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Vendor banned for selling racist signs at Indiana car show

Posted at 11:47 AM, Sep 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 08:28:10-04

GAS CITY, Ind. -- Organizers for the Ducktail Run Rod & Classic Car Show in Gas City, Indiana booted out and permanently banned a vendor found selling racist signs and plaques this weekend.

The car show brings in nearly 2,500 classic, pre-1972 automobiles and more than 50,000 people every year to Gas City, according to organizer Mike Salter.

Salter said the show is a family friendly event for people who love old cars. He was horrified, he said, when he saw a video of a booth at the show selling racist wares.

“We opened our registration at 6 o’clock in the morning,” Salter said. “Everybody’s watching Facebook and all of a sudden, boom, there’s a video on there of this racist Ducktail booth and this guy is selling all this crap.”

A’Shia Woods posted the video to Facebook on Saturday after stumbling upon the booth at the car show.

“We turned to walk away and I noticed the little girl with the watermelon,” Woods, who is black, told Indianapolis-based RTV6. “I told my boyfriend, I’m like, look, this is racist stuff they did back in the day. They had a whole section dedicated to this stuff. Even had some toys.”

The video shows signs reading “white only” and “colored seated in rear,” along with posters of black children akin to the “Little Black Sambo” caricatures popular in the early 1900s.

A sign featuring an old racist advertisement for a brand of frozen treat (Photo by A'Shia Woods).

Salter said as soon as he was made aware of the booth, he checked it out for himself – and promptly booted the vendor from the show.

“I looked over on the table and there was all this crap. They were right. The stuff was there,” Salter said. “I said, ‘Hey, get out of here now. Get it out of here right now, the whole thing, booth and all, and you will never, ever be back, period. No negotiations.’ If somebody had told me about it Wednesday, it would have been gone Wednesday.”

Salter, who was visibly frustrated by the incident, said he and other organizers have already had a meeting to ensure next year’s vendor applications have very specific language preventing such wares from being sold.