “they’re horrible”. Also, her rhetoric that “It’s history. You’re trying to erase history,” is precisely why it belongs in a museum, and not someone’s attic or home wall. Has Dean thought about how the multiple signs could cause many miseries? Or is it all about a little bit of profit?




Alldon Thompson is a Digital Intern at Black News Alerts.