A sign on display in a rural Nebraska town this week sparked controversy and outrage among many who say it is offensive.
According to reports, a sign was put up over the weekend in the town of Minden, Nebraska that reads, “Aids, Ebola, Obama. Thanks, Africa.” The sign was first spotted early this week after a resident put it up, and now, people are speaking out against it.
“I got an email to the effect that it was creating quite a stir in the community,” said Mayor-elect Ted Griess of first learning about the sign. “It was being transferred all the way across this nation from one Facebook account to the next. It was so large and it was coming into the community alongside the highway and, as the mayor-to-be, I didn't want that type of image to be portrayed in Minden, Nebraska. We’re called the Christmas City.”
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Griess took matters into his own hands and personally tracked down the owner of the sign. Eventually, he was able to convince him to take it down, but not before sparking a heated debate over the freedom of speech in the small Nebraska town.
“I tried to point out to him that a sign of that nature alongside a highway gives the wrong image for a community,” Griess told the Journal Star. “It was just a citizen who, I guess, was expressing his political viewpoint. He had the right to do so, but it was a sign I interpreted, and I think the vast majority of citizens interpreted, as being very distasteful. I wish it would go away, but it hit the social media.”
Minden residents are not keeping quiet about their disgust over the sign, either. Resident Bruce Lindstrom says that he was shocked by how hateful the message was.
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“I’m stunned that America has come to this place where the hatred and the vitriol is so wide open now,” Lindstrom said to NBC Nebraska.
Others, however, think that the man had a right to put the sign up.
“I believe everybody has the right to their own opinion and if they would like to state it there should be nothing wrong with that,” Minden resident Dwayne Wilson expressed.
Do you think this man went too far by putting the controversial sign up?