Calls continue to mount for a north Auckland pub to remove a wall hanging with a derogatory term on it for Black people.
Following a 1 NEWS story yesterday about the historic Puhoi Pub displaying a set of bullock horns with the offensive word on it, Ankit Kapur said he remembered feeling uncomfortable after he saw it while visiting the pub in 2014.
“Six years ago, I found this offensive ornament prominently hung over the pub entry door — an implicit recognition of this vile word’s ongoing destructive power,” he told 1 NEWS.
“When I saw it, I immediately felt unwelcome and uncomfortable — that is the ongoing effect of these symbols. They are designed to intimidate.
“Hanging this with no context or evidence of meaningful historical value is just a veiled attempt to disguise a poignant expression of hate. There is no excuse not to take this down.”
Kapur first tweeted about the incident in 2014.
Auckland woman Mildred Armah, who was born in Ghana, said yesterday she was shocked when she saw the display while visiting the pub for lunch on Sunday.
She said it made her feel uncomfortable being in the pub.
“It’s so hurtful. It shouldn’t be up there."
The Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon also asked for the ornament to be taken down, saying the word was racist and degrading.
But Bernie McCallion, who bought the pub in June last year, said as far as she was aware, Armah is “the first person who’s spotted it and said something about it".
Bar staff say the pub is a living museum and the horns have been on display for decades.
The bullock, carrying the name at the centre of the controversy, was apparently one of many that were used to pull kauri logs in the area.
McCallion said she had no plans to remove the wall hanging.
“It's part of the history of the pub. It belongs in the pub. It was donated by the owner who owned N*****, that’s why we've left it up on the wall.”
However, McCallion did remove it for a time last year at the start of the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States.
“We thought, 'Oh, this is just wrong because it was on the news.' But then when I found out about the history of it, I put it back up. And I’m not taking it down again.”