In what was a bizarre turn of events, a black man has been blamed for the color scheme of a gas station in the borough of Rockland, New York.
The store’s website, along with a Facebook page, have been flooded with racist comments, including one post calling the color of the gas station a “dirty black color.”
The gas station, Diamonds, is located in the Bronx borough of Queens, and the owners say they have received a lot of hate messages over the color.
“We have had people calling us derogatory names,” Diamonds owner, Jim Dore told ABC News.
“One person even called us ‘black n—–s’ and said that was a derogatory term.”
Dore added that he had received a number of threatening messages, and was worried about his safety.
The owners of the store have started an online petition to have the color change.
“This is the first time I’ve ever had to deal with this kind of hate,” Dore said.
“I’m not racist, but I am not proud of this color.”
Dores business partner, Joe Sousa, told ABC that the color is meant to symbolize the community’s rich history of color.
“[Diamonds] is a place where people from all different backgrounds come together,” Sousas said.
“[Black people] come in and play.
People of color come in, play, eat, drink, and live here.
There’s a reason why they’re called Diamonds.”
According to the owners, Diamond is known for its “family friendly atmosphere” and is “a place where you can come to a bar or lounge, relax, and enjoy the music and atmosphere.”
The owners said that the gasstation has had a positive impact on the area and that the owner has hired an outside company to “clean up the graffiti.”
However, Dore expressed his opinion on the issue.
“It’s a black neighborhood,” he said.
In a statement, the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office said that “the District Attorney has received numerous reports of racist and violent messages and has launched an investigation to determine if the owner of the Diamonds Gas Station, Jim Sousawas, violated any local, state, or federal law.”
ABC News reached out to the owner for comment and will update this post if we receive a response.