There was nothing out of the ordinary about Jimbo’s Deli on Main Street in Flemington, New Jersey. That was until the owner, Jim Boggess, posted a sign in his shop window at the beginning of March, which declared: “Celebrate your white heritage in March. White History Month.”
The sign outraged a number of neighbors, and although Boggess took down the sign and apologized to Bhakti Curtis, the mixed-race neighbor who first noticed it, business started drying up. It appears the feeling of ill will created by the incident has forced the deli to close.
Now Boggess is struggling to cope financially, and has posted an appeal on the fundraising website GoFundMe. Claiming that the response he received from his sign was unfair, he has named the campaign “Jimbo’s white history sign gone bad.”
He tells his readers that a growing list of creditors are demanding payment for bills at his business and at home, which he is no longer able to cover.
“I don’t think I deserve this just because I wanted to be proud of being white and be able to celebrate my heritage like everyone else does,” Boggess writes in his appeal. “If you read this, please leave a comment and what state you’re from so I can see where my support is from.”
But others have been less convinced of Boggess’ innocence. In an initial CBS Local report dealing with the incident in early March, Curtis told the reporter that an initial version of the sign had displayed a cross on the letter T, a symbol associated with the racist Ku Klux Klan. Curtis said that after initial complaints, the letter was altered so as to appear like a capital T. He told CBS at the time, “I’m never going to step foot back into that establishment.”
As of this writing, Boggess has raised $1,180 on his GoFundMe page.
Image courtesy of NJ.com, GoFundMe