He Was Forced To Take Down A “Controversial” Sign After They Threatened To Close His Store…

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A New Jersey knife shop owner is facing a social media firestorm over a sign he posted on his window charging customers more if they don’t speak English.

A hand-scrawled sign was posted in his window reading, “Speak English or pay $10 extra.”

Cutter’s Edge, a blade sharpening business located in Clifton, New Jersey, currently has a 1.5-star rating on Yelp with 135 reviews, many made in the last few days. Outraged people posted a flurry of negative one-star Yelp reviews with comments about the owner being a racist.

“ANYBODY with a parent, sister, friend or associate who speaks another language should feel enraged by this,” Keka R. wrote on Yelp. “I’d rather go to a business that fully understands we are living in a country where 350 different languages are spoken and nobody should be charged for simply that.”

The influx in reviews is most likely in response to a viral tweet and TikTok video showing a hand-written note posted on the front door that said non-English speaking customers must pay $10 extra.

“SHUT THEM DOWN FOR BEING RACIST PIECES OF S–T! RACISM IS NOT WELCOMED IN NJ!” @iamfarias tweeted.

Jeremy Pierre wrote, “Isn’t this literally illegal?”

Photo Credit: CBS New York

Dave Feinberg, the owner of the controversial sign posted in his shop, tried to defend the sign:

Feinberg said he grew frustrated after a customer came into his shop who only spoke Spanish.

“I had an impossible time understanding somebody, and the communication between this guy and myself was virtually none, and I tried,” the 71-year-old told NJ.com. “And he made no attempt to communicate with me in a language i understood.”

As a result, he explained, a simple job became more complicated. So he posted a sign in his window: “Speak English or Pay $10 Extra.”

“I guess the frustration factor got to me, but it had nothing to do with speaking English or Spanish or any other language,” he said. “It was about when we’re here, we are able to understand each other.”

Photo Credit: CBS New York

Spreading the word of Cutter’s Edge extra charge, a TikToker by the name Francisco Pina made a video featuring images of the sign and the store’s address on Tuesday.

“Do your magic, TikTok,” Pina wrote on his post, which has racked up thousands of views.

Photo Credit: CBS New York

Feinberg, who considers himself a descendant of immigrants and has owned the knife shop since 1975, has since taken down the sign. He replaced it with an apology note, and even recorded a similar apology on his voicemail.

As a small business owner who has struggled during the coronavirus pandemic, he hopes people will accept his regret, and understand it was simply about making sure he and the customer understood one another.

“Some people said they accept my apology,” he said, but “some people have said it’s too late for an apology.”

Watch the video report here: CBS Newyork/Youtube

Sources: OpposingViews, New York Post, NJ.com, USA Today