View of Google Earth at the Reed Agency in Milinoket, Maine.

Google Earth

An insurance agency in Milinoket, Maine, has met with a reaction on the Internet after a photo posted on Facebook on Monday that read: “Shut up, it doesn’t matter … We’re closed. Enjoy the roast chickens and greens ”.

The image of the sign of Harry E. Reed Insurance Agency, a subsidiary of the national insurance company Progressive, was originally posted by a Facebook user named Alura Stilvagon with the caption “racism in Milinoket real.” The original publication has been distributed more than 100 times.

“I’m not angry. Anger won’t get me anywhere. I’m just deeply, deeply disappointed,” another Facebook user, Ken Anderson, commented on the post. “In this business, in the companies that allow this business to mediate their products, and in Milinoket, Maine, and the whole damn country. Deeply disappointed. Why? Because I know we can do better. But we don’t you try. And that’s the part that cuts the deepest. “

For many businesses, Monday celebrated Juneteenth, a federal holiday commemorated on June 19, 1865, when Union Army soldiers arrived in Texas and announced the end of slavery to more than 250,000 black people who remained in slavery even after the signing of the Emancipation. Proclamation in 1863, according to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Ever since the image of the mark began to spread online, people have moved to the Yelp reviews site to condemn the insurance agency, forcing Yelp to disable users ’ability to post messages on the company’s website.

“This business has recently received a lot of public attention, which has led to an influx of people posting their views on this page, so we’ve temporarily disabled the ability to publish here while we work on content investigations,” Yelp warned in a warning from Harry Reed Insurance Agency. . the page reads. “While racism has no place in Yelp, and we unequivocally reject racism or discrimination in any form, all reviews on Yelp should reflect the actual consumer experience first hand (even if it means disabling for users the opportunity to express views, with which we can agree with ). “

The agency received nearly 90 – mostly one-star – reviews from Yelp, with many posters condemning the insurance agency as “racist.”

Jeff Sibel, a spokesman for Progressive, said in a statement: “We are aware of and shocked by the plaque recently posted by the Harry E Reed agency, and are ending our relationship with the agency.”

“Progressive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are fundamental to our core values. We strive to create an environment in which our people feel welcomed, respected and respected, and we expect any Progressive representative to take part in this commitment. The mark directly violates this obligation and does not comply with the core values ​​and code of conduct of our company, ”Sibel said in a statement.

Milinket City Council Chairman Steve Golib on Tuesday issued a statement condemning the sign.

“It is deeply sad, shameful and unacceptable for any person, business or organization to try to shed light on the Juntaents and what it represents to millions of slaves and their living descendants,” Golib said. “There is no place in the city of Milinoket for such outrageous disregard for human decency.”

The insurance agency did not respond to requests for comment.

President Joe Biden and the state of Maine signed in June 2021 bills recognizing June 1 as a federal and state holiday.

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