A local bakery has found itself at the center of controversy after a Valentine’s Day cookie that was supposed to be “a joke” was interpreted as hateful.
Ken Bellingham is the owner of Edmonds Bakery, in Edmonds, Wash., which is known for the pink frosted conversation heart cookies that are made at this time every year. But never has Bellingham received such a big response to them as he has to a recent cookie that read, in icing, “Build that Wall.”
“These have always been very popular,” he explained to KING-5. “Some are a little risqué, some are nice. I just try to be funny.”
However, when Ana Carrera saw the politically charged cookie on display, she didn’t find it all that humorous. Instead, she snapped a picture of the cookies and posted them to Facebook, according to the local news outlet. The Facebook post appears to have since been removed.
“It’s really hard to see words like that,” Carrera told the KING-5. “My parents were the stories you see on the news of people crossing the border just because they want to have a new start.” Carrera went on to explain that, when said with hate, those words become racist.
Bellingham maintains that he didn’t mean anything by writing it — on one cookie among many others, all of which had sweeter messages on them.
“People were just going off, like, they don’t know anything about me. And yet, I was supposedly this horrible person,” he said. “I did it as a joke. But it was really taken out of context, and it’s not anything that I endorse.”
Edmonds Bakery didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. However, from the looks of the business’s Facebook page, there are plenty of people supporting the local shop.
“Don’t apologize. You did nothing wrong,” one person assured the baker. While another said, “My husband and I would like to purchase the cookies from you and say thank you for your opinion. This country has gotten ridiculous with narrow mindedness.”
Still, Carrera told KING-5 that there must have been an intention behind the creation of the cookie.
“There is some kind of hate coming from that bakery,” she said, “whether he chooses to admit it or not.”
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