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Fury as Maine insurance firm posts racist Juneteenth sign in window: ‘Enjoy your fried chicken’

Fury as a Maine insurance company puts up a sign in the window that reads, “Juneteenth. It doesn’t matter… We are closed. Enjoy your roast chicken & kale’

  • The sign was hung in the Harry E. Reed Insurance Inc. window. in Millinocket, Maine
  • Progressive Insurance, of which Reed Insurance is a subsidiary, has terminated its contract with the company
  • Melanie Higgins, the employee who wrote and posted the sign, told local news outlets that she had no intention of making the sign racist.

A Maine insurance agency is outraged after it posted a racist Juneteenth closing sign in its window on Monday.

‘June. It’s whatever. We are closed. Enjoy your roast chicken and kale,” the taped sign on the windshield of Harry E. Reed Insurance Inc. read. in Millinocket, Maine.

A photo of the sign started doing the rounds online after it was posted to Facebook Monday, and the response was vitriolic and quick.

The post quickly went viral when hundreds of commentators called the company racist. People made their way to the company’s Yelp page, where they undermined the rating with so many one-star ratings that the website made posting to the company page impossible.

Progressive Insurance, of which Reed Insurance is a subsidiary, has terminated its contract with the company.

Melanie Higgins, the employee who wrote and put up the sign, told local news outlets that she had no intention of the sign being racist and that she regularly puts “snarky” signs on the door of the company.

The sign was hung in the Harry E. Reed Insurance Inc. window.  in Millinocket, Maine.  Company is furious after a photo of the sign has gone viral online

The sign was hung in the Harry E. Reed Insurance Inc. window. in Millinocket, Maine. Company is furious after a photo of the sign has gone viral online

The Harry E. Reed Insurance Company.  The family that owns it says they had to unplug their phones amid death threats

The Harry E. Reed Insurance Company. The family that owns it says they had to unplug their phones amid death threats

“It says they offer umbrella insurance. I think they need a bigger umbrella,” one commenter wrote on the original post.

The original post has garnered more than 300 comments and nearly 200 shares since it was posted, and has made its rounds all over the internet.

It received so much attention that Millinocket Town Council chairman Steve Golieb issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the sign.

“It is deeply distressing, shameful and unacceptable for any person, company or organization to attempt to shed light on Juneteenth and what it represents to millions of slaves and their living descendants,” wrote Golieb, “There is no place in the town of Millinocket for such blatant disregard for human decency.”

A Progressive spokesperson also denounced the sign in a statement announcing the end of their relationship with the company.

“We are aware of and shocked by the sign recently posted to the Harry E Reed Agency and are terminating our relationship with the agency,” spokesman Jeff Sibel wrote.

“The sign is in direct violation of that obligation and does not align with our company’s core values ​​and code of conduct,” Sibel wrote.

Melanie Higgins, whose mother owns the insurance company and is the only other employee, said she had no racist intentions with the sign

Melanie Higgins, whose mother owns the insurance company and is the only other employee, said she had no racist intentions with the sign

An apology posted in place of the original sign in the window of the Reed Insurance Company

An apology posted in place of the original sign in the window of the Reed Insurance Company

“I’m not a racist at all,” Higgins — who is one of two employees besides her mother who owns Reed Insurance — told local outlets.

“I’m really, really, really sorry that it even came out like this in the slightest”

Higgins said she often writes comedic signs and puts them on company doors for closures.

She shared a sign she had put up for Memorial Day that read, “Thank you to all the military for your sacrifice to this country. A country that would go to hell faster in a hand basket than my dog ​​would steal a slice of pizza from the counter.’

Higgins said she hurriedly wrote the Juneteenth board as she hurried home.

“I’m mortified that this even happened,” she said.

Higgins said she and her mother had to disconnect their phones when they received death threats.

Higgins said she often puts

Higgins said she often puts “snarky” holiday closing signs in the store window, like the one above

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