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City disavows racist stickers in East Austin

Thursday, March 19, 2015 by Mark Richardson

Several East Austin businesses were defaced overnight Tuesday with racially offensive stickers. The stickers, designed to look like something official from the City of Austin, asserted that the establishments were for white people only and that “colored” patrons were not welcome in the various stores. The stickers also said “Maximum of 5 colored customers” and “colored BOH staff accepted,” referring to the “back of house” operations at a restaurant. The stickers used a City of Austin logo and said they were sponsored by the “City of Austin Contemporary Partition and Restoration Program.” The city has no program with that name. Officials said the stickers were not issued by the city and did not reflect any city policies or practices. The Austin Police Department and the Public Assembly Code Enforcement Teams are investigating, and will be monitoring local businesses for additional instances of defacement. Mayor Steve Adler condemned the stickers. “This is an appalling and offensive display of ignorance in our city. Austin condemns this type of hurtful behavior. Our city is a place where respect for all people is a part of our spirit and soul. We will keep it that way,” Adler said. City Manager Marc Ott also spoke out against them, saying they would not be tolerated. The stickers also drew condemnations from the NAACP and some members of the local legislative delegation. Though reasonable minds might conclude that the stickers are a comment on gentrification in East Austin, no one had claimed responsibility for them at the time of publication.


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