Dean Ruff says he?s not a racist.
The Kalka Bait and Tackle owner made the front page of The Morning Bulletin yesterday over his comments that "ignorant immigrants'' were not welcome in his shop because they could not speak English.
Today, Mr Ruff is again on the front page, fearing for his safety as a national media storm erupts around his tough stance.
"I'm no racist,'' Mr Ruff, 21, said.
"I treat everyone equal. But, if they are not prepared to make an effort to communicate with me in my language, I will not try to communicate in theirs.
"I have lots of customers and friends from different nation- alities.''
Yesterday, the controversy had him fielding calls from A Current Affair, Channel Seven news and national newspapers, including The Courier-Mail.
The Lakes Creek Road store owner said he was overwhelmed with support yesterday.
Even strangers called to back him up.
Standing outside his store for five minutes yesterday after- noon two cars drove by beeping their horns. A group in the first car was shouting "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie,'' while from the second someone shouted a reference about "wogs''.
"There's been good feedback from the customers and encour- aging phone calls,'' he said.
"People have told me that while (they) do not have the guts to say it, (they) support (me).''
He said his problem was with a "certain group'' of Vietnam- ese meatworkers and not the Brazilians.
"It's hard (to deal with them) and also for the other customers it's an inconvenience,'' Mr Ruff said.
"You could have up to 15 (in the store) and of course they distract you and you don't know what's happening. It's been going on for a while.
"They take hooks out of the boxes and try to barter.
"I have to tell them no, that is the price.''
He said he was warned not to put a sign up outside the shop because it was illegal.
He has owned the business for 13 months.