WASHINGTON: A US coffee shop is brewing controversy with its loyalty cards that are designed in a manner that when punched it looks like a shot in the head of conservatives, including President Donald Trump. Black Forge Coffeehouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has issued the loyalty cards that have typical 10-count with its logo to punch, but on the back they have pictures of 10 people management does not like.
Those whose pictures have been printed on the cards are Trump, Rick Santorum, Ann Coulter, Mike Pence, Martin Shkreli, Pat Robertson, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz. The coffee shop co-owner Nick Miller was quoted by Fox News as saying that the cards are designed to look like a shot in the head when the card is punched.
Co-owner Ashley Corts said she has had the loyalty cards since 2015 and recently updated the cards to include President Trump. She said it was meant to poke fun at the president. "We're not threatening the president. We don't want to physically hurt him, we do not condone any sort of hate. It's completely against who we are," Corts said. Prior to the card's update, customers could find Glenn Beck, Creflo Dollar, Jerry Falwell and Billy Graham on the loyalty cards.
The cards have evoked extreme reactions and Black Forge was also getting threatening messages from all over the country, Corts said. "It's no one from our state," she added. People also took to social media to post negative comments about the coffee house. A few tweeted about the lack of Democrats on the cards, suggesting some additions. Others were concerned about the President's safety. Drake Bowan, a netizen commented, "I honestly think they ought to have the secret secretive called in on them. They are telling people that it's to (mimic) the idea of murder against the president."
Duquesne University College Republicans Vice President Nicholas Lacono expressed dismay, writing in a Facebook post that, "Seeing such violence and hate coming from the left because we are Republican/Conservative is despicable." "I would like this country to unite on both sides of the aisle and this story is certainly not helping the cause," he said. However, some said it was a good business strategy. "They're practicing their freedom of expression. Their coffee shop's been packed, and I know how hard it is for a small business to get noticed," a client of the coffee shop said.