Sign Controversy: Using Your Self-Storage Business to Promote Opinions
Earlier this week, I posted a news item about a self-storage owner who posted a controversial sign.
Russell G. Baker, 60, owns Baker’s Auto Body and Self-Storage in Palmer, Mass. Baker, who’s been posting signs outside his facility for years, recently posted this controversial message: “Muslims are destroying us from within.” His comment was in regards to the appointment of two Muslims to Homeland Security in 2009.
Of course, the message sparked controversy in his community. Several Muslim leaders have spoken to the press, saying Baker’s message spreads hate and “Islamphobia.” A few have even reached out to Baker, hoping to “educate” him about the religion.
Baker claims he’s not spreading hate, merely speaking his mind. He also says his messages have never had a negative affect on his business.
When I asked the Self-Storage Talk community about Baker using his self-storage business as a vehicle to publicize his opinions, most agreed he has the right to say whatever he wants—even if others don’t agree with the message. “Free speech is free speech. While I do not like his message, I defend his right to display it,” said SST member Jughead.
They also question whether Baker’s statements are truly not affecting his business—either positively or negatively. “Since I am in business to make money and money comes from all different races, religions and cultures I turn a blind eye to these,” Handyman posted.
SST member Madman actually lives in Baker’s community and has driven by the signs. “I'd accept that it’s his OPINION and keep on driving. I wouldn't store/shop there.”
Have you ever posted a controversial message at your facility? Ever endorsed a politician or proposition with signs at your facility? Is a place of business the right venue for political and religious messages? Give us your two cents by posting a comment below or join the discussion already in progress on this Self-Storage Talk thread.
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