Maine insurance agency shows its unvarnished racism on Juneteenth. The backlash is swift and fierce


Millinocket resident Lisa Groelly told WGME-13 that she wants to “see better for this community.”

“As a business owner, it’s just not something you do. It really isn’t.”

Stillwagon originally posted the image on Facebook with a caption reading, “The racism in Millinocket is real.”

Backlash against the sign was immediate and swift.

In a statement sent to NPR, Allstate wrote:

“We are terminating our contract with this independent agent. Our commitment to Inclusive Diversity and Equity is non-negotiable and we take action when individuals violate our code of conduct.”

WGME-13 reports that Progressive has also terminated its partnership with the Harry E. Reed agency.

“At Progressive, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are fundamental to our Core Values. We’re committed to creating an environment where our people feel welcomed, valued and respected and expect that anyone representing Progressive to take part in this commitment,” Jeff Sibel, a Progressive spokesperson, wrote to NPR. “The sign is in direct violation of that commitment and doesn’t align with our company’s Core Values and Code of Conduct.”

Tuesday, Millinocket Town Council Chair Steve Golieb posted a statement on Facebook that read:

“It is deeply saddening, disgraceful and unacceptable for any person, business, or organization to attempt to make light of Juneteenth and what it represents for millions of slaves and their living descendants… There is no place in the Town of Millinocket for such a blatant disregard of human decency.”

According to WGME-13, a person identified as Melanie Higgins wrote a statement on the Harry E. Reed Facebook page saying she’s been reprimanded, adding: “I am so sorry for any pain I have caused and the negative attention it has brought to our beautiful community.”

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