OKLAHOMA CITY – A haircut by a popular Oklahoma City barber shop has ignited a firestorm on social media.
Employees at Fade N Up said a white customer requested a Confederate flag be shaved into his head by a black barber, and the barbershop posted the photo on social media.
The photo created the firestorm on Facebook with many condemning the customer and the shop.
However, the shop's owner said the picture doesn't tell the whole story.
“I was thinking it was some racist-type stuff but, as he sat down and I was doing it and he was talking to me the whole time, and he explained to me why he was doing it, like, he was a really cool guy and I didn't feel like he was racist at all,” said Demontre Heard, a barber at Fade N Up.
Heard said the man wanted the flag for a reason.
“When he came in, he explained to me that it was because of his favorite rapper,” he said.
Heard said it’s a haircut other barbers in his shoes may not have handled so well but said this shop is different.
“If you're white, Asian, Mexican, Black, Puerto Rican, whatever, you sit in my chair and I cut your hair, I hope I leave you with the best haircut you get and I hope that you come back,” Heard said.
The owner of the shop, Corey Sutter, or 'Scissorhands,' said his place is an open door and he doesn’t get caught up in politics.
“When they came in, we kind of thought it was odd,” said Sutter, who posted the photo online. “You know, like really? But like, with me and my barber crew, we're so far past racism. We know it exists, but we don't pay it no attention because, once you start paying attention to the problem, it's like they won.”
On social media, reactions were endless. Many people condemned his shop for allowing the haircut.
“The thing that's really bothering me is, no matter how it may look to someone and them getting upset about it, this is what we do for a living,” Sutter said. “We provide a service for this person, and that's what we're supposed to do. Yeah, we could have denied it. Yes, we could have acted a fool and talked bad to him, tried to fight him or anything like that. But, he came in, he came in respectful. He wanted it.”
Barber Bo Fields, who is white, stands behind his coworker’s decision.
“I'm proud because, I mean, it's a business, and he knew where to come to get what he wanted, and that's what we do here and we all have families, we all have bills and I support him,” Fields said.
Even customers showed their support.
“We have to be positive about the situation,” said Keith Neals. “We can't throw fuel into the fire, and that's just going to add what's going on to the world today. So, it's a beautiful thing that these guys are doing what they're doing.”