Rubbin' Buttz BBQ, located at 903 Broad Street in the small Colorado community of Milliken, isn't the kind of restaurant that typically winds up in the national spotlight.
The past several days has been an exception — but the sort of attention the joint has received definitely puts the old maxim about there being no such thing as bad publicity to the test.
That's because the Rubbin' Buttz BBQ stories have focused on a planned promotion dubbed "White Appreciation Day" — an event that has now been changed to a discount for all customers, no matter their ethnicity, owing to the resultant outcry, much of it on social media.
The story first gained attention this past Thursday after 9News reported about the deal, announced via this simple sign affixed to the eatery's front door:
As the station pointed out, the owners of Rubbin' Buttz, Edgar Antillon and Miguel Jimenez, are Hispanic. Antillon conceded that the idea started out as a joke, but he subsequently decided it was a worthy concept.
"We have a whole month for Black History Month," he said. "We have a whole month for Hispanic Heritage Month, so we thought the least we could do was offer one day to appreciate white Americans."
One person wrote: "I've often wondered for years, why there is all kinds of appreciation for all ethnics except white. We have never complained about black television, black comedy and lots of other examples. Good for you for standing up for others."
Another added: "Well done guys! Finally, someone who will stand up to this new age American witch hunt. I hope this is a first step to shine the light on these SJWs. You may have your beliefs, but by no means should your life be threatened because of them. Stick to your guns and don't forget that there are people supporting you around the country!"
But then there was this: "I guarantee all the white people in these comments defending this bullshit would never even consider doing what he's doing for any minority group. I for one have never in my life gotten a discount ANYWHERE just because I'm black, No, not even for black history month. I have also never walked into a white owned establishment during Black History Month and seen 'Black people appreciation day!' or anything of the sort. You know why? Because white people either do not give a damn or they do not like the idea of black history month and hispanic heritage month. When WE care about our roots though, then we're 'trying to segregate ourselves.' Yet here they all are praising this man bc he wants to give them discounts for being white."
As for Antillon, who was soon sitting for interviews with outlets such as CNN, he joined the Facebook conversation on Friday, May 9, writing in part, "As a Mexican, I wanted to highlight a double standard. I have more to say, and I will, but this is to point out that the previous owners are not, and have never been involved in our event."
In a subsequent post, he quoted Anne Frank — and yesterday, he weighed in with this:
"Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love." — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I choose to focus on positive. Hate, fear, negativity gets us no where. If you dwell on negatives, and ignore the positive, you live a sad life.
That same day, however, Antillon revealed that everyone who mentions the promotion will receive a 10 percent discount on June 11, not just white people. He insisted that this had been the plan all along, even though the latest offer directly contradicts a previous statement that even he wouldn't get a discount if he ate at Rubbin' Buttz on the big day.
Some jokes are funnier than others. Here's Antillon defending white appreciation day in the aforementioned CNN piece, which aired on Saturday.