'Outrage' at Puhoi Pub's wall hanging bearing offensive term for a Black person

Source: 1News

There are calls for a north Auckland pub to remove a wall hanging bearing a derogatory word for Black people.

Staff at the historic Puhoi Pub say a set of bullock horns with the offensive word written on it has been on display for as long as they can remember, and the owner has no plans to take it down.

Auckland woman Mildred Armah was shocked when she saw the display while visiting the pub for lunch on Sunday.

“What if it was my little sister that saw that. It’s heart breaking. Thank God I was with a bunch of white people and it wasn't a poor Black family that saw that. It’s so hurtful. It shouldn’t be up there,” she says.

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.

“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,” the pub’s owner Bernie McCallion told 1 NEWS.

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.”

After her visit, Armah posted about it on social media, with people "outraged and disgusted" by the racial slur on display.

“So disgusted and outraged! I hope you’re feeling a bit better after leaving that negative environment,” one person commented.

“How did they get away literal hate speech for so long?” wrote another.

According to the pub’s owner Armah is “the first person who’s spotted it and said something about it".

“There's worse things hanging in the pub. There are ceramic penises in there you know. Isn’t that more offensive to children?”

Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon thinks the pub should take it down.

“The n-word is related to slavery. It’s degrading, it’s derogatory and it’s racist. I urge the owner to reconsider.”