A skateboarding shop in California has closed its doors after it faced the wrath of its customers after refusing to remove a Confederate flag from its walls, the shop owner told ESPN Crikey.
Sandy swept through the southern United States in 2017 and left behind an indelible mark on the landscape, said Adam Boussard, owner of Skate Shop in Santa Ana.
I had to make a choice and I had to do it now, he said.
The shop was one of a number that had refused to remove the flag because of the divisive politics that have plagued the South since the end of the Civil War.
But a local group of owners and their friends began a social media campaign to bring the Confederate flag back.
Many of the owners said they were shocked by the backlash.
People were just completely shocked, he added.
Some of them were in shock.
It was just a complete shock.
It was shocking, people said.
Some of them had never seen something like this before.
There were people who were just outraged that they could see it and they would just go, ‘Whoa, that’s just so racist.’
Others said they didn’t see the point in removing the flag.
We just couldn’t see it,” he said, adding that the flag was being used as a rallying point.
He added that some people had even left the shop because they had to get back to work.
Boussarve said he felt his community was hurt by the racist backlash and wanted to make sure his community did not go through what he had. “
I think it was a matter of timing,” he told ESPN.
Boussarve said he felt his community was hurt by the racist backlash and wanted to make sure his community did not go through what he had.
Since the flag incident, many local businesses have closed, he explained.
One of the businesses closed last week because it couldn’t take the pressure.
The other closed on Wednesday because the city council had voted to ban Confederate statues.
Last year, a local business owner named Greg Johnson posted a message on Facebook to call for the removal of Confederate statues across the US.
Johnson, who owns a skate shop in New Mexico, said he was initially told by his store’s owner that removing the Confederate flags would be illegal.
They said, ‘If we want to have a debate we should not be doing it on our property, and if we want the public to hear about it, we should remove it ourselves.’
Johnson said he refused, and was told that removing Confederate flags was tantamount to inciting racial hatred.
As for Bousssard, he told his Facebook followers that the shop had a choice.
He said he didn’t think he should be in the business because he would be subject to racist and hateful backlash.
Bousssards Facebook post gained more than 20,000 shares, and he was inundated with angry responses.
My family and I will not be bullied, he wrote.
Even though this is the last straw for many, I think the time has come for people to make their own decisions.
If you feel like you are a white person, if you are the president, you don’t need to go into a shop, and people need to decide what they want to see on their own property.
Bosessard told ESPN that he was also shocked that some of his local businesses had closed and that the majority of his customers had left.
So I feel like the only thing that has happened is that we have seen an increase in the number of businesses that are going out of business.
Everyone has been very supportive of me, and I feel that I have the support of my community, Bosessards wife, Tasha, told ESPN last week.
I feel like I need to be out there to do what I can.”