He is the one who ordered the new, controversial anti-homeless stickers that say “Welcome to Ocean Beach. Please don’t feed our bums,” with a graphic of a 1930’s hobo and dog. The Black has been selling them for about 3 weeks now and offers the hate-message for $2.50.
I asked Ken if he would consider removing the sticker from his shelves. He said:
People are taking this way too serious. I know it’s politically incorrect, but it’s a satire, a play on the ‘don’t feed the bears’ signs.
It’s a response to harassment by street kids. I’ve lived in OB for 18 years and never seen it this bad.
I asked him if he thought the perceived influx of homeless had anything to do with the worst economy since the Great Depression. He replied:
This has nothing to do with the economy. It’s a movement of slough. There’s a refusal to work. I’ve had kids come in here and call me a sell-out because I work 40 hours a week.
Ken said no, he would not consider taking the stickers down. Even in the face of a community boycott.
I’m not concerned a boycott. In all of our 42 years, we’ve never been in the red. Everything in retail has a shelf life. The stickers have a shelve life. I’m actually waiting for the sticker to run its course.
Finally, I asked Ken if he would consider removing them if he was presented with a petition with, say a 100 names. He said maybe.
BOTTOM LINE: The Black will continue to keep selling the anti-homeless sticker and making a small profit off others attitude against the tumbleweeds, the travelers, the homeless, the hobos and the bums.