An Arkansas restaurant owner is apologizing after posting a racially insensitive sign that disturbed his customers.
Johnny Howard, owner of Smokin' Joe's Ribhouse in Rogers, Ark., upset community members and business patrons when he posted a sign outside of the eatery that read "Obamacare America's punishment for slavery years." The sign, which was up for 45 minutes, was taken down and replaced with one that said "Why cook? Get some carry out," after several people complained.
“I apologize for the sign. It’s offending people, as it did," Howard told 40/29 News. "I didn’t intend for it to be racist-oriented at all.”
Howard said the sign was taken out of context, and that his issue is with the Affordable Care Act as a policy, not with the president or any particular individual.
“It’s the policy and I made the mistake of wording it in the wrong fashion. The policy. It’s not the person it’s the policy,” he said. “To me this health care plan is a job killer. I myself will have to eliminate at least one location if all the policies that were written originally go through.”
Howard certainly isn't the first critic of the health care plan, and he isn't even the first business owner to display troubling messages outside his establishment. However, his move has prompted backlash against the restaurant, and Howard said he has learned his lesson and plans to keep his political opinions to himself moving forward.