FORWARD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Is it a Halloween decoration? Or is it a symbol of racism?READ MORE: Homewood Youth Football Team Returns To Field After $10,000 Worth Of Equipment Was Stolen From Storage
A woman from West Mifflin stormed out of a bar in Forward Township on Wednesday night, claiming to be offended by a display that the owner says was meant as a Halloween decoration.
Jasmine Mull says when she went into the Kickstand Bar and Restaurant, she saw a display that included a dark-faced mask hanging from a wall with a noose tied around its neck.
“I don’t think anybody should accept that symbol, white, black, Chinese, African, Asian,” said Mull. “I don’t accept it. I don’t think anybody should accept it.”
Jasmine, who is bi-racial, was so upset she stormed out of the bar and posted pictures of the mask on Facebook. She goes by Bella BaeBee on social media and she got a big response.
Many reacted the way she did.
“To me, it symbolizes discrimination, hatred, poor choice of display for business,” said Mull.READ MORE: Police: Juvenile Shot In The Leg In Sheraden
Bar owner Skip Riggle is angry about the attention it’s gotten him.
“That’s a devil. It’s a devil mask,” said Riggle. “We hung it up with our Halloween decorations, and we took them down.”
He denies ever being racist.
KDKA’s Paul Martino: “Do you get that the noose is symbolic?”
Riggle: “It came with the noose from Party City.”
Martino: “But could you see where it could be offensive?”
Riggle: “It could be, but it’s the devil. It’s not a black guy, it’s the devil.”
Riggle says people of all races frequent his bar without a problem. Even so, Jasmine wants an apology.
“I would like them to take it down. I would like an apology,” she said. “Honestly, I would just like their input on it. Why do they have it there?”
Riggle says he’s contacted his attorney, and he may consider a defamation suit against his accuser.MORE NEWS: Juneteenth 2021: List Of Events In The Pittsburgh Area
“It’s red,” Riggle. “It was bought as a Halloween decoration, that’s all it is.”