After news broke that a Fort Worth bar was home to a decorative sign emblazoned with a racial slur, the owner of Jim’s Rodeo Tavern says the sign is coming down.
On April 16, Eater reported that a Fort Worth man had visited the bar and snapped a photo of the offensive sign, which apparently hung in the bar as a memorial to one of its late regulars, a woman named Teresa Kidwell. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, owner James Emerson says that the phrase painted on the sign — “Shut up, [n-word]” — was Kidwell’s “favorite.”
To the DMN, Emerson described the signage as “kind of a joke” that was “never indicative of anything racial,” which doesn’t account for the actual hundreds of years that the word has been used as a slur directed at Black people. Emerson also says that he believes the “n-word” to mean “worthless person.” Emerson says that the sign was on the wall of his bar for more than two years before it sparked any controversy.
Emerson did not, however, address whether or not he has plans to remove the Confederate flag that is also part of the bar’s decor scheme.