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All Lives Matter Billboard Sparks Controversy

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An "All Lives Matter" sign has caused a strong reaction among residents of Odessa, Texas. The billboard was erected by the Wagner Supply Company and reads, “2000 years ago Jesus ended the debate of which lives matter. He died for all.”

People of the town seem to generally agree with the message, according to KWES.

Shannon Bezel, who works near the sign, said, "I believe all businesses should put that up. There should be billboards with it up."

Adolfo Bustamante, a resident of Odessa, told KWES, "It's the first time I've ever read it and I think it's pretty cool because it's true."

Bustamante says the loss of life affects everyone, not just a specific race.

"Jesus Christ died for all our sins, not just white lives, black lives, brown lives, oriental lives, he died for everybody," said Bustamante.

Bezel believes the reason for the racial tension is because it is imparted at an early age.

"At home, people should be teaching their children that all people are the same, not different. I believe the anger comes from home," she said.

This isn’t the first time the company has put up messages. Local residents say seeing messages like these make them feel better about what’s happening in society today.

"It's up to the personal beliefs of the business, if they feel like doing it then it's fine and dandy. If anybody is offended by it maybe they don't need their business because it's very true," said Bustamante.

Images of the signs have been shared on Facebook. The manager of the business who installed the signs has not responded to inquiries about them.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Rohini Sethi, University of Houston student body vice president, has been suspended and is temporarily barred from participating in group activities after she wrote, “Forget about #BlackLivesMatter; more like #AllLivesMatter.” She is also due to attend a diversity workshop per the ruling.

“Actions by SGA, a registered student organization subject to its own governance, are not University actions and do not affect the academic standing of a student at the University of Houston.  The University of Houston continues to stand firm in support of free speech and does not discipline students for exercising their Constitutional rights,” the school stated in a release on Aug. 1.

Sources: Houston Chronicle, KWES / Photo credit: KWES

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