An Ontario gun store is going viral this week, after advertising a “White Friday” sale at their store earlier this month. Using Don Cherry’s infamous phrase “you people,” the store invited customers to check out their “White Friday” gun deals. In response to the backlash online, the owner of the store blamed Justin Trudeau for the drama, and claims he “doesn’t know why people got upset”.
Earlier this month, a Pembroke business owner advertised the seasonal sales at his gun store by using the Don Cherry phrase “you people” and calling it a special “White Friday” discount.
On a big sign outside his gun and ammo store, business owner Lance Perkins wrote, "GUN DEALS. ALL YOU PEOPLE. COME ON IN. WHITE FRIDAY SALE.”
Two weeks later, the photo of Perkins Guns and Ammo’s “White Friday” sign has gone viral online, and has caused #WhiteFriday to start trending on Twitter in Canada.
Despite the owner's claims that the "White Friday" sign did not have racist intentions, it has caused considerable backlash online, with several Canadians calling out the racist connotations, and some locals threatening to boycott the store.
Some Twitter users also drew attention to the fact that Perkins deliberately used the controversial term "you people," a phrase that got hockey commentator Don Cherry fired from Sportsnet just weeks earlier.
One Twitter user responded by saying, "Using the term "you people" is racist.. its undertone is racist and the owner has to deal with that.. would never buy from his store."
Another Canadian said, "This is disgusting and unfortunately typical of small towns. I sincerely hope the police are involved because this is NOT ok."
A third added, "He used Don Cherry's "you people" and announced a "White Friday" sale. It sounds like it was intentionally racist."
Despite the backlash online, Perkins told CTV News, “I don’t know why people got upset,” going on to add, “My ‘White Friday’ sale … had nothing to do with colour, it’s just a sale…we’re allowed to have sales in Canada.”
Perkins went on to blame Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the controversy, saying “I couldn’t use the word ‘black’ because of Trudeau using blackface.”
He went on, “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 colour,” he said.
“I picked white because it resembles white snow, it resembles Christmas. Why not go with something brighter than black?” Perkins asked.
Perkins confirmed that he had removed the “White Friday” aspect of his store’s sign, but noted that it wasn’t due to the complaints he received.
“I don’t get it,” he said. “Nobody here is racist.”