Victor Chavarria, a Mexican immigrant living in a mostly African-American neighborhood, caused an uproar after passersby mistook the piñatas, which he had hung up to dry on his front porch, for a racist display.
According to CNN, Chavarria, owner of Happy Kids piñatas, was finishing an order for a wedding. The customer had asked for racially diverse figures that looked like members of the wedding party. On 4 a.m. Friday morning, Chavarria got up to create the piñatas and when he was done, he hung them up to dry on the front porch of his home in northern Minneapolis.
Someone driving by his house noticed, took a picture, and uploaded it to Twitter, asking, “Dear Minneapolis WTF is this?!?!?”
The post soon brought multiple threats to Chavarria, with some even threatening his wife and children. Chavarria quickly took the piñatas down and called the police because of the threats and people driving by his house. Because of the uproar, he even thought about moving back to Mexico, but decided to stay after talking to friends, neighbors, and African-American pastors and explain that the situation was a big misunderstanding.
Chavarria told CNN, “There’s no hate in this home. I don’t know how else to deliver this message. I’m very, very sorry for my lack of judgment and lack of sensitivity. Out of context, I admit the images look disturbing. Out of context everything can be horrible.”
Chavarria’s African-American neighbors explained to him why the display looked so bad and supported him throughout the ordeal. One of his neighbors parked their truck in front of the house and explained what the situation was to people driving by.
Unfortunately for Chavarria, the wedding order was canceled. But, he said from now on, his piñatas will be drying in the back of the house.
– Blair Halliday