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Home Depot’s Ruido Fest Display Pissed Some Attendees Off And Here’s Why

Attendees at this past weekend’s Ruido Fest in Chicago were not pleased with one of the promotional booths that was set up during the weekend of alternative Latino music. The point of ire was a wall that was put up for display by Home Depot. According to Home Depot, they considered it a non-political display about one of Home Depot’s products and a blank canvas for people to decorate as a mural. However, in these politically charged times, several Ruido Fest attendees saw the wall and immediately felt like Home Depot was tone deaf in their approach to marketing at a Latino event.

Here is one of the videos of people reacting to the Home Depot display.

Posted by Vicko Alvarez Vega on Saturday, July 8, 2017

“I was confused by the display at first until I realized people were being asked to participate in tiling a wall,” Vicko Alvarez Vega, the woman who took the video, told mitú. “Then I just thought ‘Wow, really? It’s the Home Depot, and a wall was the best thing you could think of for a Latino festival?'”

Home Depot was the subject of boycott during the 2016 presidential campaign when co-founder and former CEO Bernard Marcus endorsed President Trump. According to Forbes, Marcus left the company in 2002 but his endorsement led to a severe backlash against the home improvement company.

A second video taken by Vicko Alvarez Vega shows festival attendees trying to physically remove the wall.

Posted by Vicko Alvarez Vega on Saturday, July 8, 2017

Alvarez told mitú that one of the Home Depot representatives at the booth attempted to explain that the wall was not meant to be political. Alvarez believes the wall was a bad idea.

“I think the reaction was warranted,” Alvarez told mitú. “The Pilsen neighborhood where Ruido Fest was held recently suffered the loss of a historic mural on a building that is being converted into luxury apartments. Those developers have stated they will have artists from the neighborhood do a new mural but that’s absurd. For me, Home Depot having Latinxs decorate a wall was too similar to gentrifiers asking us to decorate a building we inevitably won’t be able to afford to even live in. The symbolism of Home Depot’s wall hit too hard with the realities of the neighborhood.”

The incident escalated and security had to be called to diffuse the situation, but Alvarez doesn’t think security helped.

Vicko Alvarez Vega / Facebook

“When security was called they became physically aggressive with people who were simply in the crowd,” Alvarez told mitú about the people who waited around to see if Home Depot would dismantle the wall. “That upset us and many of us stepped in to help our friends which made security more aggressive. After everything was said and done, a white security guard had the nerve to mock us. The whole thing was just upsetting.”

We reached out to Home Depot about the incident. Spokesperson Stephen Holmes provided a response:

“We participated in the festival to show our support for the community, so this was an unfortunate misunderstanding. The purpose of the project was to show attendees how easy it is to install tile for things like bathrooms and backsplashes when using a special product we sell. It actually wasn’t intended to be a ‘wall’ at all.”


H/T: Remezcla

READ: Amazon Is Selling ‘Mexico Will Pay!’ Wall Costumes

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