The controversy started Aug. 8 when a customer named Brandi Nicole Wilson posted on the Ground-A-Bout company’s Facebook page that the sign “Back the Blue” made her “super uncomfortable being African American walking in it’s a lot like a shouting 'Black lives don’t matter' sign.”
“I think diversity should be catered to,” Wilson wrote.
Ground-A-Bout replied to her concerns: “Our support of law enforcement is IN NO WAY whatsoever stating that ‘black lives don't matter.’ We support racial diversity as well as cultural diversity and religious diversity. And we believe that supporting our law enforcement AND those issues can be accomplished together without exclusion. We'll be disappointed to lose your business ma'am, but the sign will remain.
The business posted on their Facebook page Aug. 10 that the response in support of their decision to not remove the sign has blown them away.
“They really need to come up with a word BIGGER than ‘overwhelming’ to describe the amount of support we have received in the last 36 hours!” the company’s post read.
“We typically get about 10 new "likes" per WEEK but have gotten 700+ new page "likes" in the last 24 hours. We have gotten messages of support from people ALL OVER the country and the issue/posts have been picked up nationally by a few pages with hundreds of thousands of followers."
"While this is obviously not a way one hopes to gain exposure for their business, it's apparent that this has struck a chord with many people. While not getting any further into anything political, we want to thank you. We cannot express our gratitude enough to our peeps!”
However, Brandi Wilson wasn’t so pleased that company didn’t back down.
“This is exact response that will cause people like myself not to drink there, obviously I'm a consumer and my money is just as important as yours I wasn’t mean or nasty with my comment but then there are people like you who just don't get it. I don't think you will. Thank you ground about for replying respectfully! But there are other coffee shops and I'll just go there,” she posted in response to the company keeping the sign up.