Thousands of people have descended on the city of Austin where the South by Southwest (SXSW) festivals are happening this week. Someone with too much time on his/her hands and/or racists showed up, too.
Employees at two East Austin businesses arrived to work on Wednesday morning to find stickers plastered on the buildings that declared they were “exclusively for white people.” “Maximum of 5 colored customers/colored BOH staff accepted,” the stickers stated, referring to the “back of house” operations at a restaurant. The stickers also feature a City of Austin logo and state that the message is “sponsored by the City of Austin Contemporary Partition and Restoration Program.” One of the stickers was affixed to the front window of the Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop on Manor Road. The owners of Sugar Mama’s posted an a photo showing part of the sticker on Instagram around 11 a.m., saying that they didn’t post the whole sticker because “it is too offensive.” “Today we were the victim of what I consider to be a hate crime against our family and staff at our Eastside location,” the post states. “Our business was built on family and love and we will let that shine on.” April Jensen, who works at the cupcake shop on Manor, said she was shocked when she and a co-worker noticed the sticker. “It kind of hurt,” said Jensen, who is African American. “I don’t really understand the message behind it. … All types of customers come in here.” A sticker was also placed on El Chile Café y Cantina, about a block up the street from Sugar Mama’s. Candice Armstong, the store’s manager, said it didn’t appear that the two other businesses on Manor Road that are owned by the El Chile Food Group were targeted. A spokesman for the City of Austin said that he was unaware of the stickers and that he could not immediately comment on them. Sugar Mama’s reported the sticker found there to police and an officer is expected to take statements from the employees later Wednesday.