A convenience store in LaGrange, Georgia has drawn controversy over signs that contain gay slurs, and they should be permanently removed because of the offensive and unnecessary language that is used in a derogatory fashion. Anil Patel, manager of the western Georgia convenience store, has placed signs at the entrance of the building, which are meant to deter customers from wearing saggy pants in the gas station. Patel removed a sign on Thursday at the request of the store’s owner — his father — although he reportedly planned on putting the sign back up soon after.
This is not the first time that the PCA Food Store, which is located in Troupe County, has faced criticism regarding the controversial signs that they have displayed. Generic signs that simply denied a customer’s service due to inappropriate clothing were largely ignored by customers. Patel then chose to include a gay slur on the next sign in order to grab the customer’s attention, so that those wearing saggy pants would notice and refrain from doing so.
The manager of the convenience store — who solely claims full responsibility of the controversial signs — has stated that the signs at the front of the store have actually served their purpose. After the signs were displayed, there have been “no pants down in [the] store” from any customers who were shopping; this made him very happy. Yes, the signs have worked to stop the influx of saggy pants that have been plaguing the store, but are the controversial and derogatory signs the best way to handle a mundane situation?
The signs containing gay slurs in which the convenience store has displayed have drawn controversy in the town of LaGrange, and questions of their removal are being debated in the community. A female clerk who identifies a lesbian and works at the gas station responded to the highly disputed sign by saying, “It doesn’t bother me.” However, the number of people who oppose the signs’ existence is growing. One resident vowed to never again be a customer at the PCA Food Store because of the questionable signs.
This situation could have been handled in a much more simplistic and morally sound manner, but the manager of the store chose to use offensive language in a manner that would catch people’s attention. But there are other ways to catch a person’s attention that do not involve derogatory language that singles out a certain population – bright colors, big letters, and assertive statements, for instance. There is not a direct attack on the homosexual population, but the way in which the signs are written in an extremely dubious manner is unnecessary and morally incorrect.
The permanent removal of the offensive signs that contain gay slurs should immediately occur because there is no need for a convenience store to post such a questionable and nonessential posting. Displaying a simple, yet effective sign that requires the proper attire to be worn in the store is possible without any disparaging language. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to remove the disputed signs will likely lie in how the LaGrange community responds.
Opinion by Glen Parris