A Black Lives Matter poster on the window of Howl Mercantile had another poster taped on top of it this week. The new poster read, “Are you a member of Antifa? Maybe you’d be happier in Seattle or Chicago: All Lives Matter.” Below that, in a different color, it said “is a truth” and below that in pen someone wrote, “Your poster is Racist.”
“I’ve dealt with racism before so I wasn’t surprised,” said Kimi Uno, Howl’s owner. “I know racism exists here in the valley and I don’t think our community is always safe for people of color.”
Uno has lived in Salida for five years. Before, she said she dealt with what she called “micro-aggressions and sexism,” but mostly observed how people of color were treated. She called this her, “first experience with overt racism.”
She also called the Antifa question in the letter “mind boggling.”
“Antifa is anti-fascist,” she said. “We have a wall on the Five and Dime honoring our veterans; anyone who has fought for this country has fought against fascism.”
She also said the Black Lives Matter movement aligns with Howl’s values, which she said are anti-oppression and anti late-stage capitalism.
The Black Lives Matter poster remained in Howl’s window Thursday, visible for all to see with the other poster removed.
“I’m not scared,” she said. “We have had a lot of loving support the last few days; a lot of people have came in and showed us support; we have a loving community.”
She said she hoped the incident serves as a wake up call.
“Hopefully this is a wake up call to racism in our valley,” Uno said. “I just hope people are woken up to do something about it.”