A gun store owner in Canada attempted to change “Black Friday” to “White Friday” in response to the Justin Trudeau blackface scandal that nearly derailed his re-election.
Speaking with CTV Ottawa, Lance Perkins, owner of Perkins Guns and Ammo, said that he dislikes the phrase “Black Friday” because of Justin Trudeau.
“I don’t know why people got upset,” Perkins told the outlet, as reported by Fox News. “My ‘White Friday’ sale in regards to selling guns or crossbows or anything in the store, had nothing to do with colour, it’s just a sale … we’re allowed to have sales in Canada.”
The sign in question read:
ALL YOU PEOPLE
COME ON IN
WHITE FRIDAY SALE
Perkins displayed the sign on November 14th, but changed it shortly after people began to denounce it as racist — a charge he fervently rejected.
“This year, I don’t really know why people got offended by the use of the word ‘white.’ I couldn’t use the word ‘black’ because of Trudeau using blackface,” he said. “All you see in the newspaper is Black Fridays … Black Fridays … and you know what, I said we’re not American, let’s go with a different shade, a different color. I picked white because it resembles white snow, it resembles Christmas. Why not go with something brighter than black.”
This past September, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became embroiled in controversy when past photos surfaced of him wearing blackface and brownface in the early 2000s. Trudeau apologized for the photos, saying he did not believe they were racist at the time.
“I shouldn’t have done it. I should have known better, but I didn’t,” he said. “And I’m really sorry.”
Critics of the Perkins sign apparently took serious issue with Perkins’ use of the phrase “you people,” which cost sports broadcaster Don Cherry his job when he used the phrase while asking immigrants to wear a poppy to honor Canadian veterans.
“I believe the man is a great Canadian; he did not pick out anybody in regards to race,” said Perkins. “But he wasn’t racist … he just said what was on his mind.”
The phrase “Black Friday” and its ultimate meaning has been an evolving one since the 1960s. Fox News provided some history:
“Black Friday” is the popular shopping day held the day after American Thanksgiving, during which retailers host big sales as consumers head into the holiday season. The title dates back to Philadelphia in the 1960s, when police officers used the term to “describe the chaos that ensued” with car and foot traffic as people shopped for the holidays and descended upon the city ahead of the Army-Navy football game, held the Saturday after Turkey Day, according to History.com.
But the term didn’t sit well with local retailers, who tried, unsuccessfully, to change the term to “Big Friday” to try to “remove any negative connotations.” Eventually, The New York Times explains, “retailers managed to spin a new connotation: The day the books went from red ink to black,” thanks to of all the post-Thanksgiving Day sales.