Featured Image: Mike Mozart/Flickr
Note: we are republishing this story, which originally made the news in September 2017, amid record high levels of political division in America. According to Pew surveys, the US ranks among the highest in the world according to how many people feel more divided than before the pandemic. More on this here: https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2021-10-15/us-most-divided-nation-in-worldwide-survey-essential-politics
A Dairy Queen restaurant in Wisconsin has garnered attention after a sign that sits in its front window went viral.
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The sign, which hangs in the front window of a Dairy Queen in Kewaskum, Wisconsin, states that “this restaurant is politically incorrect” before noting staff say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Easter” and “God Bless America,” among others, according to WDJT.
The sign also says the restaurant salutes the flag, gives thanks to the troops and offers free sundaes to military veterans on Veterans Day.
“I felt the sign was appropriate to hang in terms of being transparent about the views of the owner and staff supporting God and country,” said franchise owner Kevin Scheunemann. “It just seems that those kinds of values and principles are becoming controversial in society.”
Scheunemann said he first hung the sign nearly four years ago after a customer complained about Christian music playing in the restaurant. After Scheunemann posted the sign, he said he has not experienced any other issues.
Photo Credit: Daily Mail
The sign only went viral after a guest from Oregon posted a picture of it to Facebook, expressing concern for the seemingly exclusive ideals represented in the message of the sign.
The original post received much attention before being deleted, according to KIRO. One commenter expressed his relief for the post’s removal, wondering why it caused such vitriol among people.
“There are some people are agreeing with the sign (and that’s okay), but at the same time are making personal attacks towards the person who shared the picture and voiced her opinion (which is definitely not okay),” the commenter wrote.
Local business owners agree with Scheunemann’s decision to hang the sign, with some stating it’s as much a decision for the customer to not enter as it is for the owner to express his beliefs, according to WDJT.
“He posted it on the door so you see it before you walk in,” said April Serwe, who owns a local bar. “You don’t have to walk in if you don’t agree with it.”
“In this small community, I don’t think it’s a problem,” said local resident Liz Torrison. “We’re all just liking each other and having fun.”
Dairy Queen expressed it did not endorse Scheunemann’s approach.
“This sign expresses the views of this independent owner only and does not speak for ADQ Corporation or any of our other independent franchise owners,” read a statement from the corporate headquarters. “We expect our franchisees and employees to treat every person who walks through our doors with the utmost dignity and respect. Nothing less is acceptable.”
Sources: WDJT, KIRO / Featured Image: Mike Mozart/Flickr / Embedded Images: Daily Mail, Google Maps via Daily Mail