Once and for all: It’s a cone, not a Klansman.
Ice Cream Family Corner and Sandwiches received a frosty reception when it moved into a space nestled next to a busy Ocala, Fla., intersection three months ago, and now its owners are confident they’ve figured out the reason: Motorists zooming by saw what appeared to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan, instead of a friendly ice cream cone.
Manager Liza Diaz said she had heard that many people avoided visiting the shop because of the character. “One customer said they had to think about coming in because they thought the KKK was outside,” Diaz said today of the segregationist group most recognizable by its white, pointed hoods.
She said another woman had asked her husband to call the police.
When the owners moved into the shop, they found an old ice cream cone suit and decided it would be a fun marketing gimmick to coax drivers to stop by for a sandwich or ice cream treat. It didn’t even cross their minds that the pointed dollop of vanilla ice cream would resemble a hood that has a strong history of fueling hate in Florida and elsewhere.
Diaz, who is from Puerto Rico, said she had never even heard of the Ku Klux Klan. “I asked my husband and when I found out, he explained it to me,” she said. “Wow!”
Diaz even pronounces it “Ku Ku Klan,” without a hint of irony.
As for the deceptive ice cream cone suit, “We put it away,” Diaz said. “Business is very good today.”