June 22, 2020—When George Floyd lost his life after an encounter with police on May 25th in Minneapolis, it resonated far and wide.
And, in response, the Rains family, which operates four CARSTAR shops in Ohio and Kentucky, felt compelled to make a statement that resonated with its customers. Because the family was grieving Floyd's murder, which left a wake of political unrest stretching far and wide, the Rains family consulted with a family friend and made the Facebook post attached above.
Izaac Rains, the shops' marketing manager, said the post was made largely due to the business's compassion for its customers and communities, including the Greater Cincinnati area.
"We know and love many people of color in our community, who we consider close friends and family," said Izaac Rains, the son of shop operator and FenderBender columnist Kevin Rains. "And, we did consult with them before actually making the post. It was kind of a collaboration."
The Rains family didn't clear the social media post with CARSTAR officials before posting, largely because they felt confident of the autonomy that CARSTAR gives its operators regarding marketing messages. Additionally, the Rains family simply felt strongly that the words were something they needed to get off their chest.
"The reason that we wanted to post," Izaac Rains told FenderBender, is that "the black people that we know and love, we wanted to make sure that they knew that we cared about them, that we see their struggle as a genuine, real, valid experience."After all, the younger Rains noted, the core of his family's business comes down to care—be it for cars, coworkers, or the community at large.
"We really felt very strongly that it's time to put our money where our mouth is," Rains said. "It's time to publicly show our care for the black community, and for the Cincinnati community, the Minneapolis community, all of the communities around the nation."
Rains added that he did make an effort to word the social media post carefully, so that it educated those who read it and inspired conversation, as opposed to inciting arguments. He said the response to the post was "overwhelmingly positive" with few exceptions.
"Yes, we might be turning some potential clients off," Izaac Rains said. "But, at the same time, I think it speaks a lot louder to our black clients if we stay silent on this. And I think it's important to let them know that we care about them."