Man protests H&H Outdoors with N-word sign
So this happened: Michael Wiggins was outside of the H&H sporting goods store at 424 Eutaw with a big sign (pictured) for several hours today.
Wiggins says that store personnel called him “a nigger,” as implied by the sign and per his Twitter feed, @bulldozermike: “H .and H CALLED ME A NIGGER..PROTESTING NOW IN FRONT OF STORE” and “H and H …CALLED ME A NIGGER..AND JUST CALLED 5 POLICE CARS ON ME”
Police were called, but the protest was still ongoing as of 12:45 or so. Wiggins updated via Twitter just after 1 p.m.: “HAVE TO GO ..BY POLICE ORDERS…BE BACK SAT OR SUNDAY.”
“Can you imagine?” says H&H owner Ken Rosenblatt. “Isn’t that terrible?”
H&H, which mainly sells used military type gear, has got its share of attention from City Paper, including this 2012 City Folk feature. Some on-line reviews have not been as positive, complaining of rudeness by staff.
Rosenblatt says Wiggins bought a poncho from the store, then returned the next day with a different poncho—a very ratty, torn up one—and tried to “return” it. Rosenblatt didn’t go for it, and Wiggins was unhappy, he says: “He threw it out in front of my store.”
He denies calling Wiggins by a racial slur. “No, I don’t use that word,” Rosenblatt says. “No, never.”
And he admits to calling the law on Wiggins for his use of the term. “That’s a cuss word you can’t have hanging on a sign outside a business,” Rosenblatt says. “Do you agree with me?”
The police, apparently, didn’t initially. They conferred with Wiggins and then allowed his protest to continue. Spoon Popkin, who shot the accompanying photo, watched the encounter and reports that “Cops laughed when he said they get special treatment there. No deals or returns 4 cops either!”
Wiggins got some positive ink in Word on The Street, the homeless persons newspaper last summer, for some apparent heroics at the Camp 83 shutdown.