Free signs encourage respect

Humboldt County Human Rights Commission

HUMBOLDT – The Humboldt County Human Rights Commission is a volunteer 15-member group, appointed by and informing the Board of Supervisors on local issues. Our mission is to promote respectful, compassionate relations among all persons, and to advocate for peace, health, safety and the general welfare.

Last year, a member of the commission noted that some local retail folks were exhibiting the common sign saying they “reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” While the intent may be understandable, the meaning of the words is different.

Asked if this meant that the business owner reserved the right to refuse service to black Americans, or LGBTQ persons they would invariably say no, “not those people.” MAGA hats not OK in Arcata? Vote blue hats not OK in Fortuna?

With these variables in mind, the Commission acted to produce professionally printed and laminated signs welcoming all persons with the understanding that behavior is key.

“Welcome – safe respectful behavior is required here.” It is hoped merchants will find such a sign is something they wish to post, rather than some more negatively worded signs, establishing an objective, uniform standard of behavior, upon which a merchant may validly need to protect, and not serve.

With an initial printing of 100 signs, the commission will make these signs available to any interested merchants, in any language requested. Already in place in libraries, some bars and restaurants, and public agency offices, these signs are now available at no cost, thanks to a generous grant from the McLean Foundation. All the commission asks is, that if you request a sign, please use it.

The commission believes that if you misbehave, right, left, or rainbow, you should expect to be called out. These signs represent fair notice to all equally.

For more information, call (707) 268-2548.



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