Now, this is a mess and it certainly doesn’t appear to be an honest mistake! According to Fox 28 Columbus, after photos of some shocking and offensive shirts being sold at Suck Bang Blow in Murrells Inlet began circulating online, community reaction was swift.
“People are angry, and they’re upset, and rightfully so,” said Bennie Swans, a longtime community activist. “Who would not be upset? “A hundred percent cotton and your mama made it”. Come on. That’s not fair, and it’s just causing pain unnecess
Swans and other community members who reached out to ABC 15 News said the shirts incite fear and are race-baiting during a time when community leaders are desperately trying to break down racial barriers they believe exist between the Spring Harley Rally and the Atlantic Beach Bikefest.
The general manager of the bar, Bill Barber, said it was an honest mistake.
“It was an absolute mistake,” Barber said. “The girls didn’t know what was in the boxes. Neither did we to be honest with you. We didn’t pull every shirt out and do an inventory. The boxes are all marked with a hundred shirts here, a hundred shirts there and they’re all mixed up so we had no idea they were in there.”
Barber said the bar, and all of its inventory, was purchased by new owners in 2014. He said the shirts were left behind from the previous owners and maintains the new owners have not printed any shirts with racially derogatory phrases.
Barber said he’s thankful a band member set to play at SBB on Friday called to let him know about the shirts and the photos online.
“He called me last night and said, ‘Are you aware those shirts are being sold at Suck Bang Blow?’ I said no. They were from the previous owner. I went out onto the floor and found some of the shirts that were on the clearance rack, and we immediately removed them.”
He said the shirts were immediately destroyed, and he is sorry for any disrespect they may have caused.
“We were offended by them, too,” Barber said. “The new owners want to reach out to every community and be an every day, every person bar.”
However, at a bar where the Confederate flag still flies high, Swans said more needs to be done.
“There’s no reason for ignorance, no reason to subject pain on others,” he said. “There’s gotta be another way to make a dollar than to do it at the expense of others.”
As for any type of public apology, Barber said he hasn’t given much thought to it at the moment, but he is deeply sorry for what he called an honest mistake.