Willoughby music store owner responds to sign telling ‘Trump sympathizers’ to shop elsewhere

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio -- Where there is music there is power to strike a chord with listeners but some say a recent tune inside a Willoughby music store is off key.

A sign on the front door of Joe's Music shows the word Trump with a ban symbol posted on top of the presidents name. The store owner who asked to be identified by first name only read the rest of the sign that begins with the phrase "Dear Trump sympathizers."

"I'm truly sorry," Joe said reading from his sign. "However, I feel unclean and dirty accepting money from you. Please politely shop somewhere else. Sorry, I would rather starve and close the store than participate in wrong-doing. Many blessings to you. I hope you understand."

Joe said he is now receiving death threats as well as both angry and supportive calls from across the country.

"I'm getting hate messages from everywhere from Tacoma, Washington to Tampa, Florida to Rochester, New York."

Joe said the sign he put up Tuesday to express himself, similar to the assertive way the President often makes his beliefs known, was a mistake.

"He's a very verbal person and doesn't hold back any punches and so, therefore, in the spirit of that, I've kind of expressed myself accidentally in the same voice that he uses," explained Joe.

Willoughby Police have increased patrols near the business. While FOX 8 crews were present the store the owner was on the phone with the FBI about his concerns. It's not clear if the sign will be taken down in the near future.

"It was only a request," said Joe about the sign. "It wasn't a ban, wasn't keeping anybody out. I didn't vet anybody. I'm just asking people before they pull on the handle to make a choice on whether they want to shop here."

Joe requested his written statement be included. A portion can be read below:

"In the spirit of activism. I put up sign. Let me be clear this is not a ban. There is a difference in asking and telling. I politely asked the Trump sympathizers, not Republicans nor people who disagree with me to spend their money somewhere else.

I espouse many conservative values such as only spending what you have earned. No one is vetted at the door. No one has been refused service nor was that my intention nor wording. My statement never said I would refuse service. I am truly sorry to the Trump supporters that I have hurt. I made the mistake of being insensitive to your feelings. I didn’t realize how much this hurt you. To trample people who support President Trump is cruel and mean, I am apologetic.

Also, regardless of my position or view I do respect other people’s as I would want them to respect mine. The sign on my door was purposely worded as a request, not a demand so people to make their own choice. I have and will always treat kindly those who walk thru my door."

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