Edgar Antillon and Miguel Jimenez, new owners of Rubbin Buttz BBQ in Milliken, Colorado, have decided to hold a "White Appreciation Day" next month, where white customers get 10% off.
The day reportedly originated as a joke, but the owners have since become very serious about the matter.
"We have a whole month for Black History month, we have a whole month for Hispanic Heritage Month," Antillon told NBC News, "so we thought the least we could do was offer one day to appreciate white Americans."
He said the restaurant is considering having discount days for other races, though it is unlikely.
Antillon, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico before he was born, told a local NBC affiliate yesterday that he has experienced racism himself, and is fully aware of America's history with it.
The restaurant could potentially face legal repercussions for this decision because, according to the ACLU, it is illegal for service establishments to discriminate based on race in the state of Colorado.
Activists in the area have already spoken out against the stunt, many venting on the restaurant's Facebook page, but the owners said they were expecting controversy. They say the intention was not to discriminate, but to bring people together.
"Although we've had overwhelming support for [White Appreciation Day], there are a few who are filled with hate and/or misunderstanding," Rubbin Buttz wrote on Facebook.
Antillon is no stranger to controversy. Before purchasing the restaurant, he founded the group Guns for Everyone in 2010. He hosts occasional "Free Concealed Carry Classes" at his restaurant.
He is also currently the co-director of the Colorado Campaign for Equal rights, whose primary focus is adding an initiative to allow legal marijuana users to obtain a concealed handgun permit.
The owner added that he hopes the discount will open a discussion about race in America. As the sign says, he believes "all Americans should be celebrated."
Many people have commented in support on the restaurant's Facebook, commending Rubbin Buttz BBQ on their "activism" and referencing the fight against "reverse racism." But some commenters were not as enthusiastic.
"Every day is White Appreciation Day," one commenter wrote. "There are inherent advantages to being white in our society."
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Rubbin Buttz BBQ for comment.
Ema O'Connor is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Ema O'Connor at email@example.com.
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